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Inheriting two sailing vessels

5487 Views 46 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  SloopJonB
My brother-in-law passed away three weeks ago in southern Chile. He left behind two large sailboats, which he used to take scientists to remote areas around the tip of South America - climatologists, geologists, etc. The larger of the boats is 70 feet long and has a specially designed hull for the rough waters of Patagonia - it is said to be able to sleep 15 people. The attached picture is of this boat.
We are not sailors and have no idea about how to find people who might be interested in such specialized boats. Any advice would be very much appreciated!


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Sorry for your loss. If one dies without a will, by definition, there can't really be an executor. However, Chili may, like most US states, appoint someone to administer the estate. That appointment would commonly get back to a sibling in the US, if there were no surviving spouse or children.

One big issue I would have your wife check immediately is whether there are any liens on the boats. If so, you'll need to deal with them to sell it and, of course, want to be sure they are being serviced in the meantime.

Sounds like you'll have little choice but to find a good broker. You'll have no way to negotiate a sale of the boats, if you have no experience in the process.

Good luck.

p.s. this is a good time for a Captain Ron reference......... (an early 1990s movie starring Kurt Russel and Martin Short, where they are faced with your problem. I like their solution. Watch it!)
Hhhmmmmm.... Captain Ron rounds Cape Horn with an inexperienced crew.

I'd buy the DVD. :D
No reason to round the Cape. Even if they wanted to go "east" to Florida, it would be way shorter to sail up the west side, the Chilean side they are already on, and cut through the Panama Canal. Probably something like 5000nm to Miami, versus 7500 if they took the "shorter" route around the eastern bulge of Brazil.

DJ, maybe you could find a business broker, either here or there, who could sell the existing business, not just the boats?
I'm sorry for your loss.
Before you go, go online and browse the many ads for boats for sale on there. This will give you a good idea of the information you will need to bring back on each boat, the sort of pictures you should take and which brokers handle your sort of boats.
I would make sure the boats are in capable hands immediately, so they are not stripped and/or vandalized. Next, contact a reputable international yacht broker and have them advise you about moving the boats. Perhaps they are worth more there, as a business; you need to know these things, before you make a mistake.
Get professional advice, even if it costs money; there's way too much at stake here to wing it. Your broker will arrange for moving the boats to another location, if needed; it shouldn't be anything you will need to involve yourself in, other than paying the bills.
Most important; make sure you have clear title to both boats. If you are not a citizen of the country they are registered in, be sure you contact that country and find out any applicable regulations (for instance, only Americans can own US documented vessels). All your paperwork must be in order before these boats move internationally.
If I were 20 years younger, I'd be your guy on this one, just for the adventure. Good luck.
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One thing to keep in mind that many listings out there have "dream" prices that are not realistic at all. If you have no interest in sailing the boats you will want to put a reasonably low price because there is not a big market and to get top dollar could take years to find the right buyer. It will take tens of thousands of maintain them for that time. If they fall into disrepair they will loose any value they might have had and could cost you a lot of money to get rid of.

