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Old 28-07-2009, 17:36   #1
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Purchasing a Moorings-Owned Boat - Thoughts?

I had assumed that boats coming out of the Moorings charter program and listed for sale by the Moorings were all privately owned. However, recently I've seen several boats listed that were company owned; i.e., purchased new by the Moorings, put into charter for five plus years, phased out and now offered for sale.

Anyone have any experience with the purchase of one of these boats? Would these have received less care than the privately owned boats in charter?
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:52   #2
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Most of the boats for sale by the Moorings, were ordered by the moorings for their bases, but then sold to an owner a the time it was put into charter. In other words, most all of their charter boats are not owned by the company, but rather another individual. I'm one such person.

Although I can't comment to purchasing one out of charter, I can comment on the use, abuse and maintenance while in charter. From what I see the Moorings boats get used a great deal and more abused than a cruising boat only used by the owner likely would. However, they are also maintained to a level to satisfy people who are dropping a sizable amount of money to charter for a week or two. They can't let the things go, many owners might neglect. When I was looking at used boats 6 months ago, the boats that had been privately owned were in much, much worse shape than boats I've used in charter. I recently purchased a used Hunter. Even after doing a fair bit of work, I'm hesitant to call it cruise ready. Many things necessary for cruising but not so important for day sailing had been neglected. I'd jump on my Moorings boat and sail it from the Caribbean back to the states without a moment's thought.

One thing I do like about the Moorings boat over my Hunter is that the Moorings knows how their boats will be outfitted from the get go and they were outfitted by people who knew how to do it. You won't find ice boxes converted to fridges, over loaded circuit boards, wood screws where through bolts should have been used, etc. Again, no doubt they get a lot of use from people who don't own it.

Many of their boats for sale are in charter with the Footloose program. This allows you to charter it for a few days to a week and get to experience the boat more completly then you normally would not be able to on a few hour sea trial. One thing to keep in mind is the cost of flying to the Caribbean and finding a place to stay while looking at boats, especially if you are looking at smaller ones.

MarkJ and his wife on this forum, I believe purchased a boat just out of charter in the Caribbean and sailed to Australia. Hopefully they'll come along and provide their experience.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:58   #3
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I believe Mark J and his wife are out at sea right now but I would imagine that he would be glad to give his input when he gets back.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:12   #4
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Be wary of a used charter boat, make sure a thorough survey is done. I work in the BVI where moorings/sunsail have a huge fleet. Therefore i see people abusing the boats on a daily basis, it isn't normally malicious but more from a lack of experience. Sails flogging, engines at max throttle then slammed into reverse, prop wraps on mooring balls etc. There are boats out there in good nick, but check everything carefully. Generally it is accepted that a boat in bareboat charter will receive about the same wear and tear in 3 years that a private boat will in 10.
Because of this there are good deals out there and it may also be possible to get an idea of how much use the boat had in it's charter life.
Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:52   #5
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Rode hard and put away wet. Watch closely for keel/ hull damage from the occassioal bump or bang. Engine hours are likely through the roof. I've chartered several times and never seen a reefing line on a boat. Could be fine, Just know what you're getting and pay accordingly..
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Old 02-08-2009, 13:39   #6
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I worked for a time as a sail advisor for a number of Caribbean based term charter operations. I wish I could say the boats were well maintained but in my experience, they were used so often that unless the failure made the boat unseaworthy, it was duct tape and hose clamps.

It also seemed to me that the asking price of these boats was close to the asking price of a comparable non charter boat. Since charter boats get lots of hard use and abuse I'd look elsewhere. But then, I'd never buy a used rental car either.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:14   #7
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concur with nautical62,

Kia Ora, earlier prior to any post to your question, I sent you a PM and as indicated in that PM I forecast exactly the type responses you have received.

I personally know of more that 16 owners of previous Mooring or SunSail charter boats and a few owners who took the boats back at the end of the initial charter period. I do not know of one who was dissatisfied with the condition of the boat they own. The people who did purchase, DID do the necessary personal and professional inspections and surveys and made choices between available boats based on that information. Not every boat will be in ideal condition same as not every boat will be road hard and put away wet... You have to do your homework just as you would in any purchase.

As I indicated to you in my PM, I'm also the owner of a former Charter boat and very happy with it. Over the past couple of years, I have spend many months aboard sailing in the Caribbean and as of this next December will be aboard full time the same former charter boat. While I have made modifications, installed additional equipment for more extended cruising and beefed up the standard emergency repair supplies as any prudent sailor would do, I have never had a complaint about the boat from any guest I've had aboard nor have I had any significant problems and only have had normal service issues.

I did the necessary selection process and inspections/ sea trials.

Only reason for this post on the forum is to off set the impression that no one should purchase a former charter boat for any reason that has so often been painted on the public board such as this. The only reason Not to is if you are Not going to do any selection/ inspection. In that case you not a sailor... just a boat owner.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:26   #8
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Good points , it's really about the particular boat. The one thing I will say about the charter boats I've been on, is the companie's have figured out how to outfit a boat with systems that continue to work daily that are "idiot proof". However, I have twice seen these boats banging on a reef waiting for a tow. I also have seen a 42 footer (a charter company I worked for) that hit a rock hard, cracked the hull forward and behind the keel and broke the engine bed and some cabinetry loose. This would be hard to detect in a purchase... I will stand by "rode hard and put away wet" It's all about what you pay though.... and how much you can find out. You used to be able to see the service records...? If they still let you see the service records and a major event is not noted I would think it would be fraud...
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:37   #9
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When purchasing any boat from Mooring or SunSail and probably any other major charter company... you ASK for the maintenance and Repair Records of the specific boat. If the owner refuses to provide you with the Charter Record, just like CarFax... move on. Most of the Surveyors on BVI that I have knowledge of, automatically request these documents and the charter companies, with the owners permission comply. I pointed this out in the PM I initially sent.

