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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering purchasing my first sailboat with the intention of putting it in to charter with Marina Sailing which is a sailing club/charter service with fleets based throughout southern and central California. Has anyone here done that and what was your experience please? I am thinking about either a jeanneau or beneteau in the 35-40 foot range, with 3 cabins. That is the setup I prefer when I charter and the best for weekend trips to Catalina and the Channel Islands. Any thoughts greatly appreciated. I've been a frequent "charterer" with marina sailing and have generally enjoyed the experience and their professionalism. I'm most curious of people's experiences with the boat being rented as often as marina sailing assures me mine will, and their care of the boats from an owners perspective. They tell me I can expect the boat to go out 100 days a year. That sounds like a lot. Thanks for any thoughts. Best, john c
 

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Which Marina Sailing location are you considering? When I had a boat in the water in King Harbor, Redondo Beach many of the boats around mine were managed by MS. Many of the boats managed by MS were better maintained than the boats maintained by owners. MS manages boats of various ages. In King Harbor it seemed like the newer boats were used much more often than the older boats. MS charters boats and also uses them for instruction. If the 100 days a year includes days the boat is used for class that may be reasonable.
 

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As someone who has worked with quite a few bareboat charter companies in the past, I would never put a boat I cared for, into a bareboat fleet.
I have maintained them while in service, and delivered many, many boats at the end of their service, from the Caribbean back to the states, and have spent the majority of those deliveries sailing boats that were utterly whupped.
Charterers who care nothing for the boat, running the engine at full speed (often without checking the oil for the entire week), running the boat aground or into the dock (but not notifying anyone), pushing the boats far beyond common good sailing practices, etc. leave many of these boats nearly worthless at the end of their term.
Right now there are many 40 to 50+ foot exbareboats on the market for a fraction of what one would pay for a comparable vessel that has not been chartered.
With the economy as poor as it is, almost anybody can rent a bareboat with no boating experience what so ever, as the companies are desperate to keep the boats on charter.
If it is your eventual goal to cruise the boat, bareboat charter layouts do not make good cruising boat layouts, something you should keep in mind. Nobody needs 4 heads on a 50' cruising boat, for instance.
I know nothing at all about the company you are thinking about using, so I make no statement as to their competence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Emc- I'm nearest MDR and where I would probably be able to use it on occasion after work. The other alternative would be up in Channel Islands which would mean I'd need a little more time to use it but when I had the time could go to Santa Cruz island which I prefer to Catalina.

CAPTA- I am definitely not considering this a boat I would cruise long term in. I don't know if this changes your thoughts, but the chartering I am talking about is not week long vacation destination sailing for the most part. Marina Sailing teaches sailing over the course of 9 or 10 separate lessons with really good instructors and charters boats most often for single day or couple of day trips. My hope would be that I can outfit the boat I most would enjoy to sail for a couple of days at a time, offset the costs considerably by putting into a charter of this type, have the u.s. Government pay for 40% of it off the bat via tax savings for the depreciation. If I understand the way it can work correctly- I can buy a 200k boat, take an 80k exemption beyond alternative minimum in the first year and any further negative cash flow from this "business" would also be deductible very year.
 

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Emc- I'm nearest MDR and where I would probably be able to use it on occasion after work. The other alternative would be up in Channel Islands which would mean I'd need a little more time to use it but when I had the time could go to Santa Cruz island which I prefer to Catalina.

CAPTA- I am definitely not considering this a boat I would cruise long term in. I don't know if this changes your thoughts, but the chartering I am talking about is not week long vacation destination sailing for the most part. Marina Sailing teaches sailing over the course of 9 or 10 separate lessons with really good instructors and charters boats most often for single day or couple of day trips. My hope would be that I can outfit the boat I most would enjoy to sail for a couple of days at a time, offset the costs considerably by putting into a charter of this type, have the u.s. Government pay for 40% of it off the bat via tax savings for the depreciation. If I understand the way it can work correctly- I can buy a 200k boat, take an 80k exemption beyond alternative minimum in the first year and any further negative cash flow from this "business" would also be deductible very year.
Sounds like you may have found something better than bareboat chartering. I've no familiarity with this system or group, so I really cannot make any judgements. Good luck with it and I hope it works out well for you.
 

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Chartering your boat is similar to renting your home, you have to minimize your emotional attachment and think of it as a business asset.
Your resale will be lower and more difficult, I know the B323 in the marina sailing fleet has been listed for sale for over a year at a price at the low end of market.
There is a similar School in my harbor and a couple friends have had their boats in the charter fleet. One was a new Bene 45, with no restrictions from the owners it suffered several "problems" typical of the horror stories you hear about boats in charter. The black water tank was overfilled, diesel added to water tank etc.
Currently another friend has a new French boat in charter with restrictions, the boat can only go out with a Licensed Captain that has been checked out on the boat by him. He has not had any problems yet, boat is held in an LLC, and insurance was about 40% higher.
My observation has been that the smaller boats, 27's to 30 are used much more often than the bigger boats because the predominant use is day sailing as you pointed out. They may go out 100 days a year but not a 36-45. Their predominant use is gonna be the weekend trips to Avalon.
The boat won't go out enough to "pay for itself", if it did, they could buy their own boats couldn't they ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Capts' A & TB. I appreciate your time and thoughts. TB - i definitely don't think it will "pay for itself" and I agree it is only useful to offset costs. I have to continue to do more research before i decide. i will report back with the experience if i decide to proceed. thanks again.
 

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As someone who has worked with quite a few bareboat charter companies in the past, I would never put a boat I cared for, into a bareboat fleet.
I too have worked for charter companies, both as maintenance staff and as a service vendor. The OP can expect his boat to be rode hard and put away wet, as it were. Especially if it sees as much use as the charter company claims it will.
 

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I expect that it depends upon the charter company and the qualifications that they require for the boat type / size. However, do look into the tax advantages very carefully - unless you are clearly doing it as a business venture, they didn't seem that good to me. I'm not saying this from personal experience though (just reading), so advice from people that have actually done it would be best.
 

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FWIW, There are several MS boats on my dock finger in MDR G-basin ranging in size from 27'-34'. During a given in-season Saturday, I can see the 27s go out and come back sometimes up to three times with three different clients. I always stop what I am doing when they approach in case they need a hand or to watch the utter hilarity that charters bring. The owners often do the serious maintenance, leaving the day to day stuff to a contractor. Try to find some of the other boat owners through MS for their advice. I have seen them both satisfied and downright pissed.
 

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I am considering purchasing my first sailboat with the intention of putting it in to charter with Marina Sailing which is a sailing club/charter service with fleets based throughout southern and central California.
Hey John, I work for Marina Sailing in SD, I may be able to help you out in all aspects of this charter/management program.

If you like you can call me @ 619.221.8286 or email me at [email protected]
 
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