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Old 01-02-2012, 13:19   #1
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Which to Buy - Newer ex-Charter or Older Private Owner ?

How much have catamaran designs changed over the last 15 years and would the incremental advances push you to buy a newer ex-charter boat over an older privately owned boat?

It seems like we can either get a 5-7 year old ex-charter cat or 14-19 year old privately owned boat. The privately owned boats actually have fewer engine hours on them and seem to be in better shape despite their age. I'm inclined to go the older owner route but have this nagging doubt in my mind that the newer boats may have design advantages that I'll never be able to match, no matter how much of a refit is done..

Any thoughts or pros and cons would be appreciated.

Older owner boats include early to mid 90's Privileges, Lagoons, Prouts, etc.

Newer ex-charter are 2004-2007, Lagoons, FPs, Leopards etc.
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Old 01-02-2012, 14:38   #2
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Don't forget to look at Voyages. The ones that have been in charter at the Voyage base in Tortola have been well taken care of. Check out the Voyage 500's, ours is an older 470 that was lightly chartered. We have had it since 2005, they are rock solid boats and are sailed over from Capetown. 27' beam, amazing amount of room.

The older boat will have some newer stuff on it, electronics, sails, rigging and the newer boats probably will have original stuff on them. Whatever you get you will be replacing some things anyhow, it will be advisable to take into account what is aboard in age compared with items you would like to have. I am wanting that new Raymarine E7 display and radar now to replace our 1997 "state of the art" obsolete but working unit now for example.
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Old 01-02-2012, 17:19   #3
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Just can't give advice on that. It's like asking if a generic older used car with low miles is a better deal than a generic newer used car with high miles. The answer is maybe.
One thing going for older boats is that they won't depreciate as much percentage wise as newer boats. And that's because they are old with old stuff. If you can find that old boat with a substantial refit then that's the one.
Maybe.
Or the pristine charter cat. Then that's the one.
Maybe
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Old 01-02-2012, 19:03   #4
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

If you put aside the worry about charter/non-charter, there has been a significant change in cat's from 15 years ago to 10 years ago. They are lighter, brighter, more comfortable, bigger, and generally easier to sail.

They are also built cheaper and cost more. So first you need to match your intended use with the cat, then worry if it's been chartered or not.

An interesting observation. There are several threads here on CF that list cruising catamaran blog sites. You should go to them and read about the travels. It would appear from the sites I've been reading that a lot of motoring (50/50) goes on, even on the high performance boats.

A few examples:
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Old 01-02-2012, 19:09   #5
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

My suggestion would be to narrow in on the particular cat or type of cat you want, and then compare ex-charter vs. private owner. It matters more that you get the right boat for you, and then choose the best/most affordable version of that boat that fits your budget.
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Old 01-02-2012, 19:37   #6
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Palarran, I have noticed that some boats are getting heavier. I see a Lagoon 500 at 17,700 kg. I'm not sure if that's heavy or light displacement but it's gotta be more than your 56'. The Catana 50 was pretty heavy too although they just shaved 7000 lbs in the past year. I know that there is lots more room on a L500 than most boats but damn it's really heavy. BTW Good luck on your trip.
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Old 01-02-2012, 20:38   #7
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
If you put aside the worry about charter/non-charter, there has been a significant change in cat's from 15 years ago to 10 years ago. They are lighter, brighter, more comfortable, bigger, and generally easier to sail.

They are also built cheaper and cost more. So first you need to match your intended use with the cat, then worry if it's been chartered or not.

An interesting observation. There are several threads here on CF that list cruising catamaran blog sites. You should go to them and read about the travels. It would appear from the sites I've been reading that a lot of motoring (50/50) goes on, even on the high performance boats.
I agree with your observations. The older 50 foot boat has probably slightly less space than the more modern 44 footer. But the newer boat feels cheaply put together whereas the older boat has a solid feel. I'm pretty much OK with the ergonomics and interior design of some of the older models. I guess I'm more concerned with the hull design and general performance. Also concerned with the aging and degreadation of the "non-refittable" portions of the boat.