Using the broad paint brush of road hard and put away wet... is just a bad paint job. Not attempting to get into a contest of any type but I do have a problem with attempting to paint all boats with any specific thing in common with the same color paint. It is not logical, and history has proved to many it is not true.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:42   #10
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Well, having worked as a charter check out, check in, training and sea trial rep, I can tell you........ well, I already told you! These boats typically never stop, some times the engines never even cool down completely before the boat is cleaned and another takes it during the peak season.
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Old 03-08-2009, 13:13   #11
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Cheechako: I don't think either Reality Check or I have argued charter boats don't tend to get hard use. I think we are both arguing that this potential hard use is only part of the equation when considering used boat choices. You said, you've seen charter boats up on a reef. I've seen more privately owned boats seriously grounded than I have charter boats. I think private owners vary greatly in their upkeep. Some are much better than the Moorings would be, but many let things go - a fact that is very clear to me as I look at used boats.

As a Moorings owner, I can tell you exactly how often my boat gets used. I get a statement each and every month telling me who used it and for how long. It gets used on average a bit less than 1/2 the days of the month. Any full time cruiser is using their boat more.

Again I'm not arguing used Moorings boats are any great deal. In fact I think the free market place tends to value them right where they belong. I just disagree with the blanket idea that they are necessarily going to be more problematic than other used boat for sale.
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Old 03-08-2009, 13:24   #12
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It's a good point for sure, although a fulltime cruiser's boat is usually loved, often it's heavily modified (and not necessarily for the better!), been sun drenched and the motor run a lot also. Although what i hear is that most cruiser's sit at anchor 80% of the time and move 20%, so I dont know if that is "use " or not. That should be reflected in comparing engine hours between a Charter boat and private one I guess. One point would be that often private owners have a higher than reality expectation of value based on "everything they've done", when actually alot of it is well used. One could also argue against a little used boat. Boats that see little use often have issues due to that. However could be a great platform to start with.. How many engine hours go on your charter each year?
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Old 03-08-2009, 14:33   #13
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Cheechako: A good question regarding the engine hours. Unfortunately, I don't know that but will try to remember to check next time I'm on the boat. My guess is 4-5 hours per day X half a year would be something like 750/year. My Moorings boat and many others do not have wind or solar, so they recommend running the engine 3 hours per day, even if you don't move. On the other hand, when I charter, I tend to have shorter days and am less likely to crank up the engine than when I had my private boat.

When I used to do cruises of about 3 months, I probably anchored 20% of the time and moved 80% I know full time cruisers tend to anchor more. I also had my boat on the hard 70% of the year or more, which tends to have different issues than those in the water. Again, that's why I think it's important to look at each boat when comparing and beware of general comments about the differences. I think one will find privately owned boats vary more than the ex charter boats. Most of the ex Moorings boats of similar models will likely be of similar age, similar engine hours, similarly outfitted and similarly maintained. Private vessels are more likely vary in terms of time spent on the hard, spent sailing, spent cruising, sitting, maintained, let go or outfitted.

Last time I looked at used boats, I looked at privately owned boats only, not because I thought ex charter boats were a bad deal, but because I wanted a shoal draft monohull about 20 years old.
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Old 03-08-2009, 14:42   #14
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Yea, I looked pretty closely at a Moorings Cat when I bought mine, but opted for a private one. I was concerned mainly with engine hours but also that particular cat had the volvo's in it, I ended buying one with the yanmars. Ended up rebuilding one of the yanmars anyway!!!
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Old 03-08-2009, 14:59   #15
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Good points , it's really about the particular boat. The one thing I will say about the charter boats I've been on, is the companie's have figured out how to outfit a boat with systems that continue to work daily that are "idiot proof". However, I have twice seen these boats banging on a reef waiting for a tow. I also have seen a 42 footer (a charter company I worked for) that hit a rock hard, cracked the hull forward and behind the keel and broke the engine bed and some cabinetry loose. This would be hard to detect in a purchase... I will stand by "rode hard and put away wet" It's all about what you pay though.... and how much you can find out. You used to be able to see the service records...? If they still let you see the service records and a major event is not noted I would think it would be fraud...
& WHAT exactly is "a little Fraud" to a broker paid on commission who rips a couple pages from that log? In ANOTHER Country no less? Sorry, we just aren't referring to "ethical pillars of the community" imho; (Not a rant) I wouldn't trust the logs or the records, whoever posted "individual vessel" is right, as slipped side by side You can have a piece of dog squeeze abaft of a real diamond. Competent Surveyor...FLY 'em OVER...known more than a few buyers who did (including us) & they obviously Just LOVE a gig like that; Don't buy the dog squeeze, & the surveyor will tell You the same thing (in different terminology of course).

There ARE some diamonds & they shouldn't be "blown off" just because they were "rentals". An Additional + w/the USVI is ZERO Sales tax. That offsets some repair costs in an of itself.
HTH,
-Mick
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