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Old 11-12-2007, 12:13   #1
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Charter company choosing

I am one whom is considering putting a boat into charter for a couple of years for some of the many reasons.

I get to use it now and again while I am still "working".
I get to learn it a little.
It will defray some costs.
Etc, etc.

I have been informed, and believe it is very true, to research the charter company well.
I believe this is very hard to do unless a month or so is spent island hopping to surprise some companies and check out what is going on (down?).

Another way is to ask people whom you trust........and I trust all the members of the forum.

So here is a specific company that is very close to me and would make a HUGE difference in my ability to "keep tabs" on my boat and also make it possible to use it on the odd unbooked weekend or whatever.

Sailing Charters, Catamarans, Monohulls, Etaps, Island Packets and other fine Yachts in Southwest Florida

If anyone has specific knowledge of the company or anyone in it I would like to know. I can't drug test them, so if they are hanging out at the tavern lots of nights till all hours or have been a cell-mate of yours or any old thing I would appreciate a heads-up.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:40   #2
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Customer perspective

Therapy: Not exactly on point but .........
Last year, I traveled to FL to visit some friends & decided to charter a boat for a few hours. I had already seen their website, etc. but I did not make a reservation.
I was impressed by the professionalism & service especially since i just popped in. I had my documentation & since I only needed a small boat the "processing" was less stringent. I was told that chartering a >25' boat would require a full skipper pre-sail check-out....which is smart.
I walked the docks & peeked at the larger boats for future reference. They looked good & the facility seemed to be well kept.
The staff was friendly & helpful. They seemed to treat the boats as their own.
I'm more familiar with the charter ownership options in the Caribbean.
Good Luck in your search.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:47   #3
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They seemed to treat the boats as their own.


I'm more familiar with the charter ownership options in the Caribbean.
Wow! I would not expect that from my friends (I used to but sadly I have seen reality too many times).

I do not know a lot of "options" other than weeks used etc. The Caribbean is too far for me to frequent. I just don't/won't have that kind of budget.

Thanks!!
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:55   #4
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Therapy:

I chartered a boat from them two years ago. They were extremely professional. The boats were kept in top condition. I had two minor problems with the Etap 32 that I chartered and they were able to fix them in minutes and apologized profusely. I also talked to a fellow who had a Catamaran that he had left in the charter business and he spoke very highly of them. So I would give them five stars out of five for their service. The boat was nice but never charter a boat in FL w/o a Bimini.
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Old 11-12-2007, 13:05   #5
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i chartered 2 times with them. the boats were in perfect condition. the last time i had nasty weather and decided to buy a boat instead. but i would recommend them.
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Old 11-12-2007, 13:06   #6
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Carib Charter co Options - You are right, the biggest firms ie Moorings & Sunsail use the weeks plan. One smaller firm that is much more flexible & will allow more personal use is TMM. I have a contact if you need.
Yacht Charter at it's Best: British Virgin Islands, Tortola Marine Management, Yacht Charter

Do You have a boat now or plan to buy a newer one soon?
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Old 11-12-2007, 16:53   #7
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Carib Charter co Options - You are right, the biggest firms ie Moorings & Sunsail use the weeks plan. One smaller firm that is much more flexible & will allow more personal use is TMM. I have a contact if you need.
Yacht Charter at it's Best: British Virgin Islands, Tortola Marine Management, Yacht Charter

Do You have a boat now or plan to buy a newer one soon?
I have read many, many, many (did I mention a lot) of sites and have TMM as one of the ones on my "definitely check them out" list.

BUT......................

Like I said, I don't think I can have a boat in the VIs because I would not be able to use it as much as I would want, hence my wanting to have it only a couple of hours away.

I do not have a boat and cannot afford one I want so I was thinking a Gemini in charter with them while I work another couple years (I know, I know). They were at the St. Pete Sail Only show looking for another Gemini (or several) to add to their fleet because it is so popular.

Anyway, knowing that the company will make or break your boat and being pretty sure I would have a hard time judging I thought I would ask the pros on "THE forum".

Thank you.
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Old 11-12-2007, 17:14   #8
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I would ask them to show you the books on a couple of their charter boats. Realistically you don't make money on a charter. You get a subsidy towards buying the boat and at the end you might have to do a refit.

If they represent it as a money maker they are not being straight with you.

I really like these guys because they are very upfront about the financials.

Charter Yacht Ownership

Also note that they recommend talking to them before buying the boat. They know what they have in their fleet and they know what rents. You don't want to buy a boat that you like but customers hate.

Also if you are doing this to gain access to a boat when you want it, don't forget that you may be taking your boat out and giving up charters - tough decision.

Good Luck.
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Old 11-12-2007, 18:08   #9
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I would ask them to show you the books on a couple of their charter boats. Realistically you don't make money on a charter. You get a subsidy towards buying the boat and at the end you might have to do a refit.

If they represent it as a money maker they are not being straight with you.

I really like these guys because they are very upfront about the financials.

Charter Yacht Ownership

Also note that they recommend talking to them before buying the boat. They know what they have in their fleet and they know what rents. You don't want to buy a boat that you like but customers hate.

Also if you are doing this to gain access to a boat when you want it, don't forget that you may be taking your boat out and giving up charters - tough decision.

Good Luck.
Points well taken.
I don't expect it to pay for the boat.
It may be a way to use one a few weeks a year for a couple more years of "work".
Thanks.
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Old 11-12-2007, 18:35   #10
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T: I hear You. Ex-C makes some very good points - Charter Co mtg(s) disclosures, boat selection, charter bookings, financial expectations. .....sounds like You are ready to sit down & start the process............speaking of that, watch out for slow seasons.......obviously, starting a contract at the beginning of a slower season would cause you to absorb more overhead. Good Luck
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Old 11-12-2007, 21:37   #11
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obviously, starting a contract at the beginning of a slower season would cause you to absorb more overhead. Good Luck
And what with the gloom and doom economy picture this may not be a good time to get into it..............then again maybe get a better price on the boat.......then again.

Whew!

Ready to talk numbers I guess since the recommendations seem good.

More advice is always welcome.

Thank you.
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Old 11-12-2007, 22:15   #12
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T - Scratching the surface here I suspect there is more going on so I'll poke around.

1/ Don't buy a boat unless you can afford to buy a boat - period.
2/ If you want to buy a "little" boat now, so you can sail now, and later buy a bigger boat, you need to make sure that the financial picture is realistic and you can buy the bigger boat later - even if the little boat makes no money in charters and costs you out of pocket maintenance.
3/ You may be better off continuing your current savings plan and chartering yourself for those "few" weeks a year.

Fundamentally buiying a boat and putting it in charter is not the yellow brick road to financial freedom.

You are correct that there are likely to be a more than a few distress sales coming up. Regarding "with a doom and gloom economy," those who are not financially leveraged at the beginning of a downturn are best prepared to be buyers during the distress call.

For the smart players a downrunning economy is a buying opportunity.
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Old 12-12-2007, 00:27   #13
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T: Ex-C offers some very sage advice given your near term goals especially #3. But you will feel the piture getting clearer as you get more specifics & numbers.
There's a nice feeling just tossing the keys & walking away without a care once the sail is done.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:25   #14
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Another way is to ask people whom you trust........and I trust all the members of the forum.
my goodness, the responsibility
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:49   #15
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Hey Darryl, does this mean you and I have to act more responsable all the time? or just when others are watching? I don't know if I can handle the long term possibility.
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