Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-08-2012, 22:37   #1
Registered User
 
Sander's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Boat: Lagoon 39
Posts: 117
Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Hi all,
I am interested in any information and experiences from boat owners with Caribbean charter companies please.
I intend to leave a brand new 44ft cat with one of these companies (have decided against the guaranteed income programs) and want to know who is going to take the best care of her. Income is secondary.

- are these companies honest about what needs repairing and replacing?
- do they give your boat to anyone who books it, experienced or not?
- do they do hull inspections post charter (dive)?
- are the technical staff properly trained in maintenance of the brands in the fleet?
- how is the relationship wit the boat owner?
- are they service minded and can you easily communicate with them?

I see a lot of posts about different companies but very few from the owners perspective.
Thanks for your responses.
Alex
__________________

__________________
Sander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2012, 04:52   #2
Registered User
 
Sander's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Boat: Lagoon 39
Posts: 117
Hi, are there no owners here who have boats with charter companies?
Is there another forum or website anyone can recommend that is impartial and not working for one of the charter companies?
Thank you.
__________________

__________________
Sander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2012, 13:49   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Boat: R & C Leopard 38 (2001)
Posts: 148
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sander View Post
Hi, are there no owners here who have boats with charter companies?
Is there another forum or website anyone can recommend that is impartial and not working for one of the charter companies?
Thank you.

I've had my boat in charter for 10 years with 3 different Caribbean companies.

You will get all possible answers for each of your questions. I suspect that's why so few replies.

If you are putting a new boat in Charter remember that it will be a rental unit and subject to everything that goes with that.

Have you read "Don't stop the Carnival" by Herman Wouk ?

Dave L38 #38
__________________
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2012, 13:56   #4
Registered User
 
Sander's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Boat: Lagoon 39
Posts: 117
Thanks Dave. Which charter companies did you use? Which is the best in your opinion?
__________________
Sander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2012, 15:40   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Boat: R & C Leopard 38 (2001)
Posts: 148
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sander View Post
Thanks Dave. Which charter companies did you use? Which is the best in your opinion?
My boat has been with Moorings (Belize), Footloose (Tortola) and Barefoot (Saint Vincent) and my overall experiences with all three have been very positive. Each have their strengths and weaknesses as do each of the countries in the Caribbean.

Best I can suggest is pick a country/island with a culture that most closely matches your own, then talk to the various local companies' base managers and get a feel for who you can work with, and who you can't. Establish a personal and open relationship and work with them. Adjust your expectations to match theirs.

Dave L38 #38
__________________
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2012, 17:17   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,946
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Sander, I've been in the charter industry in the US and the Western Carib for many years both as a charter captain and as a boat owner.

In my experience, regarless of venue or company, the big consistent issue is boat maintenance. As Dave pointed out, once it enters the fleet, your boat is now rental equipment. Even better, it is rental equipment which you, the absentee owner, were nice enough to capitalize for their business use. It will get treated accordingly. Some companies/venues do better than others, and this may change over time depending upon who is managing the base, but ultimately it is not their boat.

At the end of her charter life, it is the maintenance issues which will likely have had the biggest negative impact.

The Caribbean is a big place, where do you plan to put the boat? To answer the questions you posted someone is going to have to know the specific company and base location.

And, more importantly, what are your expectations of having a boat in charter? Post those, and we can tell you whether they are realistic. (related note: I find that most potential charter vessel owners have unrealistic expectations).
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2012, 17:53   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,946
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
...
Have you read "Don't stop the Carnival" by Herman Wouk ?
+1. Should be required reading for anyone considering doing anything in the Carib. Read it once before you do it. And, if you were still foolish enough to do it anyway, read it again afterwards. It's even funnier afterwards.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 00:41   #8
Registered User
 
Sander's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Boat: Lagoon 39
Posts: 117
Well I live in Andalucia in southern Spain and I would put money on the Caribbean being efficient and service minded in comparison!
__________________
Sander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 01:02   #9
Registered User
 
svBeBe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: from Houston, TX; currently berthed in Barcelona, headed west
Boat: Amel SM 53 - BeBe
Posts: 946
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

We owned a Mooring's 46' Beneteau from 2000-2005. It was based at Moorings Tortola, BVI. We visited many other charter bases during that time and visited a few more as we have circumnavigated beginning in 2006.

My opinion is that between the Charter Brands and the Charter Bases, there is a vast difference in how a charter boat is maintained. I have never seen a charter base do as well as the Moorings Tortola location. It seems to me that it is not the Charter Company as much as it is the particular charter base. Our experience with Moorings was very, very good.

I do not believe that Moorings will be an available choice for you because apparently you already own your cat. Moorings is in the business of selling the boats that are under charter contract as well as normal charter business. I think that you will find most major charter brands have similar operations. If this is your case, I would recommend TMM, Tortola, BVI TMM

Bill
__________________
svBeBe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 01:44   #10
Registered User
 
Sander's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Boat: Lagoon 39
Posts: 117
Thanks Bill, everything I hear about Moorings is either very good or very bad. I'm sure they are probably the best organised and have the best knowledge of their own boats for maintenance.
I found the numbers didn't add up by buying a cat from a charter company because they want full list price for the boat whereas elsewhere I was getting discounts of up to 10%.
That difference was around 45k which was about 18 months guaranteed income they would have paid me with my own money!
At least this way I keep the discount and with a new boat will make decent, although variable, income from day one.
And I can choose where and when to charter my boat and also when to stop. I'm in control. You're right that I can't take my boat to Moorings anymore but perhaps some of the smaller family run charter companies would not be a better option?
__________________
Sander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 10:59   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Boat: R & C Leopard 38 (2001)
Posts: 148
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sander View Post
<snip> perhaps some of the smaller family run charter companies would not be a better option?
Yes..perhaps. Small family operations will retain a percentage of charter revenue to cover their booking and base operations and give you control over the lion's share, trusting that you will approve the required expenses for maintenance. Likewise you must trust that they will only do needed work and charge a fair price for parts and labour. It's the balance that requires good communication, common expectations and trust.

