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Old 19-08-2006, 09:17   #1
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Successful & Happy Ex-Charter Conversion

I did search to see what was already out there..and with the exception of one positive comment, it usually rains heavily with negative comments & warnings (rightfully so) about buying ex-Charter boats.
OK..............agree it is a risky proposition yet I want to hear from those who have or know others who took the risk and were successful.
Or maybe those who did it and would not do it again.....lessons learned.
People with skin in the game rather than outsiderers.
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Old 19-08-2006, 09:48   #2
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There was a period of time where my boat was used for charter, mostly day sails. There is some "it isn't my boat" damage but for the most part the boat is in good shape structurally. One thing about charter is that the boat will recieve regular maintenance and survey. IN some cases this may be better than what a neglectiful owner might provide. In fact most of the real damage was caused by the owner who purchased her after charter and left her in the slip unused years. In the end I suspect it is a boat by boat decision.
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Old 19-08-2006, 09:48   #3
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There was a period of time where my boat was used for charter, mostly day sails. There is some "it isn't my boat" damage but for the most part the boat is in good shape structurally. One thing about charter is that the boat will recieve regular maintenance and survey. IN some cases this may be better than what a neglectiful owner might provide. In fact most of the real damage was caused by the owner who purchased her after charter and left her in the slip unused years. In the end I suspect it is a boat by boat decision.
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Old 19-08-2006, 11:21   #4
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My boat was built for the charter trade down in Florida. I presume it was used for that for it's first 5 or 6 years of existance. Since the boat is built really well (IMHO), I don't think that it was a factor. The previous owner, however, is another story.
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Old 19-08-2006, 13:33   #5
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Helpful + Interesting Stuff

PV & Thomas:
Thanks so much for your comments.............helps to hear from people who have actually done it.

Thomas - enjoyed your web site................especially some one looking up the mountain I call "about to buy a boat". You cover so many things that are helpful & educational for every phase of the journey.........and I'm not done reading the whole site yet = the later years.

Thanks again.........
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Old 19-08-2006, 13:56   #6
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Chute - thanks for the kind words - it was hoped that it would be useful to some folks, glad to hear it is for you!
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Old 19-08-2006, 14:13   #7
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I think that there is something to be said for buying a boat that was run as a crewed charter. Especially if it's privately owned.

It's the boats out of bareboat charter service (where inexperienced sailors just rent 'em, take 'em out, and beat on 'em) that you may want to think twice about.

See... with crewed charter boats (espcially owned by their captains), you are likely to get a boat that was maintained to a much higher standard than "average joe boat owner" would have cause to do. Why? The captain/owner has responibilities for the lives of his passengers, and has to have the vessel in top working condition to make money.

If I were purchasing a boat again, I'd be zeroing in on boats that were chartered for sure!

Beats some hulk of a hull that has been just sitting around rotting away for years because the owner lost interest.
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Old 19-08-2006, 14:39   #8
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How to find those?

Captain Sean:
Good thoughts...............how would You be able to identify those owned / crewed chartered boats? .........and what do You think the ratio of those would be vs ordinary Charter boats?

Knowing the history of the boat is important starting point in evaluating a potential purchase. Then identifying as many flaws as possible, factoring in the wear/tear, calculating the costs to bring the boat to a desired level and then measuring the price compared to other market examples.
Just thinking out loud...........and wanting to learn more.
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Old 19-08-2006, 18:22   #9
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Chuteman:

You're doing a great job attacking the problem of buying a boat. You have it right in identifying flaws, wear and tear, factoring in the cost of brining the boat to the desired level. You must have done a good deal of reading to get to this point. To me, it sounds like you are in the right mind frame to purchase. Of course... one will come along and "steal your heart", but it happens to the best of us! ha ha ha

Anyway, I am not so sure you will be able to go out and specifically check out owner-chartered boats or crewed charter boats by looking online. You may ask some brokers, or you may look at finding charter businesses for sale (I had mine up on the market at one time, but chose not to sell the boat - just closed up the business). If you find a charter business up for sale with a boat you like, you can always make an offer to the owner for just the boat and see if he takes it. People sell for many reasons, but someone who is selling a boat they ran as a business is probably selling for personal reasons which are kind of urgent.

You may find yourself a deal on a boat that is in near perfect condition.

I would say the ratio of these boats vs. boats that were chartered in bareboat fleets is probably 1:6? That's only a guess. That is 1 owner-chartered (crewed charter) boat, for every 6 you get from the Carib that has been in the charter program down there.

Hope this helps. Lots of hearsay, but in my experience, this is what I have heard and know first hand, having previously looked at selling my boat, which incidentally I ran as a crewed charter boat. (it's not for sale though!)

I put a good $23K into it that many owners wouldn't even think about doing since it isn't their business and they don't have the responsibility of maintenance required to ensure passenger safety.
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Old 19-08-2006, 18:23   #10
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By the way... a boat that was well maintained and run as a business will by DEFINITION have the reciepts from all the maintenance!
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Old 19-08-2006, 23:30   #11
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Also keep in mind that people who have a boat strictly for their own use will often make modifications to suit their tastes that are not necessarily optimal choices for you desired use of the boat. A charter boat is going to be as conventional as possible. Often people will just keep raising the wateerline to accomodate all the crap they think they need. Somehow, I think a 10k genset and hydraulic winches on a 30' boat might not be what you are looking for
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Old 20-08-2006, 08:45   #12
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Captain S:
That 1 to 6 ratio (just an estimate, I know) surprised me a little when you see Moorings/Sunsail fleets @ various bases or Athens charter center.
But a owner/crewed boat offers many advantages yet many ads I've seen are for pretty large yachts > 45'.................will keep my eyes & ears open.

Captain KN:
Agree on boat setup & arrangements............which is one of my concerns about a privately owned yacht ...20 yrs old - just right for them. I would have the same investment in time to adjust the boat - just for me.

Finding a boat = is this like the Lottery or Russion Roulette?
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Old 20-08-2006, 09:58   #13
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Ha ha ha... yes. True. Getting the boat "right for you" will be a pretty large undertaking. This is why when you are looking, you can either view it as a total tear-down (not worrying about what equipment you get), or hunt like crazy for the one with everything you want already installed.

I agree that most chartered yachts are in the 45+ range. I didn't know what size boat you were looking for. I may have missed that in the thread.

If you are looking in the 30ft range, you will likely not be able to find any chartered boats, except maybe some old Hunters from that SunSail program or something.
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Old 20-08-2006, 10:23   #14
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Crewed & Size

Captain S:
Yes, I was talking about many crewed charter boats as being larger than 45' often seen way bigger than 50'.

My target boat is 40-45'...........I've sailed on 24 to 52' primarily and will also acknowledge the purchase & maintenance cost reality = increases as the boat gets larger sometimes as multiples.

Hopefully, I will hear from people who have chosen boats from the bareboat fleets too.
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Old 21-08-2006, 11:07   #15
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Hi Chuteman:

I currently have a yacht in a bareboat fleet. It is in Olympic Circle Sailing Club in Berkely. I must say that they have done a premier job of maintaining the boat. It is in really good shape. The boat is a yellow J-105. I can honestly say that if I were buying a boat that they wanted to go into their fleet I would do it again. It seems to me that it is good for a boat to be used and I don't get down there often enough to sail it. I am selling it now but the broker who listed it even said that the boat has been well maintained.

OTH most charter companies don't want a boat that is more than five years old. I think that is b/c at that point the boats begin to require more mainteance.

The financials work out well on the charters as long as you pick your company right.

I bought this boat from the charter fleet and left it in OCSC.
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