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After going through bad hurricanes a couple of years ago and now the virus - will charter companies survive this? In Florida the used sailboat market was dead before the current nightmare - there is going to be huge financials pains going forward for many - I would assume many will stop paying slip rental first when it comes time to choose which bills to pay - at that point it might be tough to even give a boat away - unless its for housing for people with limited means - who will anchor the boat out. Maybe too early to ask these questions - but at least for several years there are going to be a lot of different financial decisions to be made. How much gets spent on recreation is probably going to change quite a bit.
 

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2 different things - I am just guessing at the charter issue - came to mind this week as I flew back to Florida over some of the Caribbean islands - boat market here - its going to be tough for sellers for quite some time.
 

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I think this, much more so than a hurricane, will change the face of the charter industry, especially in the Caribbean.
Those folks who retired to owner/operate the big expensive cats are going to be a world of hurt if they have a mortgage that required a goodly number of $10,000+ charters per season to maintain. Few charter boats of any kind can bank enough to survive a half a season and the summer (we won't know about next season for some time) without income. In the old days we Caribbean charter skippers would sail to the Med for the summer season there, and back for the winter season here, so we had about twice the income of today's Caribbean term charter fleet. Obviously, that won't be possible this year.<style type="text/css">p ** margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 115%; }a:link ** }</style>
Even though the boats aren't damaged, the travel restrictions now may cause potential customers to hesitate to book many months to a year in advance, which was the norm for us.
We've pulled all our advertising for the foreseeable future, as we have no idea when the travel restrictions will end. Fortunately, we own Skipping Stone outright and can survive financially quite comfortably just living aboard and doing things like varnish, general maintenance and the upgrades we have planned with the delivery of a barrel full of items a few months back.
If this lasts beyond the summer, the bareboat industry will probably collapse, as most of those owners couldn't afford the boats they bought w/o the bareboat income.
It is possible it will be a feast after famine situation for those of us with the smaller, more personal, affordable, unmortgaged boats when this is all over. In a way I hope so, because the industry has become hugely competitive and cutthroat, which has taken a lot of the camaraderie out of it for the crews, and not especially improved the experience for the guests.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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I see this bringing a huge recession throughout the entire world economy for many years to come. The only plus side I see for sailors is if you have some cash in reserve, used boats will be going for cheap in 2-3 years.
 

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Not only boaters. Consider the poor over extended multiple condo owners who made plans with an AirBnB income to manage the mortgage. Or farmers who can't get a crop in or out because of lack of migrant workers.
 

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looking forward to recovery...

So at some point this virus will have been defeated.... lots of people will have died their lives cut short and that is tragedy.

But there will be a "recovery". We don't know when it will start or where it will start.

I am thinking that businesses shuttered will restart, consumers will be rearing to get out and consume, be entertained... dine out... weary from cabin fever. Of course to do anything needs money and people who have been not making or living off of savings will be strapped and unable to spend.

I also suspect the C19 was a learning moment for everyone... to conserve... to up their hygiene... to me more mindful of the consequences of actions or inaction.

How will the "consumer economy" be best restarted? There are two broad approaches as far as I (dumb) can tell: top down and bottom up and I suppose maybe a combination which may be the best. And there are other approaches to consider... re directed government spending. We might re direct the huge DOD allocations to public works projects... or universal health care. Suspend all the hand outs to corps and especially energy corps.

Giving money to people to spend.. will stimulate business, more employment etc. This could be costly and slow at getting the economy going on its own. How would the allotment be determined?
Giving money to business will allow them to rehire and restart "production". But this should come with strings... no stock buy backs and control of CEO and management compensation... suspension of anti labor practices.

The restart of the economy will be an opportunity to "retool" capitalism, provide a living wage for all workers, get health care costs under control and provide it to everyone, raise ethical practices and environmental awareness. We might see more "sharing" and helping and peer to peer cooperation. We need a new economy built on ethics and social consciousness. This may mean that the worship and protection of wealth needs to be revisited. Wealth is one thing... multi billionaires is another... may revisit the entire tax code?

I don't think we can or should restore the old system which seems to have crumbled pretty quickly under stress.
 

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...The restart of the economy will be an opportunity to "retool" capitalism, provide a living wage for all workers, get health care costs under control and provide it to everyone, raise ethical practices and environmental awareness. We might see more "sharing" and helping and peer to peer cooperation. We need a new economy built on ethics and social consciousness. This may mean that the worship and protection of wealth needs to be revisited. Wealth is one thing... multi billionaires is another... may revisit the entire tax code?

I don't think we can or should restore the old system which seems to have crumbled pretty quickly under stress.
Interesting ... I've been pondering the same things Sander. Given the kinds of "socialist" responses we're seeing to this health and economic crisis -- responses all political sides seem to embrace -- I'm truly hoping this will break the log jam around a lot of changes that must happen in our societies.

People of all stripes can see that a living wage, or indeed a guaranteed minimum income, is not that scary. Instead of the sky falling, as most right-wing commentators often claim around these issues, it will truly float all boats. Make sure people have enough money to spend, and they will spend it. Trickle-UP economics!

Of course, I also fear for the negative lessons we may be learning. The massive abridgment of personal freedoms (border closings, curfews, now internal travel restrictions, checkpoints, monitoring, etc...) are all tools that can be put to darker uses once this health crisis abates.
 

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I wonder what this is/will do to the sailing schools.

Many of the schools that I have worked with are dependent on customers flying into some exotic locale (BVIs, Florida, Narragansett Bay, Casco Bay, etc.) then taking a week-long live aboard course with another couple (that have just done the same) and an instructor. Social distancing is simply not possible.

Most of the instructors are not employees, but are contractors with no benefits, no sick-time, and no unemployment insurance coverage.
 