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If you are considering delivering those boats to the US (Fla would probably be best) you are going to need deep pockets. At current delivery rates, your crew would run in excess of $300.00 per boat plus food, fuel, repairs and misc. expenses. The Panama Canal is not cheap, either. Weather and repairs can delay deliveries and turn them in financial nightmares on vessels ill equipped for long distance voyaging.
I would therefor seriously consider listing them for a reasonably low price for quick sale. Again, you are going to need a real, international broker to help you (not that I like or respect most brokers, but they do have their place in the business). Even if they don't have a local office they do have networks that span the globe.
If you wish, PM me and I'll help as I can.
$300 per day for a delivery is much more in line with prevailing rates than the suggestion of only $100 per day which is starvation wages and less than minimum wage. It may even be higher than $300 per day. I would suggest that you contact a marine surveyor who can assess the condition and possible value of the boat before you do anything. Are the boats insured? You may be throwing good money after bad may have inherited something very valuable. Before you invest too much time or money, find out if the boat can sail on her own up north. Winter is coming to southern Chile. A delivery will cost many thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands once you add up airfare, travel time for the crew to the boat, repairs, maintenance, fuel, food
etc etc.
Considering that a delivery to Florida, via Chile and the Panama Canal, would be about 5000 nm and given any port time for gear problems, or delays for weather, and a delay waiting for the Canal...that's about 50 days at 100nm per day of "direct" progress. If the larger boat does well and 150nm per day, still more than a month. And although insurers might only require a crew of 3, four is more practical. Conventional delivery back to the US wouldn't be cheap no matter how it was done. Although I'm sure any number of us would be glad to bring the boat back for the cost of the airfare down and whatever prep the boat needed. Via Hawaii, Easter Island, the Galapagos, and a few other detours en route. (VBG)
Please don't be so quick to suggest that there are all kinds of people out there ready and willing and capable to do a long distance delivery without pay. Stops at Hawaii? Seriously? Thousands of miles out of the way? There are many reasons why paid professionals are preferable to unpaid pleasure seekers or joy riders and if there is to be a viable labor market of qualified professionals to deliver boats to serve the needs of boat owners, they must be treated as professionals and paid as such. A boat delivery is not a joy ride or a pleasure cruise since unlike a pleasure cruise, the goal is efficient movement of the boat at a steady or fast pace without compromising safety by those who are dependent upon efficient movement to earn their livelihood. Plenty of people like to drive, but that does not mean a free driver is the best way to take a tractor trailer across the country. If the going gets tough and you are getting paid, you keep going. If the going gets tough and you are not getting paid you may see the entire trip in a different light.
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Lighten up, 44. I think the OP and everyone else knows that was tongue in cheek, and yes, a couple or six months and thousands more miles of detour might be the price for a "free" delivery crew.

Hell, the OP might even be interested in doing that. You never know.

On fair wages...the debate in the US is that minimum wage should be $10.10 now, and that's for a 40-hour week before overtime. I suppose a captain is "management" and exempt from overtime, unlike the crew at McBurger. Still, that should put the least experienced Captain at $240+ perdiem and the crew at $120 per day, gee, plus an awful lot of overtime. Let's see, 12 hours, seven days, 44 hours at $10.10 ($404) plus 40 more at time and a half $15.15 ($606) So let's call it $1010 per crew per week just paying them the same base rate as a floor sweeper or cashier. Damn, that means you're going to have to pay the captain at least $1200 or he's going to protest as well. Add some food...and you can figure five grand a week for that professional crew, right?

Sure, highly paid professionals. I'm all for it. You'd better give yourself a raise though, because what you're asking for is less than the guys at McD's will get paid, and they don't have to supply their own foulies.
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I've only had a few jobs where I got paid by the hour on boats (the best!) and one was as a subcontractor for the military. Now THAT'S how one gets rich driving boats!
Even a decent paying captain's position on something less than a megayacht is going to come out at a pretty measly hourly rate, if it's a full time, liveaboard position. There aren't very many of us in THIS business for the money.
As for this delivery, I can only go by what I would charge. Being that these two boats are a bit of a distance from my home base and I have no idea of their seaworthiness, it would be a conditional contract. I would fly to the boats alone and assess the vessels, before bringing crew down. If the boats could make the proposed voyage (after repairs, if necessary) I would take care of any work that needed doing with local labor and bring the crews in a few days before departure. If I felt both boats could not safely make the voyage, then I'd be on a plane back asap, not wasting time or the owner's money. Keeping in mind that I've taken vessels to sea which most of you wouldn't even step aboard, they would have to be pretty bad for me to fly, when I could sail.
So, if it's a go, then we'd need another captain and 4 more paid crew. I would have no problem of a nucleus crew of three paid and any free crew who might want to work for their grub, grog and passage. Three crew; one on watch for 4 hours, 8 hours off, on each boat.
So that's two captains at us$225.00 a day, every day, from their home to port of destination. Crew would get us$100.00 per day on contract. Should their vessel need lengthy repairs along the way, they could be repatriated until repairs are completed, or repatriated and replaced. Pay is after all expenses, repeat ALL expenses, for captain and crew, as well as the vessel. I do not front an owner operating money for HIS vessel. You can't believe how many very rich boat owners expect a captain to run the boat on his nickle and be repaid at the end of the month.
In exchange, the owner could expect the vessels delivered in a timely fashion, with no damage beyond anything which comes under the "acts of God" clause in the contract. Any damage caused by the crew would be the responsibility of the captain and not the owner or the owner's insurance company.
The vessels would arrive without incurring leans or hidden costs and all expenses for the voyage would be detailed in a manner consistent with good book keeping practices.
I will often charge a lower daily rate (the us$225.00 instead of us$250.00+) for a significantly longer delivery, if I want the job. I'd rather be working than not. However, if you work it, out that's not even us$10.00 an hour, as mentioned above. But those who are chasing the almighty dollar are not going to have near as much fun, heartache or the great waterfront views, from their cubicle.
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I know an accomplished sailor who is crew on the cruise ship that goes to Antarctica. He spends the northern summer up here in the states. I'll send him an email. (Sometimes it takes awhile to get it touch with him.)

