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Old 17-08-2016, 16:46   #1
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Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

I've been bare boating for years and owned a fraction of a Catalina 42 based in Tortola for about ten years. I'm a bit "Groundhog Day" about the BVIs and this winter and spring I have the time and opportunity to go down island through the Lesser Antillies. It makes no sense to charter for three or four months but it also may not make sense to buy for just one season. If only I could lease a boat as cheaply and as easily as a car!!!

Of course I'm considering the purchase of a good blue water cruising boat ready to go, but I'm also aware that a five year old Jeanneau 36 can be had out of charter for about 60k. I'm thinking I could buy one of these, slap a on couple solar panels and make a run for it and sell it at the end of the journey. The overriding consideration (as a veteran boat owner) is that I could easily spend the entirety of the allotted time outfitting the damn boat.

The charter companies claim that their boats undergo a light refurbishment on their way off the dock so as to standardize their condition. Nothing major; no new standing rigging or engine overhauls. But the hulls are probably free of unrepaired damage and are likely to have a fresh bottom and cutlass bearing. The engines average about 700 hours a year in charter so they are at perhaps 3500 hours or more, mostly at idle.

So the topic for discussion: Is an aged out charter boat a Reasonable option for this journey. How much life is left in an engine with 3500 or 4000 hours? How clapped out is a five year old charter boat? (I'm guessing that they don't do much maintenance and that they know when to push them off the dock based on years of experience) What else should I consider?
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Old 18-08-2016, 07:09   #2
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

I think that would be a workable plan for sure. I bought a 5 year old Moorings boat and have done just fine with it. I do think your estimate of hours might be just a little high. Many that I looked at had just under 3000 hours on the engines, rather than over, and the surveyors have said that's about 1/2 of the way to any worry. The good part about a boat being used pretty regularly, is that if something is broken, they will know about it and do have to fix anything that would keep it from leaving the dock. In my view, that's far better than a lesser-used boat that's been standing on the hard for who knows how long. In all cases, just make sure to have a good survey done.
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Old 18-08-2016, 07:16   #3
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

A whole lot of engine life is years and cycles. A very frequently used engine may go as much as 10,000 hours before needing replacement where an infrequently used one may not last half as long.
A five year old engine unless abused shouldn't be near end of life at all


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Old 18-08-2016, 15:51   #4
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

Thanks to you both.

David, did you find that Moorings handed you the boat in good condition and did their best to make you happy?

I'm a bit concerned about finding a surveyor who would be critical of a Morrings boat, given that they would be reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. What was your experience in that regard?

Finally, I'm wondering what time of the year one would find the greatest supply and best pricing? Do you have any insight in that regard?

Dave
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Old 18-08-2016, 16:28   #5
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

"I'm also aware that a five year old Jeanneau 36 can be had out of charter for about 60k."

To rent or to buy?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding things. Hard to buy a boat from the 1980's for $60k.
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Old 18-08-2016, 18:39   #6
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

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Originally Posted by dcmeigs View Post
I'm a bit concerned about finding a surveyor who would be critical of a Morrings boat, given that they would be reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. What was your experience in that regard?
Do not be concerned. Geoff Williams is the man.

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Old 18-08-2016, 21:00   #7
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

There's a member here who went looking to pick up a charter boat that was being retired from service, over in Croatia. Maybe 7-9 months back, in hopes of converting it into a cruiser. I don't recall the exact details as to time, nor the make of boat. But when he got back, he wrote about his experiences & findings.

Evidently he looked at about a dozen boats, & didn't find one which was worth the money. As they'd been worked hard enough in service that many were in need of some sort of structural repair. Plus full refits, & interior refits. On top of what they'd need in order to be good cruising boats.

I'm not saying that that's what you'll discover necessarily. But it surely would pay to have a sharp eye towards being able to do the preliminary DIY survey(s) yourself.
And keep in mind that on the large majority of cruising boats, outfitting them with gear easily runs anywhere from half of the purchase price of the boat alone. All the way up to the cost of the boat, or more. Not that 2/3 of such toys & equpment are needed, but...

It pays to put together a spreadsheet, as to what you want on a boat. In terms of; structure, features, & equipment. So that you can plug candidate boats into such a matrix, & see what it'll cost to get them fitted up to the level you'd like.
It makes for a good cost comparitor.
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Old 18-08-2016, 21:20   #8
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

Much of my experience has been with commercial boats, towboats and fish boats, both seiners and trollers. My experience mirrors those folks who have already advised that if a vessel is run regularly as opposed to every other weekend and off and on through the summer months, it will last at least twice as long if not longer. This applies to CATs, Greys, east hopes, and other commercial marine engines. Not too certain about yanmars, volvos and other more popular engines in the pleasure craft marine trade today but it would seem reasonable that the logic would hold true for them as well.
The prudent mariner today will ensure that his power plant and auxiliary gen set will be run up to temp at least once a week and taken on a decent run every other week throughout the year, even in colder months. A complete maintenance log should be kept of the run ups, oil and filter changes and any other maintenance items addressed like heat exchanger blowouts, rebuilds on alternators and gasket replacement as well as complete running gear inspections. Not only will you have a well found vessel to enjoy, your resale price will reflect your attention to your boat. Cheers, Phil
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Old 18-08-2016, 21:51   #9
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
"I'm also aware that a five year old Jeanneau 36 can be had out of charter for about 60k."

