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Old 21-03-2008, 01:40   #1
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Buying a charter boat-Rosco

For a new member it is difficult to navigate around this site, but giving it a go.
My reason for joining is to find out informationon my proposed trip.
Next Dec. buying about a 463 Beneteau in BVI Fitting out, and finding about 3 crew, end of Feb should be ready to sail back to Oz. via ABC Panama, coconut run.
Are the charter boats like what they appear on the net. I guess buyer be aware. I am a pretty handy person, so can fix most things. but who wants to be in middle of nowhere, and try to fix something?
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Old 21-03-2008, 05:05   #2
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Hi, Rosco, and welcome to the Forum.

You can use the search function to look for previous threads about buying a charter boat, since it's been discussed here before, plus other questions you might have.

And, of course, you can post specific questions to the members at large.

Good luck with your plans.
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Old 21-03-2008, 05:50   #3
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Originally Posted by Ross Gard View Post
Are the charter boats like what they appear on the net. I guess buyer be aware. ?


NO!!!!!!!!! Nothing is as it looks on the net! They use the same camera Real Estate agents use! I am quite serious, the photos are only a representation of the the type of boat.

We have been searching down the east coast of the USA and into the Caribbean, private and ex-charter boats, and can tell you that some boats are absolute shockers that looked great in photos, and some very good that looked bad.

The one thing I have learnt is DON'T BUY OFF THE NET SIGHT UNSEEN!!!!!! You must see it first.

That means you need a bulky cash account for travelling and accommodation. Hostels are not well known (nor cheap) in the usa so we were paying $60 per night in dorms, and here in Caribbean theres no hostels at all, the accom starts at over US$100 per night. We have been in crew accommodation dorm for a week and just got a private room. $60 per night and we have 3 weeks till the deal closes (trying to shorten that!). Flying into St Maarten the bitch at the airport counter forced us to buy return tickets instead of one way so we have to pay $600 extra in cash which we are trying to get refunded... etc etc. feeding 2 people x 3 meals per day with no cooking facilities is expensive

The charter companies brokerage in Ft Lauderdale is proving very good (Speak to Peter Wiersema) but start with emails and phone calls now to build a rapport.

Yes it can be done and you will get a boat cheaper than in Australia but its wont be for cheap! You need quite a large stash of cash to do it. Quite large!


Mark
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Old 21-03-2008, 06:28   #4
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Buying a Charter boat can be a huge bargain. It can also be a huge problem. If you are looking at a 463 you are looking at a older boat. There are several good surveyors in the BVI. I would find one you like and pay him to check out any boats you are interested in before you go down. I would also consider trying to buy a newer boat such as a 473 that is coming out of the Moorings fleet. If you do that and put the boat under contract prior to it going though overhaul you get the overhaul free and can have your surveyor supervise it. The market is very soft right now for used monohulls in the BVI. Asking prices are well above actual sale prices. Don't be afraid to make low offers. I go down there all the time and know some of the boats. If you have any questions feel free to email me at Sailvi767@aol.com. One surveryor that comes highly recommended is Geoff Williams. You can find him here West Indies Marine Surveyors Ltd.. A 8 year old 463 should sell for around 130,000-150,000 US dollars. Again ignore asking prices. The market is very soft.
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Old 21-03-2008, 08:50   #5
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There is a story that has been published in some of the sailing magazines about an individual who purchased a charter boat. It passed the survey, but after the sale was complete, he discovered that it had been seriously damaged in a caribbean huricane. Of course, the charter company claimed that they did not know this.

The individual was given some compensation, but certainly not enough to cover the additional expenses and aggravation. Now he has a boat with reduced value.
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Old 22-03-2008, 03:22   #6
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[quote=sailvi767;145176] Thanks for words of wisdom. At the moment are two 463, $115,& $125, advertisedon yachtworld, if they are solid with not too many problems Im thinking they might sell around $100K, maybe $20-30K to make sea ready. Do you think Im on the right track?
Regards Ross.
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Old 22-03-2008, 03:34   #7
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Unhappy

[quote=MarkJ;145169 I didnt calculate $100/night accomodation, that has me thinking how to get around it? Are there any B&B home stays around?
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Old 22-03-2008, 05:12   #8
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Ask them to sleep on the boat

I bought an ex-Sunsail boat in the Caribbean in the mid-90's and sailed it back to Tonga where it was part of their establishment fleet for 6 months before bringing it back to NZ. I made contact with the NZ operator and after looking in Florida, went down to St Maarten and Martinique (where I found the boat, a Jeanneau 39). Maybe because of the NZ contact and the fact that it was the off-season (and also because the local fleet managers were great people), I stayed on docked boats for the entire trip.

Things may have got a bit more 'corporate' since then but worth a shot? Cheers
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Old 22-03-2008, 10:30   #9
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There is a story that has been published in some of the sailing magazines about an individual who purchased a charter boat. It passed the survey, but after the sale was complete, he discovered that it had been seriously damaged in a caribbean huricane. Of course, the charter company claimed that they did not know this.

