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Old 13-06-2019, 23:19   #1
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Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Hello community,

I am new to the yacht world. As part of our family planning, we are looking to acquire a catamaran, we very much appreciate your (personal) opinions on our big decision. Here is a little background of our story.
  • We are a moderous family with 2-3 small kids (ie 4-5 people), who wants to explore the mediterranean for half of a year in the near future (before school starts for our oldest kid).
  • We have narrowed down our vessel of choice to a sailing catamaran.
  • We'd like to take the opportunity to enter the chartering business after our half of a year adventure, using the charter income to pay for the boat loan. Hence owning instead of chartering.
  • Our budget will also be extremely tight, namely strictly limited to 200k , assuming a bank is willing to accept a 30% (60k )down-payment, and the rest spread over 10 years or so.

Here are the options we have explored
The Aventura 34 with options will fall just into our budget before VAT. Since we will be handing the yacht to a charter management after her first season, we are ok with having her VAT not paid.
The pros are
  • Brand new yacht requires no family time to fix her up
  • Bali-like modern layout with lots of sun light
  • Low marina costs (berth, haul out, maintenance etc) due to its size
  • Lower cost reflected from African labour, potentially not from construction.
  • If we place the order now, the delivery time lines up rather well with our travel plan.
The cons are
  • Lack proven history in terms of quality as compared to big brands (Lagoon, FP).
  • Unknown resale value due to not being a mainstream brand.
  • My family barely fits in. We will need a yacht upgrade between 5-10 years.
  • Possible use of inferior parts/materials in boat, eg. monolithic polyester, Nanni saildrives.
  • Unknown chartering potential.
The alternative to that would be a 10yo ex-charter Lagoon/FP in 40ft'.
The pros are
  • Both overall length and beam would be about 2m longer.
  • Proven success in quality, chartering market, resale market.
  • More space for kids to run around.
The cons are
  • Potential fix-ups eat our limited family time.
  • Charter layout has too many heads than we need, hence less efficient space usage for a family.
  • Yacht age may negatively influence the loan we can get.
  • Yacht age may also disfavour chartering potential.
  • We may not find one within our budget, then the family voyage is ruined.

Because we are novice, we will take any input from you into consideration. Also because we are novice, we lack certain common senses that are the shared among the community. Hence try not to speak sarcastically. Try to spell it out for us.

Thanks,
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Old 20-06-2019, 15:33   #2
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Not really important but maybe you should first sort out how many kids you have? 2 or 3?


Things to consider :
Check if you can find a bank willing to finance a 10yo boat for another 10 years with a 30% down payment and a tight budget (enough income? maybe a house you can get a mortgage on?). Boat loans aren't mainstream in Germany and may be hard to get!

Check if you can find a charter base in the Med willing to charter a 10yo cat for another 10 years. Or willing to charter a tiny Aventura. That is for sure possible but again not mainstream and the deals to be had may not be favourable. Think hard if you really want to be in the charter business.
If its because you honestly can't afford the boat then maybe its not a smart idea.

Going with a VAT unpaid boat imposes a certain risk of being charged VAT plus fines, and spending weeks / months chained to a filthy customs dock. I don't think this is likely to happen, but if they get you its a big chunk to swallow and the holiday is ruined. Can you afford to pay 30-35% of boat value on a short notice? Not really a likely thing to happen, but still...


You seem to think the Aventura will be delivered on time, in budget, turnkey and hassle free. I have no experience with new boat but I have some doubts. A new boat will eat lots of time and money - they all do.
Think how easy the boat will sell on a short notice. Say you run into financial troubles towards the end of the trip and you need a quick exit. Which one sells quicker and for a more predictable price: Aventura or FP/Lagoon/Leopard?


I'd suggest to go with a smaller FP / Lagoon / Leopard.
For 2 (or 3) kids and also for chartering a Lagoon 380 or small Leopard sounds ideal. FP Mahe would be big enough, but won't charter well (too few beds & to few heads).
Bigger will be out of reach for you, or already very old and in need of refit (and out of budget once refitted).


