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Old 21-09-2015, 17:51   #31
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

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Well your experience must be limited. Thru hull's should be replaced every 5 years and in my case the surveyor okayed the badly corroded thru hulls. I reported him and he was compelled to refund his survey charges and was almost barred from practising his trade.
You are right, my experience is limited (I am on my 13th boat, after more than 30 years of boat ownership, have had boats hauled at a number of different yards, thru-hulls were always inspected and only replaced when their was sign of a problem). Admittedly, though, my experience does not include sinking a boat for any reason, let alone failing to replace thru-hulls after 5 years. There must be a whole list of stuff I should be doing but am too inexperienced to recognize. Good thing you came along.

I take it that your experience is unlimited. That explains why you have only had time for 11 posts in your life.
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Old 21-09-2015, 17:53   #32
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

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Your sarcasm is not worthy of any further comment. That is not the purpose of this forum.
Who says that was sarcasm? And I am not asking sarcastically.
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Old 21-09-2015, 18:25   #33
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

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Originally Posted by seacottage View Post
Well your experience must be limited. Thru hull's should be replaced every 5 years and in my case the surveyor okayed the badly corroded thru hulls. I reported him and he was compelled to refund his survey charges and was almost barred from practising his trade.

What a load of BS. The life span of thru hulls should greatly exceed 5 years. If the thru hulls are corroded after 5 years you definitely have some problems, and it ain't the thru hulls......unless of course you bought a Lagoon?


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Old 22-09-2015, 00:44   #34
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

Hi there, good luck with your search.

There are many risks in buying an ex charter boat but that also goes for a private yacht. You really have to assess it as it is. I bought an ex charter boat in the Caribbean in 2011 and sailed it back to Australia. I am generally happy with it but I did buy it very cheap which offsets a lot of the negatives. The negatives were:
  • Basically knocked around and very tired particularly below.
  • Every repair that was done on the boat must of been done by idiots. I have had to redo just about every repair that was attempted.
  • The decks had been washed with acid which had etched every aluminium fixture on the boat including portlights, hatches, toerails etc etc. Most of these have been replaced $$$
  • The cost of outfitting the vessel for the delivery passage almost doubled the price I paid as charter boats are pretty bare of cruising necessities/niceties
  • The amount of time I have spent fixing the interior and exterior (6 months full time and still not finished) hardly compensates for the lower price.

    However I purposely chose an ex-charter boat for 2 reasons. Price was the 1st reason but after having previous boats with all these "owner improvements" I swore I would never buy someone else's incompetence or stupid ideas again. A charter boat was basically a blank canvas I could add my "owner improvements" which were based on simplicity but high quality.
I think charter companies must vary with regard maintenance as some people are happy but others the opposite. After having this boat and seeing how it had been maintained and repaired there is no way in the world I would buy my own boat and put it into charter. BTW I don't think my boat was unique re maintenance as I saw another ex charter boat down the dock from me which originated from the same charter company and the same location (Saint Martin) It also had its portlights, hatches, toerails and a large nameplate etched and ruined by acid washing.

Therefore I believe unless you can buy the vessel very cheap it would be better to buy a private vessel of the same type and age.

regards

Andrew
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Old 22-09-2015, 06:59   #35
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

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What a load of BS. The life span of thru hulls should greatly exceed 5 years. If the thru hulls are corroded after 5 years you definitely have some problems, and it ain't the thru hulls......unless of course you bought a Lagoon?


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Actually, thru-hulls can be a major maintenance item. Those of us from the US are familiar with quality bronze thru-hulls that can seemingly last forever. Same for the Forespar plastic ones, although if going that route you should use their "series 91 or 93", don't remember which. These have much stronger handles and bases that go against the hull like old style seacocks and come with a matching thru-hull. But there are other Marelon models that are not anywhere near as strong and are purchased separately from one another and can sometimes break, but not corrode.

But, back to thru-hulls. The problem is that the EU, by whose standards many builders and charter companies operate, suggest a different material that is basically a form of brass, but built much thicker. It's a very odd choice because most of the EU standards are pretty tough. But, for thru-hulls, the standard is simply that they last five years in salt water!!! And, this type of heavier brass, IN IDEAL CONDITIONS, meets that test, so they get used, sometimes in less than ideal conditions.

Someone who has not been subjected to these thru-hulls, and whose experience is either good bronze, like Groco, or Forespar Marelon, will scratch their heads at the notion of changing thru-hulls on a regular and frequent basis. Those whose boats are built or maintained to EU standards - and that's a huge group - have either experienced these problems, or will experience them, and need to look out. A surveyor is perfectly justified in OK'ing these thru-hulls, if they are within the appropriate age limit, but that doesn't mean they can't fail sometime thereafter, in fact they probably will.

