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Old 13-03-2018, 16:33   #1
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Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Hi all! New to posting on CF, so I apologize if I'm posting to the wrong spot (please let me know!).

I've been a 15+ year bareboat cat charterer (mostly 40-52' with buddies, sometimes couples/families - 80% Caribbean, 20% elsewhere/exotic). As I near retirement, I've been thinking about taking the plunge and buying a comfy cruising cat (scary!). I had been thinking about a L45 sport top or FP 44, etc. e.g. something pretty easily shorthandable.

At my wife's suggestion, we just did a couples' "luxury" CREWED trip and it was a completely different experience and one she liked very much (always good to have a happy wife :-)).

... so, I'm now wondering whether I should switch gears and think about purchasing a larger cat and hiring a crew and running the yacht for charter when we're not using it (e.g. as a business). They could crew for us as needed or when my buddies are on board, we could give them time off the boat.

Because it really is about luxury/comfort, I'd likely lean towards a Lagoon (which I've sailed often), but have heard wonderful things about FP as well (lighter, > SAD mostly). [I've spent enough time on Leopards to realize they are really sturdy charter boats, but less great as luxury/crewed boats IMHO - others may differ of course!] Because we'd want friends + crew, we probably are talking 50' or larger.

Does anyone have advice for someone with random, all-over-the-map thinking like mine? I have a few months late this year available and was thinking of trying to charter a weeks' each of a crewed Saba 50, Lagoon 52, and maybe even a Ipanema 58 or L-620 at the other extreme with friends to have a great long sailing vacation and to see whether any of this is a good idea before I go any further down this path.

Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks!

ps: again, I apologize if this isn't the best place to post. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism welcome
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Old 13-03-2018, 17:10   #2
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

After a few years of research, we ordered a FP SABA. We'll be in crewed charter for a couple years while I wrap up business and we go cruising.

My advice would be to talk to a qualified tax attorney as; despite the assurances typically given by dealers/brokers, there are significant challenges trying to combine personal use (greater than 2 weeks/Yr) with charter - especially in crewed with the latest tax changes. Two key considerations;

Personal use - Does the plan require you to re-classify (lie) about your use of the boat.

Recapture - If/when you exit the business, you may have to account for any accelerated depreciation.

Lastly, I'd talk directly to owners in the market you're considering. I recently posted a poll in a Facebook charter boat owners forum asking how many would "do it again". NO ONE indicated they would. This was related to bare-boat, but it was still quite telling.

Good luck!
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Old 13-03-2018, 17:17   #3
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

great feedback, thanks. Sounds like the tax issues are not to be overlooked!

Anyone have additional comments on a) these larger cats, and b) the dynamics of crewed yacht ownership, esp when the owner is on board w/ friends+family?
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Old 14-03-2018, 02:52   #4
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Thank you for the discussion. My husband and I owned a sailboat in bareboat charter in the BVI, prior to Irma. Our boat was destroyed in the hurricane.

We did own our sailboat through a corporation and are planning on buying another and offering it as a crewed charter, with my husband and I being the crew, upon retirement.

Do you have any qualified tax attorneys you could recommend, specifically ones who have knowledge of this particular area?

We are looking for a 45-50 foot catamaran as well. We are hoping we do not have to put our new boat back into bareboat charter, but rather crew it ourselves.
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Old 14-03-2018, 05:59   #5
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehahn9 View Post
Does anyone have advice for someone with random, all-over-the-map thinking like mine?

Perhaps have a word with these guys, they specialise in this sort of thing:-

https://www.synergyyachting.com

This is from their website:-

Quote:
How we help you find good crew.

A good crew for your yacht. How do you find them? How can you trust them with your pride and joy? How do you know they are doing a good job when they are thousands of miles away?

We have established an ongoing list of crews who already have substantial experience on catamarans. We don’t select crews from CVs that are blindly sent to us, but know these as individuals from working beside them in the industry. We have seen them aboard other owners boats, how they operate and maintain them all the way through to how well they dock the yacht, and then how they relax on them. We’re afraid that an interview will only tell you so much….

This is what we do and as a result, crews come to us when they want to move on -we are a focal point of the crewed catamaran network and hold a constantly updating list of experienced catamaran crew.
https://www.synergyyachting.com/cata.../finding-crew/


Quote:
Introduction to Brokers

The most lucrative of the charter grounds is the Caribbean, where access to the strong US market is easy and a well managed yacht can return an income all year round. An area like the British Virgin Islands makes an excellent point of entry for a new yacht into the industry.

It is normal for a charter yacht to take 3 seasons to reach capacity for charter. 95% of bookings will come from Yacht Brokers, a group that are traditionally cautious with new boats and crews. It is normal for a booking to be taken a year in advance so the broker wants to be sure that the crew/yacht/owner will stand up to the test of time. For this reason they tend to favor long standing yachts and crew, who have proven them selves over the years, so you can see the importance of ‘serving ones time’.
https://www.synergyyachting.com/cata...ction-brokers/
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Old 14-03-2018, 08:09   #6
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

If you are thinking of starting in the BVI, which many do, you might want to contact Regency Vacations and CharterPort BVI.

