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Old 17-04-2009, 03:32   #1
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Need Boat 3 Months - Buy, Rent or ?

Hi all,
The 'power users' will have noticed me popping up with some slightly off-beam questions.

Here is another one, but this one is the crux of the matter.

I sold my company, and I've got some cash and some time. At the moment I've got 3 months (July to Sept) and I want to spend it on the water on the US East coast. I have sailed for more than 30 years, including blue water, but not so much in the last 10. My wife is willing to give the 3 months a try, and we have 2 kids who I can usually talk into anything.

My current plan is to buy a boat in Florida, something between 36 and 40 feet, and sail north to end in New York.

I'm budgeting around $35k for the boat, as I don't expect to see much of it back. More an expense than an asset. We are going to spend most of the time around the Keys, Bahamas and the ICW, maybe up to Nantucket.

The challenges with the plan are that I don't want to spend ages checking out boats - so I'm going to do most of that online. At the other end, I'm going to have to hand it over to a broker and hope for the best.

I can see there is potential for this going wrong. What if I can't get a boat nailed down in a short time period? (Minor risk) What if I can't shift it at the other end? (Major risk) I don't want to end up paying fees on a boat I can't sell.

I've considered an option to buy a better boat that would be capable of the trip to Australia. Then there's the issue of getting it there. Much as I'd love to do the trip that really depends on whether or not the family are keen. Alternatively I could have it shipped or delivered. In general boats sell for a good deal more in Australia than in the US, so I'd be likely to cover the cost of delivery. But its allot of messing around, that's probably not going to be worthwhile.

So..... if anyone has a good solution to how I get my hands on a boat for 3 months, I'm all ears! I'd rather the monthly cost came out to (say) $5k rather than $12k.

thanks in advance.
JMB
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Old 17-04-2009, 05:37   #2
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JMB - kudos to you on your plans, but there are a lot of pitfalls in what you are planning, at least on the financial side. While I think that that you will have no problem finding a boat to purchase in the very short term, selling the boat quickly after a couple of months is going to be much tougher, sales cycles are much longer on sailboats and the current economy in the US hasn't helped much.
While living in Sydney I thought of doing the same thing, buying a boat overseas and sailing it to Oz. If you look at financials on importing a boat, you will see that you will pay taxes on the boat's value - which includes a large chunk for "delivery costs"; if you sailed it yourself they will just tack on an almost arbitrary amount for what it would have cost to transport it commercially. If you then add in the wear-and-tear and time the costss of boats in Oz suddenly come back into line.
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Old 17-04-2009, 08:05   #3
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Charter

With some more research it appears that a charter may be practical. I hadn't really looked at this because in Aus the charter industry is very much focussed around a few small areas with overly restrictive conditions about operation of the boats. It seems at first glance that the market in the US is a bit more open. Would it be practical to charter a boat for 3 months and take it between (say) Chesapeake and Maine. Clearly it would have to be returned to the start, but I could work with that.
I don't want to hijack my own thread, but does anyone have an opinion on chartering as an option?
cheers
JMB
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Old 17-04-2009, 09:21   #4
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Importing yachts into Oz

FWIW,

The above post has it a bit wrong: when you import a boat into Oz you get it appraised by an approved broker or other appointed person. Then you pay 10%GST and 5% duty on that value, LESS a negotiated "cost of delivery" to Australia. In our case they included estimated costs of fuel, charts, and some personal costs. The bottom line was that we paid around 12% of the appraised value (which was considerably less than the true market value).

As with all interactions with Australian Customs, the rules seem to change frequently, so should you wish to pursue this idea, I'd highly recommend contacting them directly for advice.

Cheers,
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Old 17-04-2009, 11:07   #5
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JMB,

Chartering would be a good way to go, if you can convince the charter company to let you take the boat all the way to New England and back. You might want to contact a few of them and ask, before getting too far down that path. A little Googling should get you a list of possibilities.
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Old 17-04-2009, 11:31   #6
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Re. the purchase and sale option, your timing is unfortunate. If you were buying in Florida in February, sailing in March - May and selling in the Northeast in May-June, you could expect to do OK, because my sense is that the same boat could sell for more in the Northeast than in Florida, if that were your timing.

But the probability of selling a boat in the Northeast in the Sept - October timeframe is reduced substantially.
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Old 17-04-2009, 17:25   #7
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If you have no intention of keeping the boat be prepared to wait a long tome to sell or take a big loss to recover something.

$35K seems like a low price for an equipped 36-40 foot cruising boat ready to go. At that price, it would seem you'd have to find a fire sale or be prepared to dump time and money into it to get it good to go.

