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Old 23-05-2005, 13:21   #1
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Good Morning, Group.

Ok, we have officially arrived at a decision regarding some way to cruise and enjoy boating again even while I just lost my job.

We were looking at chartering. Assuming a 33% occupancy rate (50% is more realistic), the finances work out just fine for us to come in at a lower price than many other charters, and also purchase a $100K boat.

Now for the part I'm a little nervous to speak about on here for fear of getting smacked...

We need to have a boat for $100K that has the most appeal possible to non-sailors. (so we can fill up the charters) For this reason, we can't look at what we want (steel pilothouses) because they just don't have the interiors that will please charter customers. After searching high and low, we ended up finding that the best charter boat in this range would be the (gulp) HUNTER 42 Passage. It's not a great boat, obviously, but it has marketability for chaters and moves along at a decent clip compared to heavier full keel boats. We would likely be using it to charter between Maine and the Bahamas/Caribbean.

Keeping in mind that I drive a Hyundai on land, does anyone know of any reason I should not go forward with this purchase decision?

I found two of these for sale on Yachtworld in my range. One has about 30 dime size blisters on the hull and another 25 or so on the rudder. It also has a cracked mast fitting that has leaked and ruined part of the teak and holley sole. Someone else passed it over for purchase, due to these blisters.

The other one is closer and I have yet to examine it.

Does anyone think it's crazy to buy a boat with blisters? I mean... do they really cause issues, other than cosmetic? I know eventually they can be structural, but I have never seen it get that bad. Also, is there a "do it yourself" way to fix them? Maybe by cutting them out and re-glassing?

I know there are a lot of questions here, so thank you for your time and patience. Everyone here has been very helpful.

Sean
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Old 23-05-2005, 13:52   #2
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Minor Blistering may not be a “deal-breaker”, but it’s often much more than just an aesthetic problem! If allowed to continue gelcoat-blistering can eventually cause structural delamination.
Osmotic blistering is caused by water penetrating the gelcoat and entering the laminated structure. This water takes into solution free chemicals salts and becomes denser than salt water on the outside of the hull. This creates a differential pressure, and since water will not compress, blisters form on the outer side of the gelcoat.

Minor (isolated) blister repair is a good DIY project.

Some resources from WEST Systems © (Gougeon Brothers Inc.): http://www.gougeon.com/

002-650 “Gelcoat Blisters: Diagnosis, Repair & Prevention”
http://www.wessex-resins.com/westsys...tblisters.html
This manual provides a thorough explanation of osmotic blistering, along with detailed, illustrated instructions on effective laminate drying techniques, repairing localized and severe interlaminate blister damage, techniques for applying an effective epoxy barrier coat and more.

002-550 Fiberglass Boat Repair & Maintenance
A complete, illustrated guide to a variety of fiberglass repair problems. Includes detailed instructions on repairing delamination, keel damage and gelcoat blisters. Also covers fairing keels, hardware bonding, finishing and installing teak veneers.

002-896 Gelcoat Blister Repair with WEST SYSTEM Brand Epoxy
A guide for repairing and preventing gelcoat blisters on fiberglass boats with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. Includes an analysis of the factors contributing to blister formation and steps for preparation, drying repairing and coating for moisture protection. VHS 16 minutes.


and on-line references:

“Blister Repair” - by Norman Ralph from “Good Old Boat”
http://www.boatus.com/goodoldboat/blister.htm

“Failed Blister Repairs, A Case History and Solutions” - by David Pascoe
http://www.yachtsurvey.com/BlisterRepairFail.htm

“Boat Hull Blisters: Blister Repair Failure Part 2" - by David Pascoe
http://www.yachtsurvey.com/BlisterFail2.htm

“Blister Repair” - by Don Casey
http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/03.htm

HTH,
Gord May
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Old 23-05-2005, 13:58   #3
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Wow...

Thanks for the info, Gord. I didn't understand blistering well before reading your post.

Sean
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Old 23-05-2005, 20:25   #4
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Sean I hope no one would "smack" anyone on this BB. We are all at differing stages of learning here and every single participant has started as a compleate novice somewhere in their life.
I can't help with an answer, but I sure have a question. Can anyone charter, with any boat, in your country??? We have so many rules and regulations, it just wouldn't be possible to do what you are considering here. Firstly, the Skipper must have a minimum No. of hrs logged on a vessel. then that Skipper needs to sit an exam, or series of exams. Each exam passed will allow an operational limit to be set. i.e. Harbour limits, coastal, offshore etc etc.
Then the vessel needs to be qualified. It has to meet a commercial survey requirement. This requirment is so stringent, that getting the survey after the vessel has been built, is so hard and expensive, it is cheaper to build a new boat to requirement. The boat is built to survey requirments and inspected at every stage of it's build. It has to be fitted out with a minimum requirement of equipment and that requirment is set determined by the limits of operation. i.e. harbour, coastal etc and liceinced for a max No. of passengers that can be carried. This all equates to big BIG dollars for a charter vessel. Any vessel that carries a commercial survey certificate, imediately would be worth tripple the price of the same without that cirtificate.
I would love to charter, but it many years away for me, if I am ever to have the money, let alone the qualifications.
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Old 23-05-2005, 21:00   #5
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All True, Alan.