The individual was given some compensation, but certainly not enough to cover the additional expenses and aggravation. Now he has a boat with reduced value.
Of course what happened here is not unique to charter boats. That could happen on the purchase of any boat anywhere.
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Old 22-03-2008, 10:46   #10
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The moral of the story that I should have emphasized was that if the individual had not performed the purchase remotely, that he would may have had a better opportunity to realize that the boat had in fact experienced significant damage. Of course, to use a surveyor without prior knowledge of their work is also dangerous.

We took the recommendation of the seller's broker on a surveyor for our first cruising boat purchase. We were too naive. That surveyor's report was more like an inventory of the boat's equipment rather than the boat's condition. About the only thing that we learned from him was that the toilet bowl bolts were loose. I later came to learn that he was the surveyor that you hope the other person uses when selling your boat not when you are buying one.

In the last boat that we purchased, we went aboard it four times before making an offer and were present for the survey to ask questions about things that we noticed during the haulout. Needless to say, we used a different surveyor than when we purchased our first boat.

So, perhaps buying a boat remotely and a charter boat at that doubles the source of potential difficulties in comparison to a locally accessible non-charter boat.
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Old 22-03-2008, 11:10   #11
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Of course, to use a surveyor without prior knowledge of their work is also dangerous.

We took the recommendation of the seller's broker on a surveyor for our first cruising boat purchase. We were too naive. That surveyor's report was more like an inventory of the boat's equipment rather than the boat's condition. About the only thing that we learned from him was that the toilet bowl bolts were loose. I later came to learn that he was the surveyor that you hope the other person uses when selling your boat not when you are buying one.
A friend of mine did the same thing.
Suffice it to say it is a long sad story with the boat now sold and dreams yet unfulfilled.
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Old 23-03-2008, 05:42   #12
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I bought my Jeanneau 43DS out of charter in the BVI. I looked at (and photographed) at least 30 boats during the course of my search on Tortola. I went during the hurricane season (it was hot and muggy, but the best time to buy) and overall I would say that I got a good deal. In fact, I am now selling my boat in the BVI for the same price that I purchased it 2 years ago. I'm upgrading to a larger boat, otherwise I would keep this one. I intend on buying another boat in the BVI and would not rule out ex-charter boats.

You really do need to go and visit the boats personally, that way you can weed out the ones that don't meet your specs (as noted earler, the pictures sometimes bear little relation to reality).

Your choices no getting the boat back to OZ are limited. Either head off to St. Maarten for a full fitout (things like extra tankage, radar, watermaker, sails, hardware, cloth, woodwork, etc. are pricey in the BVI but only 70 nautical miles upwind is the tax-free island of St. Maarten) then take your time going down-island, through the Panama canal and off into the Pacific.
The other option is to sail up to Ft. Lauderdale and load your newly purchased yacht onto a transport ship. Dockwise is the biggest and most well-known transport company. My best offer was US$34,000 from Port Everglades to Brisbane. Then you need to add the customs & excise that the Australians charge for import. Overall, I found it still cheaper than buying a boat in Oz, though!
If you do make it so far as to need a surveyor, please pm me and I can give recommendations and experiences. Oh, and if you are interested in 2002 Deck salon Jeanneau 43' that has almost as much room as a 473 Beneteau drop me a line as well
G'day
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Old 23-03-2008, 14:25   #13
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Sounds like a person w/ time available could make some money buying suitable boats in the U.S. and then sailing them to Australia and selling them?????
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Old 24-03-2008, 04:26   #14
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Lightfin - yes, there is money to be made. It is a matter of scoping out the Australian market to see what would sell, though. A 5-head Jeanneau 52 is a bargain buy in the BVI but you won't find too many takers in New Zealand or Oz. And if you divide the profit by time taken to travel there you will get a pretty low hourly wage - so your primary motivation would need to be the fun-factor!
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Old 24-03-2008, 05:32   #15
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Smile Returning with the boat, Drouges or Parachutes?

The two happiest days of a sailors life, 1; The purchase 2; The sale of the boat.
A dealer told me money can be made. But a lot of things can go wrong too. If I make a profit that will be a bonus. The adventure, life experience, crossing the Pacific is a pants wetting experience waiting to happen. I dont want to stay at home and think about the trip I shouldev done, but now too old.
Comments Please: Carrying drogues or parachutes? One chap told me adrogue creates unbearable horizontal spray in the rear cockpit, to deploy a parachute anchor is best way to beat a heavy sea.
For the time of Mar.- Jun. I had read a drouge and a run with the wind would see me through, South Pacific that is. So what Major items are carried for heavy weather? Sails, drogues, parachutes, or something else?
Thanks for your help. Rosco.
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