Would you charter an old boat? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-28-2009 Thread Starter
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Would you charter an old boat?

I've come up with a bit of a hair-brained idea - bear with me...

We're thinking of sailing down to the BVI's next fall, leaving the boat there and self-chartering it, then sailing her back in May the following year.

The scheme would allow us to gain a couple of ocean voyages prior to setting off on a circumnavigation in 2012.

The obvious downside is that we'd be chartering our pride and joy - which happens to be an old Crealock 37 - risking the boat with people we don't know who could do significant damage just prior to our long term departure.

Thought occurs that perhaps I can mitigate that risk by only chartering to people I personally know - or to people who are vested in Pacific Seacrafts - you lot!

Our aim in chartering is to recover the costs of her lying in the BVI's - we're still working stiffs so have limited time off. We can take a vacation to get her down there one year and then a vacation the following year to bring her back. We don't have the time to do both in one vacation. So chartering would be a means to paying the costs and perhaps supplementing the kitty just a little - rather than a major money making scheme.

I wonder if anyone here a) thinks it's a reasonable idea and b) would be interested in chartering my old boat for a week of R&R in the BVI's...


Bill
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-28-2009
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I'm no expert on this but the way I understand it charting in the BVI is very, very competive. You will need.
  • Insurance
  • An agent to find people and book them and take their money.
  • Someone to meet the people and check them out.
  • Someone to fix stuff that is broke.
  • A chase boat to help out if something happens on the water.
But if you can book a couple people yourself that you trust maybe you could eliminate some steps at some risk.
If you are offering an older boat with limited services what are you offering to make someone choose you over the regulars. How much you thinking? Price is an obvious option.
The solution is to charter to me first then saildog last so he can fix everything I broke.

We chartered with Bareboat Sailboat Charters on the Maryland Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay this summer. Someone like him would just add you boat to his charter fleet and take care of all the details.

Last edited by davidpm; 11-28-2009 at 09:01 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-28-2009 Thread Starter
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I've never chartered - so it's all foreign to me... this project started off with us looking to charter a boat - but of course, none are available for this upcoming Christmas...

Anyway, I found a charterer with a new 33ft boat (Bavariea) that charters for between $2200 and $3000 per week depending on what dates.

I can't offer the services of a full blown charter company - so whoever takes the boat on has some risk associated with it themselves. I therefore figure I would charter for $750 - $1250 per week ? - but only to people I know or to people who own a Pacific Seacraft (and are therefore familiar with the boat's systems).

Thoughts?

Bill
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billbalme View Post
I've never chartered - so it's all foreign to me... this project started off with us looking to charter a boat - but of course, none are available for this upcoming Christmas...

None are available for this upcoming Christmas? Hard to believe.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-28-2009
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I can't offer the services of a full blown charter company - so whoever takes the boat on has some risk associated with it themselves. I therefore figure I would charter for $750 - $1250 per week ? - but only to people I know or to people who own a Pacific Seacraft (and are therefore familiar with the boat's systems).
Bill

Well the $750 price is certainly enticing. You are going to severely limit your potential list of customers if you only accept PS owners. You could do a poll to see how many SN members have even been on a PS much less owned one. Drooling over them on yachworld doesn't count. .
Is the PS so much different from the more common production boats.?
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-28-2009
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Our sailing club, in the UK, chartered a 20+ yr-old boat for two seasons (6-8 weeks/yr) for instructional use. The only reason it worked was that our two instructors were competent mechanics and boat fixers...The breakdowns would make the scheme fail; we had a boat-stopping failure every other week...torn sails x2, blocked head x2, cooling system failure, morse cable failure, propshaft leak... just to mention a few.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-28-2009
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Hare-Brained: Don't Do it

Dear Bill,

Having no first-hand experience I say don't do it. From everyone I know and everything I have read I gather that chartering is Very Hard On The Boat. As I know you know, cruising and deadlines don't mix while deadlines and chartering are closer than first cousins.

You normally pay to have the boat hauled, mast unstepped, and the boat trucked to your home in the fall, repeating this whole procedure in the spring, right? My guess is that it will cost you less to store the boat in the BVI than in Newport, RI (and environs) and will save you and the boat TONS of wear and tear.

My other fear is that you will return to the boat ready to sail North only to find that she is NOT ready to sail North, leaving you in a major pickle.

Finally, if your real purpose is to gain some time at sea then there must be a better way.

My worthless .02 cents, Jay.

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-28-2009
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You appear to be overlooking some additional cost such as a BVI license to charter as an individual and the time it takes to obtain one...if you can get one. BVI has lots of restrictions on foreigners making money in the BVI even if you are considering to do it "from" home it would be earned from an asset in BVI displacing another BVI tax paying operator.

You could potentially consider flying under the radar which would be a very bad option as on this rather small island every one know something about everyone particularly if it is involved in the tourist trade.... you would be ratted out in a heart beat and the impact could be massive. Do a search on illegal charter operations in BVI for a few scary items to consider.

You may be better off considering USVI with potential fewer, but only marginally fewer hoops you must pass through and a smaller charter crowed.

The additional local people you would need to support the activity locally would cost you more than you would think.

If you want to put the boat into charter, using an existing company would be more economically viable but few will accept older boat or boat types not already in the fleet.

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-29-2009
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Bill,

Self managing a charter operation in the islands would be a challenge. As previously mentioned, these boats get a great deal of hard use. You might consider a yacht management company that can handle all the logistics for you. One that we have used for charter in the past is Conch Charters. They have a fleet of older "experienced boats" and are based out of Tortola. You can check them out at conchcharters.com
Best of luck.

John S.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-29-2009
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Maybe Red Hook in USVI. We've chartered Island Packets out of there a few times. I have a 31 and would be interested in chartering a 37 but I can't imagine someone pulling that off from the states. Are you going to live in the BVI? All it takes is cardboard from a case of beer to introduce the roaches to be enjoyed by the next charter customer. A good charterer spends a lot of time in boat prep between customers.

But it could be done. You spend time to find a trustworthy person to manage and maintain the boat. Maybe you can avoid charter taxes and additional insurance costs if you have an agreement with a few friends who are allowed to contribute toward expenses - that's usually allowed. I'd maybe sign up for a month. If you could get a few others, you might very well cover your expenses but I doubt you're gonna make any money.

Steve
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