Hellosailor tells me to "Lighten up, 44. I think the OP and everyone else knows that was tongue in cheek, and yes, a couple or six months and thousands more miles of detour might be the price for a "free" delivery crew." and then goes on to write about minimum wage. He seems to have a bone to pick with me and I really don't get his point but telling a poster here who is trying to be helpful to "lighten up" is just...well, it's puzzling to put it politely. It would be nice to know what the OP has decided and what he is doing with his boats now. Winter is coming to The Southern Cone.
It would be nice to know what the OP has decided and what he is doing with his boats now. Winter is coming to The Southern Cone.
Lots of newby OPs disappear never to be heard from again. Plenty of posters seem to have no existence in real life. Some of the posts are so incredibly stupid as to be beyond belief and/or normal experience (not this one necessarily).

It would be nice to know what percentage of the newby posts are legitimate, and which are people starting new conversations for the sake of generating posts, simply having fun, trying to sell something, trying to scam someone, spreading a virus/worm link (click on this link/photo because I am conducting a research survey), pretending to be someone, etc. I am guessing maybe 75% legit -25% fake.

It would be great to create a system requiring verification of a real live individual behind each poster to eliminate the scammers, sock puppets, undisclosed commercial interests, etc.

I know, I know, I know, the administrators check to make sure each member has a unique IP address - that doesn't really do anything.
44, I've got no bone to pick with you and if you feel picked upon...did I mention, lighten up?

You missed the point about cheap labor and then you endorse "professional" delivery. Well, professional delivery is still cheap labor, one way or another, if you can afford it at those rates. Find a plumber, an accountant, a "professional" of some type (as defined by the IRS or state rules for professional licensing) who'll work an 80-hour week for the same wages as delivery captains. If you really want a PROFESSIONAL, I'm suggesting you might not be able to find or afford one, that's all. Seaman were never considered "professional" even if they were full time mariners. Even oil platform grease monkeys get paid far better, two weeks on, two weeks off.
Money, wages, prices, are in many ways the least part of getting a safe two month long delivery.
And did I mention, lighten up? (G)
Yes you did mention lighten up...thrice in fact. You may think that "Money, wages, prices, are in many ways the least part of getting a safe two month long delivery" and I absolutely agree. And yes you did mention lighten up-thrice in fact. It is silly how many people with a boat or about to purchase one put price as their first question and their deciding factor when seeking crew--yet ironically they want a labor market because they cannot do it despite purchasing a boat. So, perhaps we do agree, but it's hard to tell from your rather ironic and sardonic responses. And yes, you did mention lighten up--thrice in fact.
I very much appreciate what James Wilson has to say and wish there were a way to somehow self-police or regulate such forums to ensure legitimacy as I have come to believe that perhaps a quarter of all OP's are not "fer real." Am I being too serious or do I need to lighten up? Which ballast do you suggest I toss first?
If you've never read or seen the old New Yorker cartoon, let me remind you:
"We're all dogs on the internet."

If you feel the need to vet real identities, I'd suggest you open a new forum of your own, because that is not the standard on most web forums, including this one. You could always ask the owners, via the moderators, to start conducting ID verifications, but I think you'd have better luck starting your own "verified" forum.

The OP, like all forum members, determines their own threshold for credibility. You want credibility? Hire someone, buy a consultation. The advice you get in the internet is widely known to be worth about what you've paid for it.
Aww come on Hello Sailor....Lighten up--everyone knows that my comment about id verification was tongue in cheek. Right??? Besides, the only people who really fear using their real identities online are those with something to hide or those that are just...fearful. And since you think so little of the advice given on the internet, I'll keep that in mind...thanks for that free advice--it is worth a lot to me. Have I lightened up enough for your taste?
Nope - lighter please. ;)
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Sloop Jon B.....arrrr matey..glad we got ya on a "good day"....
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