Budget... You need to figure out a total budget for your sabatical. Not only for buying the boat but for running it, daily expenses, funds to return back home, funds to keep the boat somewhere after the trip (for a Lagoon 380 you can spend anywhere between 4k and 20k per year just for a mooring). And don't forget emergencies...
Say a month into the trip you have to spend 4 weeks in an expensive marina in season to get an engine rebuilt. 5000 for the engine, 3000 for the marina (exactly what happened to us). Can you handle that without issues? Plus maybe some other unforeseen mishaps that _will_ happen?

Actually I don't think you should try to finance unless you have particular reasons to do that. Not having saved hard enough is not a smart reason. Hoping that the stock market will continue to outpace loan interest is not a smart reason. Actually the only reason I can think of is all money tied into real estate that is generating very good income.

Be honest to yourself and think very hard if you can really afford that plan - even if things go wrong. If the answer is no then consider alternatives.
Maybe go with a small / cheap boat that you can easily afford without having to charter it. Does it have to be a cat? I know that its nice to picture yourself aboard a nice modern cat, and a sailing cat is surely nice for long distance travels and liveaboard in regions with lots of space. But realistically the med has expensive mooring (or no mooring at all), very tight spaces even at anchor, very little / too much wind so sailing doesn't happen as often as hoped for, ...

Most marinas are very expensive in season (a 380 will easily cost 150 Euro per night in high season, or much more in prime locations) and often there is no space available at all for a cat. So you have to stay at anchor most of the time. And constantly watch the weather and move if weather does not allow you to stay - even at night. With small kids this can be a challenge.


Spending half a year in the med onboard is only feasible in season. Say May to October, maybe April to November but that can be nasty already. Outside that timeslot its too cold / miserable / wet / windy to live aboard with small kids. Think how this fits for your time constraints for the oldest kid and school. Maybe postpone elementary school for a year (not a problem typically).



How do I know? Back in 2010 we bought a Lagoon 410, in 2011/2012 we sailed the Med and the Caribbean for 11 months, and sold the boat there to fly back home. Back then we had 2 pre-school kids.
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Old 20-06-2019, 23:41   #3
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Hello rabbi,


thank you for your valueable input.
Let me first clarify the 2-3 kids thing. We have currently 2, the 3rd is in production, so it is not counted until it comes out of production.
We have decided to make use of the "Elternzeit+Elterngeld" for the 3rd kid, so we spontaneously agreed to make a half of a year Med tour to do island hopping. Because of the spontaneity, we are not financially prepared. The boat loan calculation is based on the best scenario with our savings and credit granting from a bank. But then our financial situation will be so tightly calculated that if anything unexpected comes, we will be doomed. The wish for a catamaran is for the extra comfort. And the Aventura being brand new is a wishful thinking that nothing unexpected can come. But it is now ruled out anyway due to its category B certification.

After seeing your comments/opinions, that got us rethink carefully. To be prepared for the unexpected, I guess we cannot afford the extra comfort at the moment. Instead we will look for a well-kept used monohull in the 100k Euro range, and leave some cash to spend during our journey.
May I follow up on a couple extra questions?
  • How much in total (including depreciation on the L410) did you end up spending for your 2011/2012 journey?
  • For island hopping, what is the reasonable draft depth would be convenient? Shallow keel monohull is quite hard to come by, and it is usually still in the range of 1.7m
  • What overall boat length one needs to have the equivalent space of a L380/L400? Our kids will definitely run around everywhere on the boat.
  • For which months does one need a heater?

Many thanks again for sharing your experience/opinions.
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Old 20-06-2019, 23:57   #4
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

No offense, but buying a boat for half a year without sailing experience seems like a really really bad idea. It’s just too much hassle and you will spend considerably more than you initially thought.

Just charter for a few weeks at a time and/or buy a small boat for day sailing in Germany.
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Old 21-06-2019, 03:43   #5
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Well, if you want to do 6 month sailing the Med there is no alternative to buying a boat. If you charter a 380 in season you will burn through your budget at an insane rate.