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I guess one positive about this is that cruising on your own boat this season may be a great way to practice 'social distancing". Drop the hook, cook dinner on the BBQ, and enjoy.
As long as you stay within the borders of one country.
You certainly won't be welcomed by any marinas or towns as a transient.
 

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I think this, much more so than a hurricane, will change the face of the charter industry, especially in the Caribbean.
Those folks who retired to owner/operate the big expensive cats are going to be a world of hurt if they have a mortgage that required a goodly number of $10,000+ charters per season to maintain. Few charter boats of any kind can bank enough to survive a half a season and the summer (we won't know about next season for some time) without income. In the old days we Caribbean charter skippers would sail to the Med for the summer season there, and back for the winter season here, so we had about twice the income of today's Caribbean term charter fleet. Obviously, that won't be possible this year.<style type="text/css">p ** margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 115%; }a:link ** }</style>
Even though the boats aren't damaged, the travel restrictions now may cause potential customers to hesitate to book many months to a year in advance, which was the norm for us.
We've pulled all our advertising for the foreseeable future, as we have no idea when the travel restrictions will end. Fortunately, we own Skipping Stone outright and can survive financially quite comfortably just living aboard and doing things like varnish, general maintenance and the upgrades we have planned with the delivery of a barrel full of items a few months back.
If this lasts beyond the summer, the bareboat industry will probably collapse, as most of those owners couldn't afford the boats they bought w/o the bareboat income.
It is possible it will be a feast after famine situation for those of us with the smaller, more personal, affordable, unmortgaged boats when this is all over. In a way I hope so, because the industry has become hugely competitive and cutthroat, which has taken a lot of the camaraderie out of it for the crews, and not especially improved the experience for the guests.
I agree with you 100%. The charter industry will collapse for those dependent on paying customers, of which there are presently none due to travel bans and closed borders. The Cruising Experience will survive because we aren’t dependent on charter income and our medical-based income looks to be increasing in the very near future, which is unfortunate for many.

Hopefully, this will all run its course before the end of summer however, New York City looks more and more like a ticking time bomb about to explode big time.
 

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I don’t think this is quite as clear as others. There will be ups and downs. Here are some of the issues I see. I am not making predictions, just looking at the list of ingredients.

When older folks die there is a transfer of wealth to their survivors. Of course with the market low it may not be a big transfer so that is variable.

But also every Senior that passes leaves some portion of his SS for others. This will stretch SS for some period.

If many medical high consumers pass then the impact will be greater than their proportion to society. The most vulnerable are likely to consume a lot of medical dollars in future years, if they live. That will stretch out Medicare, Medicaid, etc. but it will also take future income from hospitals and the medical industry.

It may force some older folks to work longer, increasing unemployment for the young.

If we bring the medical industry home will it help our employment?

It will probably force forward VI, replace even more (unreliable) humans with (reliable) robots.

From what I’m seeing non-Western countries are just taking the hit. They will weed out a lot of medically marginal people making the remaining population stronger.

The whole picture is a blend of ups and downs. I can’t make any coherent sense of it.
 

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We took a crewed charter in the USVI and BVI from March 6-13. I think if it were scheduled for a week later, we wouldn't have been able to go.

While we were there, the crew told us that at least two upcoming charters had asked about rescheduling to next year. The crew was very concerned; they do not own the boat, but live and work aboard full time for the owner. I don't know if they get paid without charters, but they certainly don't get tipped. It seemed to me that they (the crew) and not the owner decided how to deal with the requests for cancellations/rescheduling. At that time, the crew was inclined to not allow wholesale cancellations or rescheduling. Their thought was that was why they strongly encouraged everyone to buy trip insurance.

Since then, we got an email from them, letting us know that they had rescheduled two charters. I suppose that they are tightening their belts like the rest of us.
 

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At that time, the crew was inclined to not allow wholesale cancellations or rescheduling. Their thought was that was why they strongly encouraged everyone to buy trip insurance.

Since then, we got an email from them, letting us know that they had rescheduled two charters. I suppose that they are tightening their belts like the rest of us.
Interesting. Most term charter boats have cancellation policies that allow a charter to be cancelled several months in advance with nothing more than a minor charge. As time decreases to within 30 days of the charter, down payment (usually 50%) refunds can decrease to zero, unless the time is rebooked by someone else. All this is clearly stated on the website, so there should be no confusion. Nobody should have an outlay of more than 50% of the charter fee until 30 days before the charter, anyway
However, in a situation like this, where the charterer is not at fault, we would give a full refund, or rebook for a potential later date, as our reputation is worth much more than the money from a few charters. In the world of internet reputations, one could ruin theirs with just one angry customer, in a situation like this.
 

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Interesting. Most term charter boats have cancellation policies that allow a charter to be cancelled several months in advance with nothing more than a minor charge. As time decreases to within 30 days of the charter, down payment (usually 50%) refunds can decrease to zero, unless the time is rebooked by someone else. All this is clearly stated on the website, so there should be no confusion. Nobody should have an outlay of more than 50% of the charter fee until 30 days before the charter, anyway
However, in a situation like this, where the charterer is not at fault, we would give a full refund, or rebook for a potential later date, as our reputation is worth much more than the money from a few charters. In the world of internet reputations, one could ruin theirs with just one angry customer, in a situation like this.
At least one of the charters in question was set for two weeks from our departure. I don't think the issue for our charter crew was whether they would rebook; under normal circumstances, they would have been happy to do so. But they were looking down the road and were afraid that every one of their charters would want to rebook for next season, leaving them with no income at all for this year. I don't know what they decided to do long term, but like you, they decide to allow the rebooking for these two charters.
 
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