It's completely a case of apples and oranges. How the EU committees permit this is unfathomable, particularly since the cost difference is quite small.

Personal experience; I had to change my EU approved thru-hulls when the boat was about nine years old. The charter company in whose fleet she had been, may have done so earlier. But, I did not realize the difference in materials so authorized replacing with more EU approved ones, based upon price and availability in the BVI. By the way, during the removal, a couple of either the valves or thru-hulls broke with only hand pressure. A few years later, one thru-hull broke, thankfully at the dock, and the situation was controlled with a wooden plug. That's when I started to read about the EU approved material, I was so perplexed. I hauled out and replace all the thru-hulls (all 15) with either Marelon or Groco bronze. So far, so good, and hopefully the memory of regularly replacing these items will be in the past.

But, it's not BS and doesn't have to be corrosion. Just a very poorly thought out standard.
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Old 22-09-2015, 07:59   #36
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

Contrail is right and it has been a major scandal in the UK sailing press. The EU standards require the through hulls to have a life of at least 5 years, not no more than 5 years, The manufacturers have responded by designing down to a life of 5 years by using a brass material. It's not corrosion that causes the problem, that could kill properly designed bronze components, it is de-zincification of the brass in salt water which leaves the brass very weak and liable to fail.
It is the component manufacturers who have knowingly designed for a short life to reduce costs and the yacht builders not procuring better quality that are at fault. The EU standard has encouraged manufacturers to do this, it is wrong and for this reason should be ammended.
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Old 22-09-2015, 08:26   #37
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

For some reason I feel compelled to add my opinion on the OP's topic: Over the last 8 years we have purchased 5 new boats and placed them into charter with one charter company. We now have three boats in charter having sold two of the originally purchased Lagoon Catamarans.

Not all charter companies are the same. We chose the one we work with because they allowed us to configure the boats to our specifications, they do an excellent job of maintaining the boats, they do an excellent job of making sure that their charter clients are well briefed and capable of taking care of the equipment, and above all the owners have a very good reputation of being honest and honorable!

Our boats have not been the typical maximum number of cabins, striped down boats. They have been and are the "owners versions" with almost all factory options and some custom installations.

I have been very pleased with the condition of our boats while in charter and at the time they come out of charter and are sold.

We don't currently have a boat that will be coming out of charter anytime in the near future, so I'm not just trying to increase the eventual sale price of our boats. I'm just backing up those who have already said that each case needs to be evaluated on it's individual merits.

And while I have read numerous posts on this forum that would lead you to believe that owning boats is always a money pit, I can tell you first hand that under the right conditions, with the right charter company you can actually own one or more boats in charter, use them yourself, and make a profit. Feel free to PM me if you are interested...


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Old 22-09-2015, 09:15   #38
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

I second most of Lucky Larry's comments (not sure about the profit part). We have a 3 cabin owners boat with one of the companys that allows greater flexibility. The boat is very well equipped and the maintenance is top notch. Having a 3 cabin owners version does result in less charter use so revenues are reduced but the offset is that there is less wear and tear and considerably lower engine hours so there is better value on resale.
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Old 22-09-2015, 09:16   #39
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

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Originally Posted by Rapanui View Post
Contrail is right and it has been a major scandal in the UK sailing press. The EU standards require the through hulls to have a life of at least 5 years, not no more than 5 years, The manufacturers have responded by designing down to a life of 5 years by using a brass material. It's not corrosion that causes the problem, that could kill properly designed bronze components, it is de-zincification of the brass in salt water which leaves the brass very weak and liable to fail.
It is the component manufacturers who have knowingly designed for a short life to reduce costs and the yacht builders not procuring better quality that are at fault. The EU standard has encouraged manufacturers to do this, it is wrong and for this reason should be ammended.

Sad situation. I knew the Lagoons used the brass thru hulls but didn't know others did as well
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Old 22-09-2015, 23:13   #40
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

There is no reason why you canít get a charter boat in good or very good condition if you are judicious about inspections and paperwork. The level of maintenance of charter boats is related to the personal at the charter base. Most companies have detailed maintenance and inspection manuals and some of their bases follow them religiously. Other bases not so much. If the charter company still has possession and is selling the boat for the owner, get a copy of their maintenance and ďhandoverĒ manuals (or whatever they call it) and go through it with a fine tooth comb. Check each item and the backup paper work and make sure each has been complied with. If the boat is not out of the water do an underwater inspection yourself or get someone you trust to do it.