A charter on the other hand is already set up for cruising. I don't know the rates, but I would think a week would not be less than $3,500 (pure guess) and could be north of $5K. But that's easy to nail down. Contact a firm like Sun Yachts which I believe charters in ME as well as the Caribbean (or did). Long term you might and should get a discount. But you'll be in a completely different boat than one you buy for $35K. The convenience of a charter is what you are paying for, but it may be out of your budget.

Maybe I should charter my boat to you?
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:17   #8
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charter feasibility

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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
I don't know the rates, but I would think a week would not be less than $3,500 (pure guess) and could be north of $5K.

Maybe I should charter my boat to you?
Jeff, sure! The rates I've found for boats on the Chesapeake are around $1,000-$1,500 per week for the 36'. So that's working out around the target of $5k per month. I've fired an email of to that company to see what the deal would be for a 'out-of-bounds' charter. If you are serious about your boat we should discuss further, or if you know anyone with a under-used boat, perhaps this would be a way to get it working for them.
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:42   #9
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Hinkley Yacht Charters are about $4,000 for a 35' up in SW Harbor ME from July - Sept. Totally world class operation.

Hinkley is pricey, but the boats are fabulous. I think the 1,500 sounds low. What do I know?
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:49   #10
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I would suspect that a $35k, 40' boat would need so many repairs/upgrades/improvements that you would barely scratch the surface in 3 months.
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Old 17-04-2009, 20:40   #11
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depends on the approach...

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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
I would suspect that a $35k, 40' boat would need so many repairs/upgrades/improvements that you would barely scratch the surface in 3 months.
If you don't take the approach that you are going to fix everything, then maybe not. I've found plenty of boats that are in operation at that price. I'm not looking at the ones on the hard, full of leaves and covered in tarps.
There's a Jenneau 37 that's just had some work done in that price range. Lets face it, boats are hard to shift, and the advertised value is often allot more than they sell for, which of course is the sting in the end of the tail if I want to turn it around quickly. What I'd really like to do is buy one with a buy-back guarantee, as long as the differential was < $15k then it really wouldn't matter what the capital cost was (within reason!).
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Old 18-04-2009, 08:35   #12
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I agree a long-term charter is likely your best option if you can find one.

One thought if you buy is to buy one just out of charter. If it just came out of charter it is likely closer to cruise ready than boats that have been neglected by their owner's for some time. You probably need to increase your budget a bit for that however.

I also agree, that finding a boat in the length you mentioned for that price, that requires little to get it ready to cruise will be a challenge. I think you will likely need to compromise one of those three variables.
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Old 21-04-2009, 07:51   #13
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I've seen several charter advertisements that have a boat located in Florida for the winter and then move it north for the summer season. If you did enough poking around on the internet, you could probably find a charter company that would let you move the boat up there for them. They'd have a fully booked boat for the time you're on it and they wouldn't have to pay to get it up there to finish the summer season. You're dates aren't perfectly ideal for this, but it could work.
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Old 21-04-2009, 09:20   #14
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Unless you can prove to a charter company's insurance you are a licesnsed captain with the right experience. I doubt you will find what you seek. I would look for an independent charterer, and most likely he will be the captain for your longterm voyage. I doubt VERY seriously you will find a boat to meet your qualifications in chartering.

As far as buying, and selling. Well it has already been posted that it may become a headache after leaving the vessel.......BEST WISHES.......i2f
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Old 21-04-2009, 10:06   #15
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Have you considered this possibility, tackdriver: Fly into the Washington, DC area and charter a vessel out of Annapolis for, say, a month to cruise the Chesapeake. At the end of the charter, rent an RV to "land cruise" up the eastern seaboard, taking in some of the interesting sites along the way, and ending the land portion of your stay at the site of one of the New England charterers. Move the family aboard the charter vessel for your NE cruise, return the RV to the pre-arranged drop-off site and resume your cruise of NE waters without having the burden of moving a vessel all of the way up the coast, then back down.

This would allow much more time in the preferred Chesapeake and NE cruising areas, with the bonus of touring some of the interesting places in between while on land. As others have pointed out, I doubt you'll find a charter operation that would let you move their vessel out of its usual cruising area, though it doesn't hurt to ask.

Just a thought, tackdriver. Enjoy your time in the eastern US however you put your tour together.

TaoJones

PS: If your tour won't start until July, you really do not want to start down in Florida. Even cruising the Chesapeake will be hot and humid by then. It's the reason so many head for NE at that time of year in the first place.
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