Osirissail, let us say that we agree - largely. Yes, most people prefer to charter a newer boat and yes, they are prepared to pay a premium for the same. Frankly, you can include me in that category and not because I am a snob for new designs.
Rather, having chartered years ago from a company who had a fleet of generally aging boats, I found the condition to be distressing; worse still, I found the refrigeration
break-down to be more than a nuisance on a short vacation
Yes, there are second-tier charter companies who make a living chartering older boats for less money
, just as there are hotels that are relatively run-down that rent out rooms for less money
. Personally, I would prefer to stay at a hotel/charter a boat that isn't
run down and in need of maintenance/upgrades. Others differ. What does not differ, I suggest, is that at a certain point, especially in the Charter trade
, a boat begins to get a bit run-down. Even though she may be a current
model (and a number of boat designs/models are kept essentially intact for more than 3 years), there will be disappointment from many charter parties at the stretched/re-stitched sails
, the stains/water marks in the interior
, the gelcoat
scratches, etc., especially if one is chartering from a 'first-tier charter company.' So yes, I believe that age as well as condition/maintenance needs are both factors in the first-tier companies decision to take a boat out of service.
In any event (and I am sure that you will agree), older boats (espeically in the Charter trade) are going to need more money spent on maintenance and upgrades than a newer boat of the same design, or the same boat that has been used more sparingly. Some buyers will be quite happy to save some initial outlay for a boat they are interested in and tolerate the trade-offs: substantial hours on the diesels, worn if not blown out sails
, heavily used systems etc. Others will not be.
This, however, is where your suggestion to charter form a second-tier company makes great sense for the prospective buyer - it truly will give you an idea of what your boat may look like in a few years, especially if it is to be chartered out until you are able to move aboard full-time.