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Old 18-04-2013, 23:42   #31
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Innisfail, North Queensland, Australia
Boat: Lagoon 380 #241
Posts: 263
Re: Costs to upgrade Ex-charter

I really don't see how buying an ex charter boat is any different to buying any secondhand boat as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open. Obviously, you must do all the due diligence with out of the water surveys etc. Weigh up what its worth in the market place & in consideration with how much you might have to spend. Same would be the case for secondhand property!

The thing is you don't have to spend it all at once. It has taken us 18 months to get where we are with her, & in the mean time we have had 18 months of total enjoyment cruising our beautiful coastal waters, islands & the Great Barrier Reef.

Sure you can get lucky (we believe we have), or get unlucky also. Its OK for those who have the money to buy new or secondhand owners boats. Many people have all the gadgets on their boats, but that's not what we wanted. At this time we don't want air conditioning, water maker, micro wave, big genset etc. If & when we do require these things then we can install to our liking.

Some not mentioned pluses for ex charter boats:
* In our case we bought a boat that was owned by the Charter company (one of the largest world wide). It wasn't owned by a third party investor. So when we made an offer below the already low advertised price, it just came down to dollars & cents for them .. no emotion involved. So haggle a price, especially now.
* Similarly ALL issues found in the survey were corrected by the company before final hand over. They have full time maintenance staff on hand so no skin off their teeth.
* As it was a charter boat it was in current survey here in Queensland, Australia. In this state it is a 1F survey for bareboat charter. This means that it has to comply to various safety & construction requirements. In fact it is cheaper to continue to keep her in survey, thereby giving us the chance to return her to charter if ever we wanted, though this is highly unlikely. As she was sold in survey, she had all her various safety equipment & certifications intact.
* She was also sold to us with all the extra equipment that is necessary for charter operation eg all cutlery, utensils, fire extinguishers, life jackets, spare belts, filters, impelors, emergency nav lights, etc etc.
* Yes the motors have done many hours, yet they still purr nicely & economically & as yet apart from normal maintenance & upkeep, have not given us any surprises. It is in the Charter companies best interest to regularly maintain boats to avoid down time or interrupted charters. Not good for reputation.

Yes the windows were scratched & dull because of their cleaning methods, but this only took a bit of elbow grease to polish them back to "clear".

As to being knocked around. This can be the case for any secondhand boat. Have a friend who spent 8 years building his very large & immaculate catamaran & launched it around the same time we got ours. Much to his dismay he has come to grief many times while docking & now he is accepting of the "dings" he has put into the hulls.

Ours has no damage underwater what so ever.

I am not trying to justify our decisions to others, don't feel I have to. Just pointing out that ex charter makes sense to some (us) & can mean a way for some of us to "get out there". We bought her as a lifestyle investment as we intend to retire & live aboard & cruise within 2 years.

I attach some photos of her taken 2 weeks ago when she was hauled out for antifouling, polishing & maintenance etc.



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Old 18-04-2013, 23:53   #32
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Location: Mackay,QLD, Australia
Boat: planning a approx 45ft cat
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Re: Costs to upgrade Ex-charter

Nice vessel gspeak. Congratulations.

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Old 19-04-2013, 02:22   #33
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Re: Costs to upgrade Ex-charter

Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Some will tell you that a marine diesel engines life is around 5000 hours. I believe that a properly cared for diesel will last much longer. At 4000 hours you have to be ready for anything as you do not know the history good or bad of the rookies that used and abused it. Transmissions get slammed forward and reverse thousands of times

Phase out does not take care of the nicks, dents, scratches and blems throughout the boat. The cleaning crews use abrasive cleaners on the lexan windows which makes them blurry and hard to view out of. They use bleach on the wooden laminates which permanently stains them. Most switches would need replacing. A lot of things will be very sun baked in the full time Caribbean sun and will break or unstitch at the slightest touch

As I said, you have to be very handy to fix things on the fly as your first few years will be a big surprise
All that sounds pretty much the same as for any 5 year old plus boat - or at least should go into the inspection expecting all that (until proved otherwise!).

I agree that engines (and gearboxes) are a big unknown ($$$ ), but that same for all boats - but some owners can also stuff up a decent engine very quickly. Inspect, test and keep fingers crossed is what it always comes down to. Personally I would be happy with high hours (even with multiple "captains") and regular maintanence - engines die from lack of use, maintanence and age (particularly for the ancilliaries) as much as abuse.

I have never bought an ex-charter boat and no plans to do so, but if circumstances made it an option (especially on location) then I would be happy to give 'em a long hard look. A boat that has worked for it's living will have been maintained decently enough for purely commercial reasons (broken boat = no sales) and they won't have ceased to be a decent enough boat 1 day after leaving charter and even if they are that is what inspection is for, as for any boat - it is condition at time of purchase that counts (and what fixes / repairs are negotiated in).........I figure with a Charter Boat that basic can be a bonus, allows new owner to not only fit exactly what they want but also for extended cruising means that most of the ancilliaries will have many years left in them rather than having the replacement, upgrade and repair process starting as soon as ya cast off the lines........whether all makes sense financially simply comes down to price at purchase and intended use.

Bumps and scratches and less than perfection? - it's a 5 year old boat, if yer want perfection then buy new.......and enjoy for the first month .

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