Moorings closed their La Paz, Mexico base. Was it due to the horror stories coming out of that base about deferred maintenance of boats being handed over to their owners at the expiration of their charter contracts? I have personal experience with this at their base in Raiatea, French Polynesia. However, their main base on Tortola and the one in Belize seemed very good. In both bases everything worked all the time. I donít believe the story about torn sails. Moorings, and I assume the other first class operations, will automatically replace any worn or damaged sails when a boat comes out of charter, if not before. Donít rely on a survey, especially in a third-world country or a remote base. Good luck trying to sue one of these guys. Do your own survey, check everything.

If the boat is not already US flag, have the seller do it as part of the deal or make sure you have all the paperwork on US Coast Guard documents (go to their website) and a signed builderís certificate. Chartering is such a big business, especially for the smaller foreign countries, many have changed their laws to accommodate US flag vessels in commercial charter operations. Chances are you will find a US flag boat out there in most cases.

Engine and genset run times scare off a lot of people but the numbers donít tell the whole story. Listen, smell, touch, check water flow and exhaust on each. You will see genset times twice or three times greater then engine times on charter and privately operated boats.

Like another writer to this forum, Iíve seen and know of a lot more privately owned and sold boats that are in much worse condition than ex-charter boats. Donít over look this source.
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Old 22-09-2015, 23:36   #41
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

Wear and tear isn't a significant issue in a 5 or 6 year old boat, especially fiberglass. The only significant possible issue of wear that wouldn't be revealed in a simple survey of a catamaran is engine and drive train issues. If you budget for worst-case scenarios there, you're covered.

Corrosion does far more damage to boats than use, and it proceeds at the same rate on all boats. If the boat has maintenance records that show proper attention, a survey comes up clean, and you're expecting engine or gear case trouble, you're all set.
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:41   #42
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
There is no reason why you canít get a charter boat in good or very good condition if you are judicious about inspections and paperwork. The level of maintenance of charter boats is related to the personal at the charter base. Most companies have detailed maintenance and inspection manuals and some of their bases follow them religiously. Other bases not so much. If the charter company still has possession and is selling the boat for the owner, get a copy of their maintenance and ďhandoverĒ manuals (or whatever they call it) and go through it with a fine tooth comb. Check each item and the backup paper work and make sure each has been complied with. If the boat is not out of the water do an underwater inspection yourself or get someone you trust to do it.

Moorings closed their La Paz, Mexico base. Was it due to the horror stories coming out of that base about deferred maintenance of boats being handed over to their owners at the expiration of their charter contracts? I have personal experience with this at their base in Raiatea, French Polynesia. However, their main base on Tortola and the one in Belize seemed very good. In both bases everything worked all the time. I donít believe the story about torn sails. Moorings, and I assume the other first class operations, will automatically replace any worn or damaged sails when a boat comes out of charter, if not before. Donít rely on a survey, especially in a third-world country or a remote base. Good luck trying to sue one of these guys. Do your own survey, check everything.

If the boat is not already US flag, have the seller do it as part of the deal or make sure you have all the paperwork on US Coast Guard documents (go to their website) and a signed builderís certificate. Chartering is such a big business, especially for the smaller foreign countries, many have changed their laws to accommodate US flag vessels in commercial charter operations. Chances are you will find a US flag boat out there in most cases.

Engine and genset run times scare off a lot of people but the numbers donít tell the whole story. Listen, smell, touch, check water flow and exhaust on each. You will see genset times twice or three times greater then engine times on charter and privately operated boats.

Like another writer to this forum, Iíve seen and know of a lot more privately owned and sold boats that are in much worse condition than ex-charter boats. Donít over look this source.

Ummmm....here's a vote for SOME surveyors in third world countries, and a caution about SOME surveyors in first world countries! Whether someone can be sued, or not, plays into the legalistic mindset that many first world countries have fallen into, unfortunately. Reputation is another thing, and it can be checked out....do your due diligence. And surveyors in countries where there are lots of charterboats tend to know the types of boats (and maybe the individual boat) a lot better than the ones back in the "first" world. Same thing for boatyards.

It's pretty important to do your own survey too, and see if you can charter the boat. There are things that turn up over the course of a few days that aren't evident in any survey, particularly with regard to systems and other equipment.

The quality of maintenance at different bases can vary tremendously over a period of time. It's dangerous to generalize. Budgets, personalities, and availability of parts plays a large role. Some bases are known to be better than others, and some companies are known to be better than others; but none are perfect. Sometimes a smaller company uses its resources for maintenance, where other, better known ones, might use their resources for marketing and advertising, in order to generate the illusion that they might not live up to!

I think the gist of this whole thread is that there are lots of very good ex charterboats to be had at good prices, but that the process requires great care....as does the process of buying a non-charter boat...or even a new one.
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Old 23-09-2015, 10:46   #43
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Customers decide where the market moves to...