For us our 11mo trip turned out to cost very little: Under 20k Euro for living expenses, health insurance, flights, food, etc. We are frugal and spent very little on shore. The only boat related costs included here are mooring, Diesel and chandlery items cheap enough that we haven't tracked them separately.

Any bigger items we accounted as boat costs instead. The boat itself came out even, as we bought a true bargain. Between purchase and selling price we made good 15k Euro which covered the maintenance and repair bills during our 18mo ownership. At the end we sold in a direct no-broker deal and came out within 1k of our cost base.

But: That required a lot of work, and a lot of luck.

Imagine we had bought the boat at fair market price and sold her using a broker.
Fair price in 2010 would have resulted in roughly 15k deprecation, plus 15k repair & maintenance, and another 15k Broker fee. So being unlucky / lazy the cost could have been 45k Euro instead.

I can't comment on monos. Space is very different already between a 400 and a 380. But I have no clue how big a mono needs to be to give similar room. Maybe 45-50ft to match a Lagoon 380?


Heater.. depends where you are. From November to March you will probably run a heater frequently at daytime, depending where you are (sun helps a lot!). Night time is a different story.
But with really small kids you should have a heater ready for anything but summer. Imagine a kid is ill and you have to stuff him in a cold bed with no way of heating for days. Everything will be wet and cold from moisture. Bad idea.



Even if you stretch your budget you can not affort the comfort level you want. Financing a boat to go sailing while your income is reduced significantly sounds like a risky idea to me. If you are honest about your plans and finances no bank will give you a boat loan anyway.

To do a 6mo trip on a nice 200k catamaran I would need 250k cash as an absolute minimum, plus enough income to cover my living expenses. Others may want more or less.

With 60k cash I would be looking at 30-40k boats. That leaves a small cushion for troubles and will probably buy you a Maldives, or a Catalac, or some other older cat or mono. Of course this is more camping style than luxury cruising but 60k is not a luxury budget in the boating world.

Buying an RV may be smarter for a 6mo trip - lower risk, lower cost, easier to get in and out. At the end you can park it somewhere, while a boat will continue to cost lots of money until sold.
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Old 21-06-2019, 05:49   #6
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Thanks again for sharing.


We will be meeting with our bank soon. By then, we will find out how realistic our wish of having a 100k yacht will be. But we are optimistic.
We've been camping in our California from time to time. Our fugality is second to none. If you could managed 20k for 11 months, we can possibly do 10k for 4 months. And the rest of the time in a little California.


Perhaps one more question.
If we are looking to acquire an owner's yacht (not excharter), when would be the best time of the year?


A 30-40 footer with lifting keel may fit our bill.



Cheers,
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Old 21-06-2019, 06:03   #7
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

I forgot to mention: I am in no way saying that such a trip is a bad idea. Go and go rather earlier than later. The experience is spectacular for a family.

But think about what is important and go in a way that fits your budget and does not ruin your finances: 2 Kids can easily sleep in one cabin, and the toddler can sleep in the parent's cabin. More than that is optional IMO.
If you can live in a California then even a 30ft sailboat is big enough.



Think out of the box, like this one:
https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-...6171-211-21101
Maybe its possible to travel the canals to the Med?

Or this one:
https://www.boot24.com/segelboot/seg...1-cruiser.html
Just big enough. Keep in mind: Cost grows exponentially with boats.


As for best time to buy, I think nobody knows. There are several conflicting theories. Many people say early in winter as people just received their invoices reminding them that insurance and mooring are costly. Others say that towards the end of the season is when best deals come out.
But on the other hand buying a boat in the middle of the season may also be smart as most buyers already have different plans for the summer, and no time to visit boats.
I just don't know.

Don't be too concerned about depth. In the med its more important to have enough chain than to have shallow draft. You are not allowed to anchor close to the beach anyway.
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Old 21-06-2019, 06:59   #8
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Consider older catamarans...they may not be as snazy but they will be a lot cheaper, so you are less likely to get burnt by a mistake. You are new to this so it's easy to make an expensive mistake.