Thanks for your input, Wheels.

We definitely do have a lot of requirements to fill regarding the charter. The first requirement was that the vessel is a US-laid keel. The US (in some protectionist law that is still on the books) requires any boat for hire to be a US-laid keel, which eliminated several great boats, and most of the nice steel ones.

Also, I have enough docmented hours to get my 100 Ton Master's, but I'm just going for my OUPV, which is also called a "six-pack" here in the States. It enables me to take no more than 6 people out for hire on the boat at any given time. It's intended for smaller charters like I plan to do. Of course the boat needs to have a minimum standard of safety gear, but I would have had that on board anyway. I believe in that stuff.

The wife and I are already STCW certified (basic safety, first aid, firefighting, etc...), from our brief stint on the 100' megayact we worked on.

The only part I'm still unsure of are the fees to charter in the Caribbean. In the US, it's simple. No fees, just be licensed with the required safety equipement. I'm still researching the various fees, such as the type the Bahamas have in place.

Are there any items I am missing?

THanks again,

Sean
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Old 24-05-2005, 00:05   #6
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Sean, it would behoove you to investigate the purpose and scope of the Jones Act and the other Cabotage Laws that are the basis of American Merchant Law. Your statement "The US (in some protectionist law that is still on the books) requires any boat for hire to be a US-laid keel, which eliminated several great boats, and most of the nice steel ones." while true has been reviewed by Congress and they have made the following determination.


"The 105th Congress soundly rejected efforts to weaken or even abolish the nation’s cabotage laws, underscoring the continuing need for and benefits of the Jones Act and other U.S. maritime cabotage laws. In doing so, Congress teamed with the Administration and military leaders to reaffirm that the movement of cargo and passengers between U.S. ports in vessels that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed not only provides safe, reliable and cost-efficient transportation options for American shippers and their customers, but plays a vital role in the country’s economic and national security. "



It is vital to our security that we have the tools at our command to regulate the trade in our own ports. This is not a protectionist law, unless you consider the safety of our ports and people to be protectionist. It is imperative to have American crews aboard American ships in American ports to ensure our continuing security and strength. In time of war, these ships become part of the naval supply force that is charged with supply of our troops.

You may not like the statutes as they are written, but you would like it less if we didn't have the protection that they afford.

Jim

p.s. You might as well get the 100 ton license. The work is the same and I am sure you have the qualifications. Sea School and the like, makes short work of the licensing procedure.
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Old 24-05-2005, 19:08   #7
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100 Ton Master's

Yes, Jim. You are correct. The 100 Ton Master's takes about the same amount of effort. The sea school suggested I take it as well, given the sea time. Thanks for the input.

RE: The "protectionist" law, I wonder if the law isn't in place because American shipbuilders had a great group of lobbyists when it was passed? While I understand the problem with foreign crews, the make of the boat is of no significance to our defense. If you look very closely at many of our country's laws, you can usually find a large financial benficiary that benefited from their passing. In this case, it was the American ship builders of days gone by.

Also, had this not been an international board (if it was just an American board) I probably wouldn't have mentioned the (economic) protectionist nature of the law. I did so out of respect for the many others on this board from other countries, and in admittance that this is indeed an economic protection afforded to our ship builders of the past.
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Old 26-05-2005, 13:35   #8
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For an interesting article on why Countries apply "protectionism" to shipbuilding and other items essential to national security, see:
http://www.shipbuilding.ca/articles/..._may3-04.shtml

Which concludes:
"...Canada, the United States and Australia are all experiencing similar problems with respect to building their nations' warships. The navies of the U.S. and Australia have recognized the necessity of maintaining a naval shipbuilding capability in their countries and are taking the lead to tackle the issue. In both these countries, partnership between the government, the navy and industry is the key. Partnership is also the key to success in Canada if we want a shipbuilding and repair capability that can respond to the government's needs in peace and in crisis."

FWIW:
Although 'protectionism' has generally acquired a bad taste (in my mouth too), there are instances (such as these) where it is essential to a nation's well being & security.
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Old 27-05-2005, 15:42   #9
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Live aboard chartering

Hi group I've got a couple comments to add the the live aboard chartering idea. I ran Dive & fishing charters out of Freeport TX. for about 6 years on my boat. The idea was that I enjoyed diving, fishing, & boating so much that this it'd work great I'd have people paying me to go out and indeed it did for the most parts. While I understand that the type of chartering your wanting to do and what I did are very different their is still a lot of comparisons. And please believe me I don’t mean to rain on your idea it in fact is currently working for some people now. Just a few thoughts from past experience.

1.If all your planning on doing is long term fully crewed charters which is what it sounds like I really believe the 33% is much more reasonable then trying to tell yourself that you can get 50%. And I really don’t think you could get 33% just working the east coast down to the islands and back.

2. If your planning on taking day charters to supplement the live aboard charters. Yes this will help but plan on at least a 20 to 30% cancellation rate due to weather over the course of the year.