These are the two major "clearing houses" in the BVI, and also the two oldest. A Clearing House is otherwise known as a Central Agent, and it's very hard to be successful without one. These will give you a much better idea of operating in the BVI than ones more remotely located, and you will probably choose to work with one or the other.

If you want to noodle this over, with an Owner Operator, PM me.
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Old 14-03-2018, 08:19   #7
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

From my experience the crewed yacht boats tend to not only generate better revenue than their bareboat counter parts, but also stay in much better condition. Not only do you have someone maintaining the boat full-time, but you have a "babysitter" onboard making sure the charter guest don't do anything stupid.

I've helped dozens of boats setup crewed yacht boats. Shoot me a PM if you'd like to discuss in detail.
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Old 14-03-2018, 08:43   #8
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Take a look at the Knysna 480. I have one for sale. Fantastic luxury boat, that also sales well. Check Boattrader...Knysna 480. Sognare...Italian for dream, and it is a dream boat. 100% ready to sail
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Old 14-03-2018, 10:47   #9
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Ok, some talk about a few things I know something about.
I own two Leopards. 2002 L47 and 2012 L44. The L47 much better built. The L44 more luxury (and fairly shabby/messy build wise when you look under the covers). I have seen the newest 2017 and they are even more luxurious (don't know about build). But both of mine (though the 44 is a little better) do not have enough bridgedeck clearance for going to weather in chop (<6 second swell/wave period) Pounding is very fatiguing after a day or two! But here is some good stuff on taxes concerning a charter boat. (Always consult with your own financial planner as they say).
Section 179 Information for Businesses | Section179.Org
But if you want to put a cat (or mono) into a crewed charter, one step up from that would be a Sailing School. ASA certified, USCG Master Licensed Captains teaching students the correct use of equipment.
Virgin Island Sailing School | The only ASA Certified Sailing School based in the USVI's
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Old 14-03-2018, 11:01   #10
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Really good responses from the CF community. Much appreciated as my wife and I have been considering similar plans. Here is some important additional information i recently learned that you might want to consider.

If you want to charter in the BVI, unless you are working with a charter broker registered in the BVI, you are only allowed to crew charter your own vessel for a maximum of 7 weeks/season. If you have it enrolled in a charter/owner program then there is no restriction.

If your boat is foreign registered and you charter in the BVI for more than 7 weeks/season you will be subject to a 5% import tax based on the price you paid for your boat when you purchased it, NOT it's current book value. This is a one time tax.

There has been an increase in the day rate charged guests who charter a boat in the USVI and come over to the BVI. It used to be $6/person and now it has been raised (or it will soon be raised) to $16/day/guest. With 6 pax aboard that's another $100/day you have to add to your charter rate.

Lastly, I have been told by more than one source that Catamarans less than 50' don't charter out well as crewed yachts. According to these yacht charter brokers and yacht sale brokers if your vessel is less than 50' people usually want to charter it as a bare boat. 50'+ charters well as a crewed vessel.

Oh, one other thing: guests want a toilet as close to the ones they use at home as possible. Which means all electric, all the time. Just saying.
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Old 14-03-2018, 11:26   #11
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nani Kai View Post
Really good responses from the CF community. Much appreciated as my wife and I have been considering similar plans. Here is some important additional information i recently learned that you might want to consider.

If you want to charter in the BVI, unless you are working with a charter broker registered in the BVI, you are only allowed to crew charter your own vessel for a maximum of 7 weeks/season. If you have it enrolled in a charter/owner program then there is no restriction.

If your boat is foreign registered and you charter in the BVI for more than 7 weeks/season you will be subject to a 5% import tax based on the price you paid for your boat when you purchased it, NOT it's current book value. This is a one time tax.

There has been an increase in the day rate charged guests who charter a boat in the USVI and come over to the BVI. It used to be $6/person and now it has been raised (or it will soon be raised) to $16/day/guest. With 6 pax aboard that's another $100/day you have to add to your charter rate.

Lastly, I have been told by more than one source that Catamarans less than 50' don't charter out well as crewed yachts. According to these yacht charter brokers and yacht sale brokers if your vessel is less than 50' people usually want to charter it as a bare boat. 50'+ charters well as a crewed vessel.

Oh, one other thing: guests want a toilet as close to the ones they use at home as possible. Which means all electric, all the time. Just saying.
There are a couple of inaccuracies in your post...

You can charter as many week as you would like in the BVI, but you can only do 7 pick ups in the BVI without a work permit.

There is no import duty on boats that are chartering in the BVI.

Regarding size of the boat... You are spot on here. The bigger the boat, the better she will charter. We have a saying in the business, "Heads in Beds." If you can do an 8 PAX boat you are better off than a 6 PAX.

I've setup quite a few boats in the VI that do term charters, and I was also a founding member of VIPCA. The Virgin Island Professional Charter Association. I'm fairly involved in the industry down there.

Shoot me a PM if you'd like any advice.
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Old 14-03-2018, 12:19   #12
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Re: Picking a big cat for mixed charter + private use?

htthttp://www.cruisersforum.com/foru...ce-197243.html

My FP Bahia 4 cabins is in great condition and has a complete inventory.
Just in case you are interested!
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