Example: We had a Catalac 10m (similar size) for a few years in Spain. It was older and not as snazzy as the Adventura parked across the way from us but it was 25k rather than 200k . You are pretty much guaranteed to lose 25k the second they hand you the keys, so even if we walked away completely from the Catalac, we would still be ahead. It will go all the same places and when you (or the kids) put a scratch in it...it's just another scratch not a huge emotional impact.

With 60k cash, you could buy a similar boat and keep 20-30k in reserve to cover issues and cruise debt free which will take a lot of the stress off. Then when you know what you want, you can upgrade later.

PS: We know a few people who bought new cruising boats...there are still a lot of costs and problems. Even if the problems are covered under warranty, there usually isn't a time limit for repairing them. We had friends on the Great Lakes lose an entire season waiting for warranty repairs. Do you want to risk that for your sabbatical?
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Old 22-06-2019, 15:00   #9
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

@rabbi
thanks again for the great tips.
We will calculate our finances carefully see if we can pull off with a 100k yacht for 4-5 months. But the ease of resell/charter can also be seen as a reduced risk factor.
We will pay attention to the heating option.
May I also ask how long it took you to acquire and sell a boat? Say from 1st contacting selling to paying everything, and from 1st listing the ad to receive money.
As we are stepping into mid-season, I guess we need to look harder now.


@valhalla360
I understand the "baby illness" from new yachts. However, overly old yachts have others problems to be ironed out.
For us, it may be more comfortable to take a loan, get a newish used yacht in the 100k range. After our season, it will be guaranteed to be easy to sell or to charter.


Candidate:

30-40 footer major brand with shallow/lifting keel.
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Old 22-06-2019, 15:28   #10
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Quote:
Originally Posted by axiomoixa View Post
@rabbi
thanks again for the great tips.
We will calculate our finances carefully see if we can pull off with a 100k yacht for 4-5 months. But the ease of resell/charter can also be seen as a reduced risk factor.
We will pay attention to the heating option.
May I also ask how long it took you to acquire and sell a boat? Say from 1st contacting selling to paying everything, and from 1st listing the ad to receive money.
As we are stepping into mid-season, I guess we need to look harder now.
Since you are now looking into monohulls my experience isn't really relevant. Mono and cat markets are worlds apart.

I have bought 3 cats since 2010 (Lagoon 410, FP Mahe, Lagoon 380). Each took me several months to find. Each was a true bargain for one reason or another. A lot of legwork was involved and many flights.

When I sold the 410 and 380 took about 2 weeks from first listing to contact with the final buyer (selling process itself can take longer, survey and handover, and all that). The Mahe was sold before it was even listed.

Each cat was priced well for the market, each was in great condition without any issues found on survey, and each sold at full asking price. The last one sold in October 2018: a 2008 Lagoon 380 for 180k.


But: Maybe my asking prices were too low but for me they were OK. I never heard anyone else sell a boat that fast. Average time to sell a cat seems to be around 4-6mo, but way more for monos.


A 100k Euro yacht is going to kill your fun and may even ruin you, unless you have some sources of income other than Elterngeld. Or maybe you have an extremely well paid job that you are guaranteed to return to after the parental leave, but that doesn't line up with only 60k savings.
Unless there is more to your income / wealth situation than you mentioned it seems to me you are trying to bite more than you can chew.

You could have as much fun on a simple small mono like this
https://www.boot24.com/segelboot/seg...1-cruiser.html
as we had on our cats. you just want to do some island hopping, not long passages or ocean crossings.


BTW: be honest about your plans when talking to the bank. Loans can be cancelled anytime if the bank sees you are running into financial trouble (and just the fact that your normal income is gone, and you are receiving Elterngeld instead could be enough to trigger that).
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Old 22-06-2019, 15:45   #11
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

But if a 100k yacht means only 1k monthly payment, I just need to make sure I allocate those couple thousands during my Elternzeit. Don't you think? After our season, then we can still resell it or hand it to charter management.

