I once owned a boat in charter which I took sole possession of after the charter contract
was up (7 years in my case), and later sold it. I've also bought cruising boats never in charter. Here's my thoughts:
1. Chartered or not, any boat is likely to need more maintenance as it ages. One reason charter companies pick the charter time frame they do, is that's when they feel the maintenance is no longer worth it for them.
2. That said, while charter boats get a lot of use, they also tend to get professional maintenance. Most boats for sale
by owner I've looked at are more poorly maintained and in need of more repair than charter boats at the end of charter I've seen. People wanting to sell their boats have often gotten behind in maintenance. I think the idea that charter boats will likely be in worse shape than non charter boats for sale
simply does not bear true overall. (I think there is much more variance in how boats for sale
by owner have been maintained and what condition they are in at the time of sale)
3. The boats coming out of Tui Marine
at least (Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose) have a given standard they should be maintained and repaired to coming out of their charter contract
. The standard is higher for Moorings than Footloose, at least that was the case when my boat came out of charter.
As with any used boat, hire a reputable surveyor
to check the boat over and make sure it is as advertised, so you are making the best possible informed decision. Realize a survey
may not include a proper engine
or rigging inspection
. Chartered or not, be ready to walk away from any potential boat sale
at anytime a survey
point simply doesn't make sense.
4. Some problems or likely future issues may be identified during a survey, but any boat can have unexpected issues come up at any time. You may have a few years with little maintenance costs or you may have a major engine
repair come up after just a year of ownership
5. When I took possession of my boat, I identified several small problems which the charter company fixed because they were not up to the promised standard.(I don't know if this would hold true for a boat sold straight out of charter or not) Cruising it back to the States, I had a problem with crud in the fuel
system (which is a common problem). That was the only maintenance issue I had for the year I owned the boat after charter and before selling it. (From what I've heard, the fuel
system simply isn't polished to the degree it should be, so crud that has settled nicely to the bottom of the tank and stayed there during charter, gets knocked loose in bigger seas and causes problems)
Obviously, if I had kept the boat longer, things like cutlass bearings, running rigging
, and all the things that eventually fail, would have failed and needed attention. I've purchased used boats that in 5 years of ownership
didn't need any new rigging. I've purchased boats, where I had to replace all the running rigging and both sails
. Other than the fuel problem, the engine worked great on my ex charter boat. Another boat needed a new transmission
system within a year of purchasing
it. When it comes to used boats, I don't think one can say anything is "standard" in terms of what maintenance will be needed.
6. Do your research
- what will it cost to slip your boat, insure it, etc? Will there be a time between the sale and time you will take possession and what will that cost? Will you have it delivered? What upgrades will you need depending on your intended use? When I picked up the boat, I brought my own tender
, jack lines, Eprib, spare GPS
, but otherwise sailed the boat the way it was with no costly upgrades. (cookware, nav equipment
, bedding, life raft were included) Obviously more serious ocean cruising would have required many more costly upgrades.