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...But, back to thru-hulls. The problem is that the EU, by whose standards many builders and charter companies operate, suggest a different material that is basically a form of brass, but built much thicker. It's a very odd choice because most of the EU standards are pretty tough. But, for thru-hulls, the standard is simply that they last five years in salt water!!! And, this type of heavier brass, IN IDEAL CONDITIONS, meets that test, so they get used, sometimes in less than ideal conditions.
Tks for these informations. Its a real drama in European Union. For every "stupid thing", e.g. the curve of a banana, is defined a normative absurdum in Brussels by lawyers sitting behind their tables not knowing how real life is going out there.

Where to read about these new regulations ? - Any source ?

But its not just these "law makers" alone... if there is a trust worthy boat builder taking the needs of a customer seriously, he would not follow these regulations, more he will build a boat which one can trust over a decade at least.

5 years is nothing in the world of sailing we all know this. So why do national associations of boat building industries follow and adapt ?? The answer is obviously... its just for quick money making, or in other words, they betray the "uneducated sailor" (most of boat buyers are such as they have to work hard to earn all that money for the expensive toys and dont have time to make enough experiences on the water).

I am very thankfully we live in times of the Internet not keeping blind as till beginning of the 90th... and in conclusion I would advice every seriously boat buyer: keep away from "mass production". Go one or two step lower of your original size, and move into the direction of "individual customized boat building". Its worth every penny, isnt ?

In the world of multihulls it works... there is a lively scene of self builders, many naval architects and designers exist there who sell plans... so one can pick up a good design... look for a local boat builder, take the naval architect as consultant aside, and bingo.... an excellent boat is the result.

Just to give you an idea by some names which can be counted as the leading designers who offer "ready out of the box solutions" many of them even sell plans of established boats at reasanoble prizes for self building. The following list represents Multihull designers from all around the world (European Continent/UK, USA, Australia/NewZealand), e.g. ...

95% of these designers know how to build boats on their own, with their own hands. So I like to call them more "naval architects" and not just designer drawing nice looking lines. These guys have the knowledge how to construct a boat from A to Z.

And the results are such uniquely beauties...



Or such one being designed 10 years ago by the Danish boat builder Jan Skov Anderson in Denmark (you can get this 10 meter Trimaran Barracuda in wood/cevlar-epoxy for round 120 Thousand Euros which scares every 100% Carbon built Trimaran of bigger size to death).


There had been some more legendary multihull designers, e.g. Dick Newick (1926-2013) or Norman Cross (1915-1990). Their boats are still sailing successfully and many multihull boaters would like it to built their designs newly again and again as they only need little bit modifications. Safe, powerful and sportive boats.

If you'd know some of these upper named designers personally you mostly will experience, that they are very "down to earth" people. They have a big understanding for cost control and "low budget" projects.

So you can see... for real multihull enthusiasts it is more less a standard procedure first to look for the right designer... and as 2nd step to think about "self building" or "customized building" in a warft of a trustworthy boat building company, still knowing to have the designer aside as consulter.

Monohull sailors could learn here from multihull sailors related to this aspect I think... to avoid such "bad quality built boats" of low EU standard. The potential buyers being interested in monohull sailing could (and should) demand more heavily from the market similarly "low budget (customized) solutions" as we know it in the world of (customized) multihulls.
Remember: To build a catamaran or trimaran is a more complexe thing. Its not just one hull, it needs 2 or 3 hulls plus cross beam connections and a very filligree tuning of the rig, keel/daggerboard and rudder. Monohulls are more easily to built (so long you dont want canting keel and water ballast tanks).

This attitude as you can find it within the scene of multihull enthusiasts being copied by monohull lovers would set the mass productions of the big yacht building concerns more heavily under pressure, by sure.

Its always up to the customers to decide how the markets are developing so long they dont feel like slaves to buy blindly what they get offered.
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Old 25-09-2015, 19:59   #44
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

Greetings from AUS. I bought an ex Sunsail mono (Jeanneau SO 37.2) from Sunsail Brokerage (Portsmouth UK) in around 2003. The boat was in Raitea. I had a survey done and the boat looked reasonable. Got it shipped to Brisbane AUS via Dockwise Yacht Transport (Ft Lauderdale USA). The boat was an owners version (rare in the charter fleets) and was in reasonable condition.

Maintenance was reasonable and the only problem was a snapped steering cable early on and a dodgy autopilot. Overall I was happy with the purchase and the price was right as I sold the boat about 2 years later and made money on it!

You need to know what you are buying and most importantly what it really is worth.


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Old 27-09-2015, 09:54   #45
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Re: Specific Risks of Getting an Ex-charter Boat?

Just found it. The headline of an article in Sail Magazine sounds very familiar...

Buying a Catamaran Out of a Charter Fleet
Christopher White | September 2, 2015

Buying a Catamaran Out of a Charter Fleet - Sail Magazine
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