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Old 21-06-2018, 15:39   #1
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Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Hello all,

I have recently purchased a new 44' catamaran to be placed in charter as a bare boat in Croatia. It felt like I took a giant leap of faith handing over all this money and not really knowing if this was the right thing to do .

Through this and other forums I have researched the topic as much as possible and came across many threads .... but most of them kept coming back to the financial aspect of such deals. Tax issues etc. That's not what I was after. I already made the commitment to spend the $ and tax offsets aren't really relevant to me...I am not running a business, just want a boat to retire on.

What I wanted was real time information on what the yachts look like once they are in charter. Do the charter companies deliver what they promise? Is it easy to get your annual boat usage? Do reciprocal rights work out as well as they advertise? I wanted to see pictures, videos and read comments of other people's experiences. I wanted comments particularly from existing owners. Of course I go out and charter them, many times with many different operators, but that's a very expensive, albeit fun way of doing research .

One of the problems with this forum though is that there is so much information, new information, all the time, threads gets lost and it is hard to find what you are looking for specifically.

The moderators of this forum pointed out that in the rule set it states that I am not allowed to promote any external blogs (other than mentioning it in my signature ). Well, rules are there for a reason I guess and given the vast spectrum of users this forum addresses this makes total sense. However, if it is something that would actually help some in this community I thought one could have made an exception.... obviously not.

So here is my thought: if you have anything you could add to this post, please reply and share your experiences here. Alternatively, read my signature
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Old 22-06-2018, 11:09   #2
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

I dont know why people bash charter boats, remember someone usually started the boat every week, checked the oil and exhaust and battery, replaced hoses and belts regularly because they had a PM checklist to follow. I have looked at used boats for sale that had oil filters from the last century, thru hulls that had never been closed since the boat was launched and an owner who could not tell me when he last installed the water pump impeller
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Old 22-06-2018, 11:12   #3
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

every charter company is different..
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Old 23-06-2018, 01:17   #4
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

I ran a bareboat charter operation in the Whitsunday Islands of the Australian Great Barrier reef.

We had many frustrations like honey spread throughout the boat, & foodstuffs rotting in the bilge, but otherwise had remarkably little damage, minor or major. The only real damage was a slightly bent mast which had to be shipped a couple of hundred miles for repairs.

Our charterers were from very experienced to virtually no experience, but mostly looked after the boats as if they were their own.

If you have chosen your charter company wisely you should have little trouble, but I don't see it as a way to get rich in a hurry.
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Old 23-06-2018, 01:31   #5
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Flying fin,
I totally agree with that. An idle boat is worse than one that's being used. It is in the charter companies interest to maintain the yachts well because any trouble at sea will mean some sort of rescue mission and added expense. Whilst the boats are new, they bring in a premium fee. What happens when the yacht comes to the end of its contract life will be interesting. There might be little interest in preventative maintenance beyond keeping it good enough condition to meet the end of contract handover requirements.

Hasbeen,
Thank you so much for.your contribution. Very valuable to hear from an actual operator.

Would it be okay with both of you if I transferred your comments onto my blog? I am sure other that might not find it here would be very interested in reading them.
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Old 23-06-2018, 09:06   #6
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Charter company maintenance standards vary significantly and even between operating bases from large international companies. My suggestion would be to ask for references among the customers list of the charter co you wish to contract.
Also a new monitoring device currently at start up stage is about to hit the market. It works much as a airplane “black box” and provides you with real time informations on a number of parameters such as engine rev, speed, routing, wind direction and velocity etc. Something to watch for if you’d like to know what’s going on with your ship while in charter function.
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Old 23-06-2018, 09:09   #7
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

I managed a bareboat company for a while. The biggest problem was turnaround time. We only had hours to get the boat ready for the next charter. Generally the boats were pretty well maintained. Much had to do with the owners' pro active actions where they wanted to invest the extra money to make things right.
I have seen some good operators in Croatia. As stated above it depends on the company. You should be speaking with the other owners in your fleet. Don't scrimp on your part of the maintenance. My greatest concern would be your ability to be hands on.
Good luck
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Old 24-06-2018, 02:48   #8
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithril Bham View Post
I managed a bareboat company for a while. The biggest problem was turnaround time. We only had hours to get the boat ready for the next charter. Generally the boats were pretty well maintained. Much had to do with the owners' pro active actions where they wanted to invest the extra money to make things right.
I have seen some good operators in Croatia. As stated above it depends on the company. You should be speaking with the other owners in your fleet. Don't scrimp on your part of the maintenance. My greatest concern would be your ability to be hands on.
Good luck
Mithril,

Thanks for your great input. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences from man operators point of view .
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Old 24-06-2018, 17:35   #9
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Nils-
Pretty much EVERYTHING depends on the charter agent. How well they screen the charterers, how well they maintain the boats, how heavily they are used, EVERYTHING.
The only rule of thumb that you can apply, is that one year in heavy charter service will put ten years of wear on the average boat. In a good charter arrangement, there should be some provision for a total refurb and refit at the end of the charter period, at least.

Good luck with all that.
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Old 24-06-2018, 17:45   #10
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Nils-
Pretty much EVERYTHING depends on the charter agent. How well they screen the charterers, how well they maintain the boats, how heavily they are used, EVERYTHING.
...
Absolutely! You want a good base manager and you want them to be your friend. Even among the larger charter companies, the quality of base managers can very quite a lot. The more actively involved in the charter operation of your boat you can be the better...otherwise its just a piece of rental equipment with a faceless owner.

