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Old 21-10-2011, 13:03   #1
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Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

I see a lot of ex charter boats, or boats that are about to finish their contract, that are for sale. Although I am not yet in the market I was wondering if it is a good or bad idea to buy ex charter.

I would not ever consider buying an ex rental car because they have a reputation of being a bit 'tired', primarily because most drivers don't look after them. Do ex charter yachts suffer the same stigma/fate? Would you have any additional tests/surveys/checks done in the case of a charter yacht, or would you not even consider it?

Alternatively, is my perception completely off base and buying ex charter actually a good idea?
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Old 21-10-2011, 13:09   #2
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Re: Would you buy an ex charter boat?

I'm sure there are people who have bought x-chater boats with both good and bad experiences. Consequently, it's probably not a good idea to form a judgment from what you read on the internet here. about the only thing of which you can be certain is that charter boats are generally used more than private boats over equivalent periods so be extra cautious in terms of the most thorough due diligence you can undertake
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Old 21-10-2011, 14:32   #3
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Re: Would you buy an ex charter boat?

A boat is a bit different than a car. The lifespan of a car is pretty much 10-15 years. A boat, however, is at least quadruple that. In fact, a car beat up in rental fleet can run much longer, but at some point it just doesn't make sense with parts becoming more an more difficult to find vs buying a newer car...today's cars can run a loong time.

With boats, you have the added option of "substitution" possibility. The yanmar that came with your charter boat dies a grizzly death, put in a Beta or a Westerbeke. With some modification it will fit.

So, I have less hesitation buying a charter yacht vs ex-rental car.

That being said, a ex-charter yacht basically lives 20 years of living in the 5 years of service it provides. It will need a lot of work, especially on things like fabrics, cushions, engines, rudders, keels (lots of groundings and abuse), electronics, sails, anchors, windlasses, heads, etc. So there is a reason it sells for 40% of a comparable owner model boat...you'll spend and spend getting it up to snuff over the years. Engine overhaul is easily $1500...a replacement $10,000 if you have a yard do it.

You get what you pay for!!

But, if you're handy and can do *EVERYTHING* yourself...then an ex-charter yacht aint' half bad.
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Old 21-10-2011, 14:54   #4
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Re: Would you buy an ex charter boat?

Survey Survey Survey!! Make sure an expert i.e., a certified surveyor with good references, looks over your potential purchase from end to end, inside and out, on the hard and in the water. Then you will have a good idea of what you will have to do to bring the boat back up to par. Go with him/her to the survey and ask every question that comes into your head. Ask about the engine, about the electronics, the sails, the thruhulls &c., there are no dumb questions during a survey. With a complete and exhaustive survey in hand you are in a good position to negotiate with the seller. (You can even ask the surveyor what he/she thinks the boat is worth!)
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Old 21-10-2011, 15:28   #5
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Re: Would you buy an ex charter boat?

and, it may make a difference.. was it in charter for 2 years or 15? Was it a captained charter or bareboat.. way to many variables. You just have to look at all the boats and then decide which is in the best shape for the $, whether chartered or privately owned.
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Old 21-10-2011, 16:39   #6
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

Nothing wrong with a charter boat. Friend bought a 50 foot beneteau for 85k in 1999 sold it 4 years later for 125K he put next to nothing into it, just sailed the islands for several seasons.
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Old 21-10-2011, 16:57   #7
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

I think the first question to ask is whether the boat's design is what you are looking for. Most boats purchased for charter have more berths and staterooms at the expense of living space.

Usually bareboat charter companies lease them for 5 years then turn them over to the owners. The wear is often not too bad at this point. The good news is that they are usually well maintained; you can probably count on timely oil changes, etc. The bad news is that they usually have a lot of (often hard) hours on the engine (and everything else). The sails will be nearing their end, and all fabrics and cushions will want replacing. So survey a prospective boat carefully, budget the needed repairs, consider the amount of your time required, then proceed with caution.

I don't see any reason to not go this route if it is the right boat and the numbers pencil out. I have friends who have gone this route and got a nice boat out of it.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:08   #8
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

Depends on the price. If the price is good enough so that you can get it up to scratch and it's still a deal, go for it.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:16   #9
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Re: Would you buy an ex charter boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
(...) The lifespan of a car is pretty much 10-15 years. A boat, however, is at least quadruple that.(...)
Do you mean that a for-charter designed and charter-sailed boat will have the lifespan of 40+ years?

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Old 21-10-2011, 17:16   #10
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

Price usually reflects the condition of the boat. and charter companies often take better care of the boats because they don't want to chase down the boats when they break down...
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:17   #11
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

Yep. Price. If the boat is OK and the price is right then it's a deal.

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Old 21-10-2011, 17:25   #12
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

Actually, I've bought a couple of ex-rental cars in the past, and they all turned out to be excellent values and lasted many years. Might be different in other parts of the world, but here in the U.S. the major rental chains take pretty good care of their cars. After almost every rental--which means about weekly--they get washed, waxed if needed, cleaned out, the oil, coolant, windshield washer, and tire pressure checked. As opposed to most individual owners who probably do all of that stuff once a month at most, and more often something like once a year!

Point being that, yeah they get used hard, but they also get cleaned and maintained more often than the average vehicle. I'm willing to bet the same is true of most ex-charter boats.

I would not pass over a boat just because it was an ex-charter. I would check it over carefully, get a survey (of course!), and study the market to know what it should be worth--just like I would with any other boat. And then, if it is a good value for the dollar I would consider buying it and not worry one little bit about its past as a charter boat.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:30   #13
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

It depends on how much it would cost to bring it up to my standards. It might cost less money to purchase a new or used boat that is already closer to the standards that I prefer.
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Old 21-10-2011, 17:37   #14
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

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Originally Posted by capttman View Post
Price usually reflects the condition of the boat. and charter companies often take better care of the boats because they don't want to chase down the boats when they break down...
+1

Also, I think at least some of them have fixed depreciation methods that will make the asking price related to the age of the boat.

At times askings from private owners seem to reflect the sheer fact that boats gain value over time (especially the ones bought with a little help from a bank). ;-)

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Old 21-10-2011, 18:42   #15
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Re: Would You Buy an Ex-Charter Boat ?

I own a 32-foot boat that has been in charter for 5 years, and have traded time on several others. I also own a 30-foot boat I purchased for sale by owner than had never been in charter. My charter boat is in much better condition.

My charter boat gets used frequently and used hard by people who care less about it than I do. No doubt about that. However, it is also maintained to charter ready standards and has regular maintenance. Many boats not in charter are on the market because the previous owner lost interest in boating and did not keep up with maintenance. One non-charter boat I looked at had the through-hull fracture in the surveyor's hands. My charter boat company would never let their boats deteriorate that much.

As an above post indicated, price usually reflects condition. A competitive market encourages that. That's true regardless of whether a boat has been in charter or not.
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