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Old 03-09-2008, 10:37   #1
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Longer Term Charter?

Afternoon folks,

We've taken the all-important first step of signing up for some RYA classes so we can get certificed, gain some valuable knowledge, and get our ambitious plan to sail the Caribbean, through the canal, and up the West Coast of the US in spring/summer/fall '09 off the ground. We shall be spending several weekends this fall sailing out of the South Coast of England (i'm sure the weather will be lovely come November...) in perparation.

While the plan has always been to buy a boat and sell on the otherside (i know, i know; easier said than done these days), as a back-up plan (assuming someone bails on the plan and our financial strength is diminished or the length of the intended trip is shortened dramatically) is there any way to bareboat charter for an extended period of time in the Caribbean? For example, if instead of buying a boat on the east coast of the US/in the caribbean, we decide to charter a boat, is it possible and how much would it cost?

Lets assume:
-43 footish reasonably new (2002 or later 3 cabin/2 head) boat
-3 months (from Mar 1. to Jun 1.); and just for fun, what about 6 months
-plan to sail all over the Caribbean (or at least as much as we can during that time period); i.e. no restrictions on where we can go.

Do people do this? Is it possible? Is it a financially viable option?

Any help is greatly appreciated

Beam Winds
Jeff ~~~~~~~/)

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:48   #2
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Welcome to the Forum, Jeff!

There's been a bit of discussion on this topic:

I don't know of anyone who's chartered for more than a couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Have you thought about contacting the charter companies about this? If you do, be sure to include one or two of the smaller operators--they may have more flexibility than the "big boys".

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Old 03-09-2008, 11:00   #3
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You might be able to get a long term (3 month) charter from one of the second tier charter companies, especially March to June but the difficult part will be no restriction on where you go. They will not be able to service the boat once it's out of their sailing area and will be reluctant to see the boat sail off over the horizon without a very hefty deposit. You have to remember that most of these charter boats carry no spare parts and are not fitted out for long term cruising. For example you usually only get one set of sheets! No charts other than for the immediate area etc., etc. Most of the fridges are engine driven, there might be a generator but usually not. But, nothing ventured nothing gained, so I suggest you write a detailed proposal and send it to a few second tier companies. Try some of the companies out of St. Lucia or St. Vincent, they might be more receptive to extending the sailing area. Most of the BVI outfits like you to stay right there. If you want a BVI outfit try Conch Charters. They have had some longer term charters in the past.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:16   #4

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Jeff, you might be better off trying to do a "lease back" or "buy back" arrrangement with one of the charter companies, where you would undertake to buy a boat outright, with them guaranteeing to repurchase it from you when the period was over. Or, for you to lease it outright for the period, etc.

I'm sure they'd give you a better charter price for 14 weeks but that's not their normal business, and if they ARE any kind of success at their work--they would take a loss by giving you any kind of substantial break.

Many people have asked the same question in many places, but I've never heard from anyone who found a place to do long term charters per se.

Once you add in "the Canal" things will get way more complicated, that's going to be totally outside their normal insured sailing areas, and you'll need to look into the paperwork to bring the boat into the US as well, regardless of who the owner is.

Then of course there's the matter of getting the back BACK to where it came from. A major expense, unless you're planning to sail the Canal twice.
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