3. Regardless of the financial planning cost and home work you’ve done on this, it’ll be way to low.

4. Repairs are going to be much more frequent then you are planning. Plus repairs are also going to cost you X% of lost charters.

“My biggest pet peeves”

5. This is now your home that you are allowing strangers aboard to freely roam. Some nice and respectful of your home and property and some there for one reason party and get drunk. This is their right they’ve paid a lot of money for this weeks vacation. The main draw back with this I’ve found. Is that when these people start getting drunk and partying things tend get broken, stained, or other wise ruined. And you know what regardless of what it is it’s all your stuff getting trashed. I know you’ll make them pay a deposit to solve this issue. And yes it will help the replacement of things. Or you’ll just not have anything out that really matters if something happens to it. OK now we’re back to the beginning “THIS IS YOUR HOME WHERE YOU LIVE 365 DAYS A YEAR” You will have your little personal things out to help make it your home. Look around your house right now. Would it matter of some stranger came in banging around on the walls, spilling stuff, throwing up etc. And in fact your wife should really be the one answering this question.

6. Plus you’ll have to put up with the whiners. With the general public regardless of what you do you will always have some of these customers. Complainers or ones always looking for that angle to get something extra out you with out paying.

The plus sides of this, People pay you to go out and do something you love and would pay to go and do.

Once you’re out just beyond site of land. Stop, stand up and look around 360 degrees. You couldn’t get a better office view in my opinion.

And when you have those good charters where the people are happy and fun and the weather and eq. works for you, it can’t beat it.

As for the your 6-pack lic. This is what I did and it was a mistake that I have yet to go back and correct. Go ahead and get the 100 ton it really isn’t any more work. And could help your income by taking some deliveries if needed. Plus will look a lot better to future customers.
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Old 27-05-2005, 15:58   #10
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Lane: I wish I’d said that - a thoughtful, well written, analysis of some of the “harder truths” of chartering.
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Old 27-05-2005, 19:43   #11
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Thank you GordMay, I just don't want him going off with only the good parts of the idea and not the bad half with the hopes that this is going to completly support himself and wife and full fill his dreams. I would think most everyone on the site has had the same dream at one time or another. To line full time on the boat and beable to have the boat make our living while cruising. Some of us have followed it and some have not.
When I was doing it, it was just a part time job for me to pay for my playing and at one point had 2 boats runing almost full time with 1 captain full time and 1 part time.

The other consideration he needs to think about which is the main reason I stopped do it. Is once you start doing anything for "MONEY and HIRE" thast you love as a hobby. Guess what, it just doesn't seem to be as much fun as it used to be. After a few years I went from loving and always looking forward to getting out any chance I got to really dreading it. It just was no longer as enjoyable. Don't get me wrong there were still good times but they just seem to be a lot less of them then before.

I'm glad to say that I'm back to loving being out on the water again and my wife and I are currently looking for that special boat for us to retire on in a few years and head south cruising.

Hope this helps and I'm really sorry if I've damped your dreams, just make sure that you've got both eyes wide open while investigating this project and good luck hope it works out for you.
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Old 27-05-2005, 20:15   #12
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I too echo GordMay's comment.
If I may concise your reply a little, errr, and rephrase it for Sean and any others interested.
Chartering is a supplementory lifestyle. 95% of Chater's out there, would be making a very poor living from their service. 5% of them are making a good living. The 95% do it because it does supplement their lifestyle and it can be very fun and rewarding, but they should never look at it as a well paid business venture.
Now don't get me wrong Sean, that is not to say Don't do it, I strongly recomend you give it a go. If you love meeting people, it would be a blast. But just be realistic that you probably won't get rich from it. But if you do happen to get rich, remember us lowly ones that gave you the advice
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Old 28-05-2005, 17:39   #13
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I have a friend who did this. He loved it, he did say , he never made much money at it, but that he enjoyed it, and it did help suppliment his protracted trip to the southerly climes.
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Old 02-06-2005, 00:24   #14
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Thank you, all.

Sorry I haven't been on for a bit. I'm in the 100 Ton Master's class, doing offers on boats... etc... you all know the drill...

Lane: What you bring up is actually my biggest fear. I used to compete professionally in snowboarding at one point, but quit very quickly because it took the joy out of the sport. I am most definitely worried this could happen with sailing too.

Alan(Wheels): I am most definitely not looking at it as a way to get rich or even make decent money. We (me and wife) are very used to living cheaply, and we actually have fun at it. As long as we make enough to support the boat and put a few bucks away per year (I'm talking like $15K or something), we will be happy. We see it as a way to live the way we want to and stay healthy (through exercise and eating right) while adding to our savings/investment. Even putting away $10K a year is more than many people on land are able to do.


Again, thanks to everyone for your input. It is valued and we are taking it into serious consideration.
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Old 10-06-2005, 13:31   #15
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Check out this link...

Here is a link regarding a drop of what I had earlier called "protectionist" laws concerning US laid keels for charter (or coastwise documentation). As it turns out, everyone I had talked to was incorrect (brokers, etc...). The truth is found on the USCG site at this link. There is a waiver for non-US boats:

http://www.marad.dot.gov/Programs/sm...sel/index.html
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