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Old 23-12-2007, 00:47   #1
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Purchasing a used 40' - 45' out of a Mediterranean charter fleet.

My wife and I, along withour two sons - 13 and 15 are looking to purchase a used 40 - 45 footer out of a mediterranean charter fleet (though this is not our sole avenue for purchase - but we are leaning toward it). We then plan on cruising the area for a couple of years. Has anybody bought a time expired boat (read: outlived it's useful life - no longer sparkly in new condition) from a charter fleet, or know of anybody who has? We're considering something from the Jeanneau range - and anything up to about ten years old.

Cheers
John and Bobbie
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Old 23-12-2007, 02:15   #2
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Caveat emptor, John and Bobby. I am not saying that good deals cannot be had, but understand that Charter boats have been used for many more hours by often inexperienced, or careless sailors than the average privately owned vessel. Typically, they are being sold not just because they they are no longer 'sparkly new', but because the cost of maintenace has made them unprofitable.

In addition, they are not really set up for extended liveaboard cruising. The cost of adding an SSB, storm sails, light air sails, decent ground tackle, epirb, watermaker etc., etc. can really add up. Finally, the 'Charter' layout typically empasizes berth space over storage space and , oft times, an adequate chart table, etc.

You may be better off looking for a boat that has been cruised and is equipped therefore. Some are 'taken out of service' by their owners not because the boat is worn out, but because either they or their dreams wore out. If you really want to go the route of an ex-charter yacht, check magazines that have customer ratings of the charter company in question. Some companies are notorious for poorly maintained boats. If the boats still in service are notorious for breakdowns and overall condition, just think of what the ones they take out of service must be like.

Brad & Jane
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Old 23-12-2007, 06:19   #3
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But on the other hand they are never raced, never have high rig stress sails used, only used in daylight, much better maintained than any other yacht in regularity of expert mechanics, the engine is well used which can be better than not used, is not burdoned with junk you don't want like airconditioners, heaters, microwaves....
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Old 23-12-2007, 06:38   #4
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Welcome to the forum. I rounded up your duplicate posts and kept this one. Please - one post per topic. You really don't need to crosspost in more than one section.

I'm familiar with the CSY 44 having owned a CSY 33 and been on the 37 and 44 as well. Your budget is tight. Not so much for the initial purchase price but for any refit required. Refitting a 40 - 50 ft boat takes a lot of time as well as money. You should expect to pay additional money to make these boats ready in this lower end of the price range. All the boats you list can be had for the price but only at the lower end of the range. It means they will need work (measured in money).

The CSY is a heavy boat that can carry a large amount of stuff. I would consider that a primary requirement. The tanks are large and the boats are dry. You won't have problems with the hulls but almost anything else may need some refitting if it has not been refit already. They are all now over 25 years old so that means much of the original gear may need replacement or at least a serious round of maintenance. Many have been refitted quite well and I think they tend to be worth the effort. These are boats you will never win the ugly boat contest with. For the most part the better refits sell for a bit more than 100K however times and money has changed.

Stories of things these boats survived and destroyed without a scratch are numerous. The owners group can be found at http://www.topica.com/CSY . You will find a very friendly bunch eager to help with advice. For specific questions it's never a bad idea to find the folks that actually own them. They know all the reasons to buy them best. They also know the problems and how to deal with them. Almost everything that can be done with a CSY has been done by these folks. One and only one negative thing is they used a lot of Formica below trimmed in teak.

The CSY Gulfstar is not related to these boats. The 44's came in mostly walk overs with the later boats being walk throughs. They all started life as a 5-5 deep draft hull and many had the bottom half of the keel cut off to make them shoal draft. We had a CSY 33 deep draft and I will always have fond things to say about it.
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Old 23-12-2007, 07:13   #5
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Mark, I beg to differ. Cruising boats are seldom raced, are much less apt to be (or at least apt much less frequently to be) run into docks etc.; much less apt to drag anchor and...; much less apt to be oversheeted; or alternatively, much less apt to be sailed in heavy conditions with improper trim and wildly luffing sails; much less apt to have cheap, blown out production-boat sails but rather more apt to have heavier and better constructed offshore sails with adequate reef points; much less apt to have diesels with HUGE hours for the vintage of the boat (and that are likely to have been run low on oil by charterers).

Yes, cruising boats frequently DO have microwaves, blenders and the like, but with the battery bank, high output alternators, wind generators and solar panels necessary to support them and the autopilots, radios and proper refrigeration needed for extended cruising. As to heaters, unless you are always sailing in tropical climates, they are hugely advantageous.

Anyway, I am not saying that there are no 'bargains' to be had, I am only saying that what at first looks to be a bargain will rapidly lose that status if you are required to spend a fortune on the upgrades and new gear required for extended cruising. I also wonder how well suited many of the boats are for sailing in rough conditions. Its not just the lack of jacklines, storm sails, sea anchors/drogues, SSB radios, epirbs and the like. It is also the lack of strategic handholds below, locking mechanisms for cupboards and proper sea berths. AND the level/quality of maintenance clearly varies from Charter company to Charter company.

