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post #8 of Old 10-28-2013
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Re: Purchase an ex charter boat

I dont usually answer these type questions fully as they are normally started by polmics who hate Beneteaus, hate charter companies, hate charterers and think the only thing that should be allowed on water is a 27 foot wooden boat with tiller.

But as its David....

First off let me say most people on internet forums hate Beneteaus, hate charter companies, hate charterers and think the only thing that should be allowed on water is a 27 foot wooden boat with tiller.

I bought mine in 2008 after traveling the east coast of the USA extensively looking for long range cruising.
At the time I had $105,000
I found no one in the USA would negotiate at all, some put their price up as soon as they heard an Australian was in town.

I put in two offers on Beneteau 361's (36 foot.) One was offered at $112,000 and I offered my $105,000 and was rejected.
When in Florida I went to the Moorings Brokerage and met a broker who had some 361's in the Caribbean and some 393's (39 feet). There was a 393 at $115,000 in St Martin.
I went there and saw all the boats but the 393 was much better than the rest, better than the owner owned USA 361's.
Moorings took the $105,000 offer and I got a surveyor who obviously had surveyed MANY Beneteaus. He would tell me what he was looking for and then lift the cover and show me if it had 'it' or not.

I wanted to make sure it had never had a hard grounding and that a surveyor can tell from inside the bilge fore and aft the keel.

Point 1: I got a 39 footer for less than a 36 footer.

I closed the deal, threw my stuff onboard and sailed around the world with no damage, nothing falling off, nothing breaking until 100nms before the end of my circumnavigation when I broke the forestay but was able to motor sail to my intended port. I had already scheduled a rigging change for the end of my circumnavigation so the rigging was in the forefront of my mind. I did not have the budget to do it before, but I think if I did have the budget I would have done the rigging 10,000 miles before I did, vis a vie, 20,000nms after I bought the boat.

The Pacific was a good example where all I broke was one split pin in 6,500nms.

When I Thailand I had Rolly Tasker make me a new mainsail but I didnt put it on thill I reached Turkey.
The Genoa I finaly swapped for another second hand one earlier this year so it had done about 36,000nms after I had bought the boat. The sail was probably original to the boat.

Point 2 Nothing much went wring with my boat through a whole circumnavigation.

Yanamar tells me the 4JH3E will be good for 20,000 to 25,000 hours. Internet forums say they are good for about half an hour, less if on a chartered boat. My engine had 3490 hours on it and all I did on the circumnavigation was keep the oil up to it and do the impellors. In November last year after 33,000 nms I changed the heat exchanger.

My hours are now 2785 hours + the original 3490 = 6,275 hours and it starts first time every time, no smoke, no oil use etc.

Point 3 Yanmar Engines do more hours than you think.

"Charter wrecks boats" there are a few bumps and scratches where people have dropped stuff, maybe the winch handle a few times in an unfamiliar cockpit... theres a bump below I wondered how the hell they did... but I have forgotten where it is! There was some hair line varnish scratches ( and the advice is do NOT sand back, just use the finest art brust to in-fill)
Apart from that they are exactly like any other owner-owned boat of the same age.
I have seen some pristine boats in my travels but they are from a zealous maintainer... I am not, I am a traveller so the highest levels of aesthetic boat maintenance doesn't bother me.

Point 4 Ex-charter boars are not wrecked.

As I am not a boat yard boy or an intense maintainer it would be stupid for me to ever buy a project boat. My idea is to get a low maintenance, good sailing, affordable boat that thats a liquid market for resale.
This boat fit very well into my overall assessment of annual cruising costs and the investments needed to fund those costs.
Ex-charter meant I could have a large boat that only represents a small fraction of my overall assets.
Other people do their sums in a different way, but mine work for me and I can do this till I die or sink the boat.
Point 5 Low investment to asset ratio

Moorings/Sunsail/TUI maintenance is deplored by those who don't know anything about it. They think TUI never maintains the charter boats. Quite simple its in their financial interest to maintain the boats: the average price of charter per week is about $5,000 for my boat. If it can't go out TUI loses $5,000 for that week and every week its unavailable. So its far better to spend a few hours of full time staff mechanics time than to lose $5,000.
Anytime I am near a Moorings/Sunsail/TUI base and I have a problem or question I find the fleet managers are very, very, VERY helpful. If theres a problem they have seen it and they know the best, simplest, cheapest solution.

Point 6 I found TUI/Sunsail/Moorings maintains the boats well.

Often its said that a boat ex-charter needs to be 'refitted' before it can sail away. Well thats bullsh!t. They have been doing week long charters for years and any boat that can sail off for a week independently doesnt need to be re-fitted.
All I put on mine was clothes, a dinghy and a girlfriend.
In Thailand we had new saloon covers as the blue valour Sunsail fabrics are a bit harsh on the eyes. Moorings have white vinyl thats OK but I would change that too, but they are only aesthetics.
I bought a new oven after 25,000nms.
I have a 2 inch foam 'topper' on my forward cabin mattress.
All the below bits are fine.
Mine is a 2 cabin version that I like better than 3 cabins as there is more storage space in an outside lazarette.
Some of the bigger boats have 5 cabins. If that doesnt suit you don't buy the f'ing boat! Its not Beneteaus fault or the charter companies. No one is forcing you to want one.
I saw an owner-owned boat where one head was removed and the whole bathroom was made into a pantry. Great creative use of space.

Point 7 Re-fit not needed.

Thats about all I can think of..... ummmmm..... If theres something else I'll put it up.

In General: buting a ex-charter boat is the same as buying any second hand/used boat: Its NOT NEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

****Please don't think that over 5 years nothing has gone wrong, norhting has been changed or upgraded. On any second hand boat 5 years is a long time. It is an ongoinig maintenance thing like all boats. ****

The old Sunsail Salon colours

What we did in Thailand

Sea Life
Notes on a Circumnavigation:
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People can say they want freedom, but offer them the keys to what chains them, a map to where they want to go,
And they'll turn it down for the cell they know

Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 10-28-2013 at 12:52 PM.
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