I've also read a whole lot of the sailing blogs out there. While they are all good data points, none have really put me over the edge one way or the other.

And Sand Crab- I agree with your maybees. Maybe.
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Old 01-02-2012, 20:52   #8
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Probably not a lot of difference with most of the volume cats over the last 15 years. Consider also the age of the original design drawings (more likely 20years) as often takes 3-5 years to build molds and begin production.

There are some new generation cats coming into marketplace with some real design advantages but not high volume to assist with pricing. Some are also essentially custom build.

Best volume example of a newer design is the Outremer 49.
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Old 01-02-2012, 21:13   #9
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Thanks Sand Crab. It's less then 3 months away. After waiting so long it seems like next week.

I hate to report but my boat is dam heavy. I don't know what FP says it should weigh but ck the Carving and Marking plate
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Old 01-02-2012, 21:25   #10
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Down under,
I still think, for the buck, the FP Bahia is the best boat out there. It it wasn't for us having 8 to 10 people on board consistently I'd be a proud owner of one. Having sailed one cat with poor bridge deck clearance, make sure what you get is high and without protrusions. I'd take a R&C 46 (not a 47 though) also. No Lagoon's, Catana's, or Outreamer's are in my future. Now, the Voyage 50, that's a nice boat. And the St. Francis 50 - top of the list.
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Old 01-02-2012, 22:17   #11
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Down under,
I still think, for the buck, the FP Bahia is the best boat out there. It it wasn't for us having 8 to 10 people on board consistently I'd be a proud owner of one. Having sailed one cat with poor bridge deck clearance, make sure what you get is high and without protrusions. I'd take a R&C 46 (not a 47 though) also. No Lagoon's, Catana's, or Outreamer's are in my future. Now, the Voyage 50, that's a nice boat. And the St. Francis 50 - top of the list.
Don't disagree with your comments on vessels. This is the of the new generation vessels I am looking at. 2010 design.
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Old 01-02-2012, 22:28   #12
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Boat Details | Multihull SolutionsTry this link.
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Old 01-02-2012, 22:33   #13
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Gordon,

just interested in why you are upgrading to larger vessel??

john
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Old 01-02-2012, 22:49   #14
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

Hi John, we have been wanting to cruise and love the idea of picking up a new vessel in France, to explore the Med before sailing home to Australia. It is the adventure that leads us, the craft will be the same make/size, as we have found a 44 foot cat to be ideal for a couple to live aboard and manage on our own.
Happy to pass on more inforamation and show you the boat if you are interested.
Get in touch via private message with email.
Regards, Gordon.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:42   #15
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Re: Which to buy: Newer ex-charter or older private owner?

We have direct experience in buying a charter 2003 FP Athena for the last 2 years and we rate that as on balance more positive than negative. The boat will stay in charter until 2013/4 and is used continually from April to October each year.
On the plus side, the boat is used and serviced regularly. The kit works when you need it. Lack of regular use and unknown level of servicing we find a real problem on private boats we have purchased in the past. Any problems are quickly identified and have to be fixed to service the charters. The Athena had 2 off Yanmar 2GM20s that had each done over 5500 hours. They did not burn any oil and the only problem was the oil seals on the saildrive leaking due to worn shafts. Of course the big upside is the price, we purchased ours for less than people are currently asking for 1995 boats. We estimate we saved 35000-45000 uk pounds by buying a charter boat. You can buy an awful lot of kit for that! Its also worth pointing out that large numbers of particular boats in charter is an indication that the model is popular and reliable enough for a charter company to make a profit
The down side is that because of the regular use by many charterers, there is inevitably some cosmetic damage. Given the use, not that much but its fair to say the topsides will never look as perfect as a cherished one owner boat. However, the fundamental qualities of the boat, structure, rig will remain as designed unless the boat has been wrecked and rebuilt, and that is where the marine surveyor comes in.
Our experience is really positive about buying ex charter boats although we did spend 3 days looking over the boat and had a marine survey done.
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