Don't need all this safety stuff? Even if the boat is only intended to be used in the general area in which it was originally chartered, conditions can be get very bad in the Med and between islands in the Caribbean en route to a safe spot for hurricane season.

Brad
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Old 23-12-2007, 08:08   #6
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Anyway, I am not saying that there are no 'bargains' to be had, I am only saying that what at first looks to be a bargain will rapidly lose that status if you are required to spend a fortune on the upgrades and new gear required for extended cruising.
I would strongly agree. With a 40+ ft boat these numbers get big quickly - even doing all the work yourself. Time becomes a factor. A year is not out of the ordinary. Making the budget and the time work is a careful consideration. It costs more and takes longer than you think.

Purchasing a boat long distance will add hidden costs just in the completion of due diligence. The costs of going back and forth and making arrangements can be costly and don't really make the boat better. You are basically deciding if you really want to purchase the boat. After the sale you get forced to make repairs in places you might not otherwise choose and the transportation and accommodation costs for all the trips add up. Doing this overseas far from home could be in the thousands of dollars in extra money.
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Old 23-12-2007, 13:33   #7
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With the devaluation of the dollar why would anyone want to go to the the Med to buy? Other than the desire to cruise that particular destination?

A lot of US boats are currently being bought and moved to Australia and the Med.
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Old 23-12-2007, 19:37   #8
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2 cents mode - I think there are a lot of cruising boats that would have to be refit as well.

The issue with charter boats in my mind is that the owner pretty much knows flat out what the thing is worth. Unless the boat is "damaged" or the charter company is going out of business there should be few deals. They know the new price, the depreciation and what they can sell it for after X years. If they didn't they would be out of business in short order.

Any used boat is a crap shoot. There are cruisers that you can walk on with your luggage and go and then there are boat yard queens that will drain your bank and your life.

There are good used charter boats and probably some crap ones.

If you are looking for a deal I think it's the individual seller with a boat note and a sub-prime mortgage coming due...
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Old 23-12-2007, 23:27   #9
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But does anybody know of anybody that has actually bought a boat out of a charter fleet? My wife and I have done the pros and cons thing and have come up with many of the arguements and counter-arguements offered here. Surely these boats are making it out of fleets and into the hands of real people.
Understand also that we are not necessarily after 'a deal' - though obviously we don't plan on throwing our money away. We'd like to cruise the Med for a couple of years so this is where we would like to initially purchase. It doesn't mean that we have ruled out the posibility of purchasing on the N. American east coast and sailing acoss - or of even having a boat transported over (this is not the most likely option though).
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Old 24-12-2007, 06:13   #10
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Yes, they are getting sold. What is harder to estimate is the price paid plus the extra money spent almost right away say the first 6 months. Any used boat will have extra costs to get the boat back into great shape. Many of the better charter boats go back to charter at companies with older boats who charter for less money.

A charter boat gets far greater use in one year than a single owner would give it in several years (probably more). You don't know how many "quick fixes" were done to get the boat back in service sooner. It's a variable you can't know and can't easily be found. It is this uncertainty that makes many people skeptical about chartered boats.

With an unchartered boat you can estimate the value a lot easier based on age equipment and a purchase survey. With a chartered boat the survey has to be everything. An 8 year old boat might survey like a 20 years old boat. It is this uncertainty that can make people spending a lot of money too nervous to close the deal. How solid does something have to be to let you spend $150,000 not knowing how much more it will cost you? It is this uncertainty that has to weigh heaviest in your list of pros and cons. Other than that they are just another used boat and nothing more.

Charter boats were initially purchased knowing how long the useful profitable life of the boat would be before they bought them! They probably are not true blue water boats either. You will always be buying a boat that is more profitable to sell than to rent. You can be sure the charter company can do the math better than you can.

The CN dollar has gained on the US dollar to the point that your money can go a heck of a lot farther here than it used to including taxes. Against the Euro you still have lost as much as the US has. You may be able to buy, outfit, provision and transport a boat from the US to the Med cheapest and have more boats to pick from and be closer to home to complete the deal. You could maybe buy a CN boat and repair it in the US cheaper still once you consider taxes. Don't forget to add the additional costs it will take to do the initial selection, the survey, and then pay for all the repairs fixes in EU dollars, and house and feed yourselves for a period of weeks! This isn't an easy task but actually more of a complicated monetary conversion process of adding it all up. The price isn't the whole cost.