To rent or to buy?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding things. Hard to buy a boat from the 1980's for $60k.
Around here boats are really cheap right now. An 80s Catalina 36 could be had now for about 30k in decent shape. But to the point, a Jeanneau 36 from 2011 is listed as under contract at a price under $60k. She could very well have some serious issues but nothing apparent from the listing. Of course our mileage may vary.

Here is a link to one in the Moorings inventory.

http://www.mooringsbrokerage.com/use...IslandsBritish
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Old 18-08-2016, 22:10   #10
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

Uncivilized and Capt Phil, thanks for the remarks. The many benefits of constant use, I agree, is a big compensation for the often poor handling they receive in charter. While I wouldn't be surprised to see a clapped out boat after, say, ten years in service, I'd rather expect to see a five year old boat still presenting well. But a DIY survey would be a must for me before I committed and frankly, Tortola is far from my idea of paradise in the August heat. I have a hunch that's why the bargains exist now as motivated sellers seek a buyer in a slow market.
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Old 18-08-2016, 23:05   #11
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

When I mentioned the DIY survey, what I meant was that personally, I would give the boat a serious going over first. Probably a couple of times, on seperate days, if I thought that it was a serious candidate.

Then, if I was satisfied with what I saw, & was prepared to make an offer, I would want to go the standard purchasing route. Including the various kinds of surveys;
- General
- Engine & Mechanical with fluids testing
- Rigging
- Sails

It's a heap of things to do, & pro's to bring in, but when buying something complex & expensive, upon which your life & other's depends...
Of course there's the flipside, where a friend bought a 40'er on the spot, over cocktails in a bar, using the back of a menu to draw up a bill of sale

I think that the issue with charter boats becoming clapped out over time, is probably that the charter companies care more about getting them back into service after the boats get dinged, or systems go down. So that the repairs are more about making the boats work okay, & look good, vs. fixing everything to an as good as new standard.

Such is guess work on my part. But then again, have you ever lived in an apartment building, or a rental home with high turn over? And how well done were the repairs there? Or look at Hooked's boat, & the thread on the repair of her keel stub. She was a charter boat too....

PS: There's a lot of good info on surveys by one of CF's own surveyors, boatpoker, here at his website. Marine Surveyor, Port Credit Marine Surveys, Toronto, Ontario
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Old 19-08-2016, 03:28   #12
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

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Originally Posted by dcmeigs View Post
Thanks to you both.

David, did you find that Moorings handed you the boat in good condition and did their best to make you happy?

I'm a bit concerned about finding a surveyor who would be critical of a Morrings boat, given that they would be reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. What was your experience in that regard?

Finally, I'm wondering what time of the year one would find the greatest supply and best pricing? Do you have any insight in that regard?

Dave

Moorings did very little for me. The good news is they had already brought the boat over from the Bahamas to FLL and paid the import duty themselves so that made for a cheaper, faster, and simpler transaction. But other than providing a price reduction for some items found in the survey, they did nothing else. The worst is they claimed to have no service records or a listing of what work was done on the phase out because it was a company-owned boat, rather than owned by a third party.

As I've written elsewhere here, I think next time I will pay for 2 separate surveys. They are that important, and I want to do all I can to make sure something isn't missed.


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Old 19-08-2016, 04:35   #13
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

I would never buy a retired charter boat. I spent some time in the BVI's and got to know some charter people. The stories I heard and the things I witnessed about maintenance and repairs were scary. These boats are used and abused. There are plenty of non charter boats out there for sale for the same or less money, why buy any boat that was ridden hard and put away wet.
As far as engine hours on sailboat auxiliaries, the idea that 3,500 hours is low or these engines can last anything like 10,000 hours is far fetched. The last thing they think about when designing a sailboat is engine placement, and they are almost always deprived of an environment where they receive enough air and the ability to operate at the proper temperature. There is an excellent article on this subject
Marine Engines: Sail Boat Auxiliaries at Dockside Reports
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Old 24-08-2016, 14:35   #14
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

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Excellent article. Quite a bit there of interest. Thanks for the link.

And the advice. Since my OP I run across several very well equipped older cruising boats within my budget that are of great interest.
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Old 24-08-2016, 16:50   #15
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Re: Seeking comments from one who has bought a boat out of charter

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I would never buy a retired charter boat. I spent some time in the BVI's and got to know some charter people. The stories I heard and the things I witnessed about maintenance and repairs were scary. These boats are used and abused. There are plenty of non charter boats out there for sale for the same or less money, why buy any boat that was ridden hard and put away wet.
As far as engine hours on sailboat auxiliaries, the idea that 3,500 hours is low or these engines can last anything like 10,000 hours is far fetched. The last thing they think about when designing a sailboat is engine placement, and they are almost always deprived of an environment where they receive enough air and the ability to operate at the proper temperature. There is an excellent article on this subject
Marine Engines: Sail Boat Auxiliaries at Dockside Reports
In regards to the engine hours I disagree. I've seen many and I mean many yanmars with 4000+ hours still going strong. I recently wrote in another post of a friends yanmar with 14,500 hrs on it. 10,000 hrs is definitely possible.
Alot of good information on cruisers forum and alot of not so good.

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