What's the insurance cost like for a 100k yacht?



How long would the entire purchase take? I am trying to time our first contact so that it will be about right for our take-off



Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
This 100k Euro yacht is going to kill your fun, unless you have some sources of income other than Elterngeld. Really, you are trying to bite more than you can chew. You will have as much fun on simple small mono like this
https://www.boot24.com/segelboot/seg...1-cruiser.html
as we had on our cats. Afterall you just want to do some island hopping, not long passages or ocean crossings.
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Old 22-06-2019, 16:02   #12
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

This is not like buying & selling a car. Its like buying & selling a house.

You can find the right boat in a day, or it may take you a year. So you may buy the boat 6mo or more before the trip.
Also you can not expect to be able to sell the boat on a short notice. It may take you 6mo or a year to sell - or you have to swallow large losses.
So its another year where you have to pay for the loan. And the running costs (marina, insurance), maybe 400-500 per month if you are in a cheap marina. Plus upkeep if you want to keep the boat in good condition.


You cannot expect to receive any significant charter income quickly. If you hand it over to the charter company in October, you will see the first income in June. Before that its just costing money (premier charter locations have very expensive marinas).


Insurance will be around 1000 per year I think.
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Old 22-06-2019, 22:59   #13
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Maybe I wasn’t clear enough:

This is a spectacular bad idea, you have no grasp about the things that boat ownership involves and your intend to charter the cat afterwards to recoup money won’t work.

You do not have anywhere near enough saved funds to spend on a newish catamaran.
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Old 23-06-2019, 00:20   #14
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

OP, I feel that you are living in a dream world, one dissociated from reality, and I fear that it is going to do you and your family harm.

With no experience to draw upon, you are at a huge disadvantage. You WILL make mistakes in your cruising, and they will entail significant expenses. Your proposed budget(s) do not allow for such events.

It WILL take much longer to find and purchase any boat than you think. The idea of precise timing of the purchase to slot into your plans is ludicrous... it just won't happen that way, just as Rabbi is trying to tell you.

I don't think there are many charter companies that will be interested in your <100K monohull. Counting on that as a get-out plan is naive and fraught with failure modes.

Selling a boat isn't like any other commodity IME. The market place is vague and is driven by emotions and advertising, not value and utility. This means that prompt sales are rare indeed, especially if you are insistent upon recouping your buying price. As Rabbi (a fount of practical advice IMO_ has said, just keeping a boat in good nick and in a marina so it can be sold by a broker costs a considerable monthly sum... and it has no discrete end point.

So, IMO your plans are doomed, at least as stated. IMO (again) if you want to pursue the dream, it should be in a <50 K$ monohull, to be purchased some months before planned departure. This gives you time to spend another perhaps 10 K$ getting it up to snuff for your trip. I think that budget would get you into a circa 40 foot mono in good enough nick to potz around the Med for a season, with enough slack to deal with whatever "events" might arise.

Of course, the degree of luxury is somewhat (!) reduced relative to a new catamaran. But ya know, we've been cruising for a long time and we've met a lot of young families with kids cruising on way smaller boats and having a hell of a good time,,, and covering far more miles than you propose. Like a couple with two boys, circa 10 and 12 years old, sailing a Vancouver 27. They had sailed from California two year earlier and we met them in French Polynesia. A year or so later they got to Oz and sold the boat and flew back to the USA. Compared to your budget they were paupers... but very happy paupers!

So your sabbatical can be done, and on your budget... just not the way you envision it. Please listen to those of us who have lots of miles, have owned lots of boats and who have seen lots of disappointed and sometimes ruined folks who knew better than us.

I hate being a parade rainmaer...

Jim
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Old 23-06-2019, 00:27   #15
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Re: Aventura 34 brandnew VS 40ft' excharter 10yo

Quote:
Originally Posted by axiomoixa View Post
...

How long would the entire purchase take? I am trying to time our first contact so that it will be about right for our take-off
Where in this plan to you intend to learn to sail?
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