There is the purchase price plus the taxes, insurance, costs to make ready and provision. I don't see how the latter costs are less than $20,000 US and that assumes a pretty decent boat without a lot of stuff to fix - it could be far more. The other end of this boat purchase is the one that can shock you. Spent in EU dollars add 33%. You are entering the the commerce of world trade and you need to do the math. Where you buy things matters in significantly large numbers.
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Old 24-12-2007, 06:29   #11
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But does anybody know of anybody that has actually bought a boat out of a charter fleet?
No, I don't, but what you are looking at is one of the options we are considering and have looked into for down the road a couple of years, though we are looking at Caribbean/Florida. We would sell our current boat up here and buy down there. These boats sell for much less than what we could buy one for up here. Buying one down there means we don't do the ditch slog which doesn't look appealing to us. Except one way, because if we do this we will cruise down there for a year or two then sail it home and continue to sail it in our great lakes home waters.

It's no different than buying any other boat, you're going to get a survey right? I would not buy or look at older charter boats coming out of 2nd rate fleets, only ones coming off charter with one of the bigger charter firms (moorings/sunsail) at the end of its first 5 years. The reason why is the boats seem to go downhill once they leave the big guys hands. We chartered a Moorings (Beneteau) 33 that was in its last few months of 1st string charter and the boat was pristine with only a few minor detail issues, like a zipper broke on the sailmate at the mast, that type of thing. We also chartered a Moorings (Beneteau) 411 that was in Moorings 2nd rate fleet, Footloose. Even though this boat was only 2 years out of Moorings main fleet, the difference in maintenance was striking. Sails were blown out, rigging was slack, bottom filthy, head odours. This boat was still basically sound and everything did work on it but it's clear they weren't maintaining it as well. Both of these boats had over 4K hours on the engines but both engines ran fine and didn't consume any fluids over the week.

For what we want, which does not involve crossing oceans, these boats are fine. We currently have no space issues on our 28', so feel a 33 to a 36 is all we need. Plus we like the two cabin layout with a big aft. Moorings is selling 361's for $85K "asking price", and the 332's are $65K asking. For 5 year old boats, those are pretty damn good prices and for a cruise like we are planning they don't need a hell of a lot added to them.

Maybe you should do a BVI charter and have a personal look at some of these boats, we've found that the Moorings staff were more than happy to let us poke around boats that were at the dock when we told them what we are thinking. You'd learn a lot just doing that. I can't help you with the Med part though, your mileage might vary over there especially with prices. But for sure I think the stuff coming out of first string charter on this side of the ocean are a good and reasonable deal for what we want to do. Good luck!
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Old 24-12-2007, 08:08   #12
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Possibly contact the charter company you are considering buying the boat from and ask them for references. Tell them you would like to speak with some of the folks who have bought boats from them.
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Old 24-12-2007, 11:01   #13
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As I do not know anyone who has bought an ex charter vessel I did not jump straight in (I must be having an off day )......but from what I have read over the years it very much depends on what you buy and why. I have read a few threads like this over the years and most folk are doomsayers on the principle.

But I do not see how just cos' a boat stopped being chartered it automatically means that a week later it is fit only for the scrap yard anymore than simply because a yacht has been in private ownership does it mean that it is without faults.

If I was buying a Yacht overseas to keep based overseas for holiday use a few times a year I would consider an ex charter vessel, it's based in the right place for starters. All depends on how the £££'s stack up.....it is not as if the likely areas of concern cannot be thought through and investigated on the specific boat before purchase.

Just to say, that the odds are that any Ex-Charter vessel in the (EU) Med will be sold ex-Vat, which has plusses and minuses. No problem if you want to later pay the VAT, but be aware that different EU countries have different rates, so a boat in Italy may not total the same as one in France etc (I forget the actual VAT rates!).

Maybe a Euro priced boat is at the moment priced higher than the equivalent in the US (and Canada?), but of course transatlantic delivery costs and equipment would have be factored in and all things being equal the eventual sale price should also be higher.
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Old 31-12-2007, 05:58   #14
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<Has anybody bought a time expired boat (read: outlived it's useful life - no longer sparkly in new condition) from a charter fleet…>

So long as you go in with your eyes wide open, there is no systemic reason to shy away from this – assuming an acceptable survey… I did that about twenty years ago in your size range for a live-aboard, and as far as I could tell most of the liabilities we incurred were those that the manufacturer built in, not because it had come out of a charter fleet… What may have been attributable to charter life in our case: the sails from constant exposure to the Caribbean sun were marginal – restitching only bought about two more years – and the rigging needed some maintenance in a area or two, but both of those are normal wear and tear items anyway… we spent some time sprucing up things below-deck, but was only relatively minor things (varnish and some upholstery) not a major refit as the systems all worked…

I’d just look at it boat on boat and make sure the surveyor is working for you not anyone else… we hired a crotchety old surveyor, who spent hours on the boat and wouldn’t pass it for insurance right off, but the fixes were minor and we had few surprises thereafter…
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Old 31-12-2007, 07:08   #15
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Looking for a small crusing yacht.

I'm brand new to the forum and want to wish all a Happy New Year!

I'm looking for a small sloop to do a double handed Atlantic circuit. Lookiing at Crealock 34s and 37s and wonder if anyone has thoughts on those or alternative boats?
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