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Old 01-03-2014, 09:33   #1
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Charter Expectations

Hello, All,
I've just returned from my first charter of a sailboat and had a few issues with the boat. I'm wondering what the expectation is with charter boats. We chartered on Tortola from a smaller outfit. The boat was a 2012 but was well worn. The issues were:
  1. Autopilot inop (fixed before we left the dock but delayed us)
  2. Wind direction/speed indicators inop, never repaired
  3. Plotter showed reciprocal heading (eg. 090 heading when actually going 270) and boat icon backwards
  4. Battery isolator bad and had to be replaced during the week.
  5. Watermaker wouldn't work and I believe it was the reason our second tank emptied.
  6. Free-standing settee pulled from cabin sole when heeled (actually the entire floor panel revealing the bilge. Had to secure with dockline until repaired.)
  7. Water temperature fluctuated hot/cold making showering very difficult
Things that needed to be fixed were and made due otherwise. We were without water for 24 hours and had to pay $5 to shower at Pussers. It wasn't critical, just inconvenient.

As I write this and see all the issues listed, it seems this is excessive. Anyone's thoughts are appreciated. I don't want to reveal the company at this point, but you can probably figure out some of the ones it's not.

I won't go into the fiasco of the flights to and from STT. If interested, you can read it here and I'll comment if asked.


Thanks for your comments.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:27   #2
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Re: Charter Expectations

I'm wondering what the expectation is with charter boats. We chartered on Tortola from a smaller outfit.

There is an old saying

" you get what you pay for" ,

I presume you went for the ' smaller outfit' for the price benefit?

The perfect boat does not exist, something always needs fixing even on new craft

Sorry to hear your anniversary was not as expected, I hope your post has vented your frustration
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:43   #3
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Re: Charter Expectations

Just curious, what sailboat did you charter?
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:32   #4
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Re: Charter Expectations

I've only chartered power boats but here is what I've been told by many regarding them and I think it probably applies to sail as well.

Bareboat charters are subject to the kinds of issues you described. Some more than others. The reason is that either the previous charterers did not report them or they were simply not taken care of by the charter company. But most of the things you report were probably issues when the boat was returned the last time.

On a crewed charter, assuming that at least a captain was on the boat before, the Captain reported the issues, knows them, and knows to make sure they were dealt with. In many cases the captain is the owner's regular captain so he's the one responsible for seeing the work is done. But there is continuity.

Our only personal charter experience has been South Florida and we've chartered 6 times and never had any significant issues. But in all cases there has been either some crew continuity or professional captains involved on the last charter making sure the work was to be done.

Now your experience seems out of the ordinary for any kind of charter. To me it reflects either a very rough previous charterer or total lack of attention to maintenance or both.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:40   #5
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Re: Charter Expectations

Hoofsmit-
" you get what you pay for" ,

I presume you went for the ' smaller outfit' for the price benefit?

Actually, it was not for the price benefit. I felt like the service would be more personal than the "three headed monster" in Road Town Harbor. This company is known and represented at all the boat shows. I just don't want to disparage their name without knowing more. They were very nice and responsive and helped immensely with the airline issue.

This isn't venting, it's a genuine question. If it's extreme, I may ask for some sort of compensation.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:51   #6
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Re: Charter Expectations

We've chartered down there 3 times and the only time we didn't have any boat problems, was last time. I think most companies won't reimburse unless you've lost a day or so of time. I suspect it is too late to ask for compensation now, but they might give a discount on a future charter.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:52   #7
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Re: Charter Expectations

Sounds excessive to me. I've never had a watermaker on a charter though. My biggest gripe with boats from one of the larger outfits was No reef line run, or even apparant if there was a specific line to be used. etc. Everything important worked on all 3 charters I've done.
I used to check out charter boats (not caribe) and everything had to work before it left.
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Old 01-03-2014, 15:43   #8
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Re: Charter Expectations

Jemill

Extreme ..... I don't think so... More than you would expect , yes ( in my opinion) but if the company fixed the issues with no real loss of charter time .... No issue.....

Well as I said you pays yer money you make your choice that is if , the company was cheaper than the " three monsters" ?
If no cheaper then expect the same quality and service

We chartered for a month in Tortola last year .... We had a few issues but they were sorted without drama and a offer for the time lost to be added free to our next charter, it was the cheapest multi week charter of the type of yacht we could find, it was a 2005 lagoon that was second tier , although the items which failed should have been picked up , they would not have been on a standard turn around with out a test sail and were sailing related, probably not reported by the previous client as they probably motored instead of sailing into 20 knots of wind,
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Old 01-03-2014, 16:14   #9
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Re: Charter Expectations

it does not sound excessive on the face of it but one would need more information to make a good sound judgment. I would suggest that as with any other consumer related issue you should go directly to the charter company and see what if anything they're willing to do to compensate you every boat owner knows what an enormous task it is to keep everything working all the time. That challenge is increased in the tropics and in a charter business where a boat is kept busy and where there are so many other challenges to keep everything working. This is not to make an excuse but to put it into perspective. Sometimes the charter company is not even aware of certain problems most charter companies will properly check in and check out any boat they manage and when there's time and staff in the busy charter season they will normally fix everything they can. It's a complicated and labor-intensive business and which is hard to make money but as with any other service if the customer is not completely satisfied any company that wishes to remain in business will do what it can do to make up for defects or deficiencies in their delivery of service.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:07   #10
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Re: Charter Expectations

I've chartered/traded time about 30 weeks over the past 6 years, and that's about how many problems I've faced total in that time.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:41   #11
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Re: Charter Expectations

Ahh, the title says it all: Expectations.

You expected perfection?

Watermaker? C'mon, on a rental and you expected it to work for a week long charter?

The rest is "fixable" by anyone with simple tools.

Why should you be disappointed at all?

How was the weather?
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:26   #12
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Re: Charter Expectations

Wow! I'm really amazed at some of the responses here. I posted this question asking for some helpful information.
"I'm wondering what the expectation is with charter boats."
Never did I say I was trying to do this on the cheap (hoofsmit). Never did I say I was disappointed (Stu). If you commenters want to read more into my statement of facts, go right ahead. It's too bad that you have your own issues and feel the need to belittle those that come here looking for a friendly community. Most posts are courteous and informative and that is appreciated. The other comments that appear to come from a few that need an ego boost by trying to show some sort of false superiority should go elsewhere.

Thanks again to those that had valid, constructive comments.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:45   #13
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Re: Charter Expectations

I have no issues, you asked a question ...... What are your expectation of a charter vessel , I gave you my thoughts if you don't like them , that's fine . I don't consider them derogatory
I asked whether you went small outfit for the price , Sorry if you felt that was negative, I thought my comments relative to your op since I chartered in the same area. Not sure what answers you expected. ?
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:52   #14
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Re: Charter Expectations

Quote: Never did I say I was disappointed (Stu).
But then you say in your second post ,if extreme you may ask for compensation, makes no sense to me!
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:26   #15
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Re: Charter Expectations

Again, I dont think your expectations are too high. Listen to those who have chartered on here and had very little wrong. You pay big bucks for a week or 10 days really, the expectation? everything should work properly. Sure something might break down while you are out, but you shouldnt have to deal with it before you start. A company that doesnt leave any time between charters is being poorly managed. If I had your experience I would be naming names up front and loud.
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