Ive had boats in captain only charter, but usually I was the captain and also worked as a captain/instructor at the charter base. Whenever I could not run the charter, it was run by other captains who I new personally. I think thats the optimal arrangement because you always know whats going on w your boat. You and your boat also get treated differently because you are not just some stranger thousands of miles away.

Not everyone can do that, but be as involved and known as you can.
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Old 29-06-2018, 01:23   #11
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Seem like I had the right idea trying to collect data on yachts in charter.

There has been a great response form the community here, most of them via PM though - which is okay.

The majority of responses have been form FP owners or people involved with Dreamyacht Charters. Thanks for all for your input.

However, this topic certainly isn't specific to a manufacturer or service provider. I really like to hear from anyone. Monohull or cat, Lagoon, Leopard, Fountaine Pajot or otheres. DYC, Moorings/Sunsail/TUI, The Catamaran Company, Horizon Yacht Charters or any number of smaller operators offering "Purchase to own" schemes.

I am really addressing all those who are either in a contract already or have been before. Well published information for everyone to see is an asset to your asset

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Old 19-07-2018, 00:09   #12
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Hi all,

As an update to my original post:

Prior to a recent, quick charter in Thailand, I had an opportunity to have a chat with Dream Yacht Charter's base manager Joel Llas about charter yacht maintenance, reliability and other challenges in the region.

All good information for people considering owning a yacht in Charter, as part of my story on: 'NOSHOES - JOURNEY OF A CATAMARAN'

You can read the full article under:

https://noshoes-resoled.com/yacht-ma...base-manager…/
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Old 19-07-2018, 12:05   #13
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

"This page could not be found!
We are sorry. But the page you are looking for is not available.
Perhaps you can try a new search."

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Old 19-07-2018, 16:38   #14
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

Hellosailor,

Thanks for the heads up on that. Not sure why the link was broken...

https://noshoes-resoled.com/yacht-ma...ger-interview/

Maybe copy and paste or.go to the blog directly. But it's there and working.
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Old 30-08-2018, 20:50   #15
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Re: Documenting the life of a charter bare boat

And the journey continues.....

There is more to yachts than dollars and cents … it's a lifestyle choice!

Previously, I posed the question whether owning a charter yacht is worth it on a number of different forums. The response to that article was amazing and surprising … in some cases personal.

Replies included lengthy calculations, tax considerations, interest gains, spreadsheets … but the hardest part was to determine where the information came from.

Did it come from people with actual experience, people who owned boats in charter, people who maintain these yachts or manage them? Or did it come from people who simply want to voice their opinion, not based on facts but hearsay?

After some follow-up work on how valid the below-listed information actually was, here is the outcome of what you had to say:

56% replied with a definite YES.
They believe that owning a yacht in charter is worth doing if:
* you love sailing a lot,
* if you chose the right operator
* you are still committed workwise and want to explore the worlds sailing grounds before setting off into the sunset,
* you are able to look beyond pure financial rewards, $ and cents and,
* you love sailing (did I already say that? Well, it came up a lot)

11% replied YES BUT.
Ownership to 'make money' can only work as crewed charters.

4% did it, but didn't make any money.
Though in some cases it was unclear whether they regretted their decision

29% replied with a definite NO.
Reasons ranged from:
* don't touch my boat,
* the numbers don't add up,
* I can invest elsewhere for better returns, others earn more money on my yacht than I do,
* the boats get beaten up and are worthless afterwards.

For information: there were a total of 236 replies, with 43 unverifiable comments. Sure, a very small cross section of an otherwise huge industry, but across section never the less.

Dollars and Cents of Charter Yacht Ownership:
Some readers were disappointed that I didn't include any "hard numbers" in the article. My original intention was in fact NOT to slant the question towards the purely financial aspect of "being worth it". Not everything in life is about money!

However, I promised that I would share some details of my deal. The information below is publicly available, so no trade secrets here.

All values are in US$, at current exchange rate, based on a 2019 Helia 44 Evolution with DreamYacht Charters in their 'Dream Easy' Program. No VAT applicable for me at the end. Naturally, there are other operators with similar programs you could choose from.

$665,000.00 - Contract price for the yacht to specifications.
$232,750.00 - 35% Deposit at the beginning of 66 month contract
$166,250.00 - 25% Balloon payment at end of contract
$399,000.00 - Purchase cost of yacht to me (60% of total value)

Based on 6 weeks of 'free' charters per season (2 weeks in high season, 2 in the low season and 2 weeks 'walk up' in any season, with some variations possible), allowing for discounted specials, a mix of locations and seasons around the world over the period of the contract and deduction of the $350.00 turn around fee per charter, I receive $189,500.00 worth of charter value for my personal use during the term of my contract.

There are no running cost / expenses to me during the period of this contract.

A search online for resale value of a 5.5 year old Helia 44 ex-charter with similar specifications currently shows a market valued of $420,00.00 ex contract.

Putting that all together, I end up with the following:

+ $189,500.00 worth of free charters
+ $420,000.00 final value of the yacht
- $399,000.00 initial investment
--------------------------------------------
= + $210,500.00 (which funnily enough is close to my charter allowance!)

Is owning a yacht in charter worth it?
Absolutely, because I am going to have the time of my life over the next 5 years.

For those who invested the $399,000.00 at 5% net; they will only get to sail $110,000.00 worth of charter time ... but they most likely won't because they will spend the money on something else. "We'll do it next holiday".

After all, I love sailing and sail I will. See you out there...
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