The good news is that, it is in the smaller charter companies' best interest to do more maintenance rather than less.

My own experience is that all the issues left over from 1st tier charter use have been addressed and solved by the subsequent small family run operation. They treat my boat with the care and attention I give her myself and work with me to design and install the improvements I want. The only caviat is that this happens on island time and in island style - which is just fine with me.


In defence of the big 1st tier operations, they offer an extensive phase out process where the residual use and abuse issues are addressed. The small family operation will not have such a program because the onus of ongoing maintenance is on you to approuve and fund, hopefully from charter revenues.

It is possible that initial revenues are not sufficient to cover expenses. Make sure whoever you go with will work with you through periods of defecit as well as surpluss.

Dave L38 #38
__________________
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 11:20   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,363
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Yeah, seems like a turkey shoot. I get the impression that most charterers end up being "qualified". The Moorings kept good maintenance records when I investigated purchasing one of their boats. Other than getting your boat "well worn", the risk is that it will be on a reef a time or two also....I've never had anyone dive the bottom after chartering... I had good luck when chartering with the Moorings, although in one case there were no reefing lines on the boat at all etc...
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 16:11   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,946
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sander View Post
... You're right that I can't take my boat to Moorings anymore but perhaps some of the smaller family run charter companies would not be a better option?
I've been involved with several small family run charter operations in several different roles: charter captain, sailing instructor, boat owner, sometimes business advisor, and good friend. There are pro's and con's to this route too.

Mom & Pop charter companies of course do not have the depth of resources of a Moorings or even a TMM. If their base (likely the only one) starts to have problems then it is probably just going down the tubes. Whereas as Moorings etc will probably choose to transition base managers and turn it around. I've been in attendance for a couple of these flame outs and a couple of the transitions too. The closer your relationship with Mom & Pop, the better you are likely to fare when it all goes to poo. Not to say that it necessarily will, there are Mom & Pops who have been around for decades, but their resources to survive bumps in the road are much more limited.

Mom & Pop operations tend to be much less structured than a company like the Moorings or even TMM. There are upsides and downsides to this. I've known several Moorings base managers, they don't have a lot of flexibility to deviate home office directives. In the case of Mom & Pop they are the "home office". The down side is that the maintenance process for your boat and management of its charter operations are likely to be less consistent. The upside is you can have more influence over Mom & Pops decision making and how you structure your charter management arrangement with them.

Since Moorings is not an option in your situation, whether you go with a mid range company like TMM or a Mom & Pop it is important to maintain a personal relationship as much as possible with the base manager. This is doubly important with Mom & Pop.

In the best of times, a Mom & Pop operation can be like a friendly little sailing club. I've had some great times working with them, some of the best times in my life in fact, ...but be sure you keep a good "weather eye" on the horizon.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2012, 16:20   #14
Registered User
 
Sander's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Boat: Lagoon 39
Posts: 117
I think Moorimgs have a good thing going. They get "owners" to finance their business. You don't ever really "own" a boat unless you finish the 5 year program and sail away with a used boat. The only benefit is having had the holidays for which you have paid in advance.
Economically it's probably best to charter for 5 years and then buy a second hand boat.
It's obvious all the profit ends up with them or else they would be out of business.
If they want to survive they have to offer good holidays and good maintenance and good service. From what I have seen they have a huge stock of unsold Leopards at the moment and are also seeing a big drop in charter bookings, hence the offers to buy into their owner program with almost 100k discount on a new leopard 44. Also the owners have no competitive advantage, everyone has to buy the same boat.
90% of the second hand catamaran market is made up of 4 cabin ex charter boats. I wouldn't want to be an owner Ian rush to sell at the moment.
I prefer a more "custom" experience where I buy the boat I want and I decide what happens to her and when and where.
__________________
Sander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 00:49   #15
Registered User
 
svBeBe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: from Houston, TX; currently berthed in Barcelona, headed west
Boat: Amel SM 53 - BeBe
Posts: 946
Re: Advice & Opinions From Owners Of Boats In Charter In The Caribbean Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sander View Post
I think Moorimgs have a good thing going. They get "owners" to finance their business. You don't ever really "own" a boat unless you finish the 5 year program and sail away with a used boat. The only benefit is having had the holidays for which you have paid in advance.
Economically it's probably best to charter for 5 years and then buy a second hand boat.
It's obvious all the profit ends up with them or else they would be out of business.
I would like to clear something up for those people reading this. The above quote is from someone who is guessing...let me tell you our facts:
$250,000 cost of the boat from Moorings new and fully equipped
$135,000 received from the Moorings over the 5 year contract
$0 our total cost while the boat was in charter (yes they even paid the ins.)
$125,000 price we sold the boat for at the end of the 5 years
$10,000 - our net gain

AND we used the boat 8 to 10 weeks per year

AND the Phase Out from the Moorings was excellent.

It is possible that we could have sold the boat for more, but we wanted to sell the boat quick and on the same date that Moorings completed the Phase Out. The same day that we accepted the Phase Out we closed the sale of the boat in Tortola.

That said, there was an owner of the same model boat that complained they he could not sell his for $250,000 because the Moorings resale folks were selling the same model for 150k to 170k. Some people have wild expectations.

The above example was our ownership of a Beneteau Oceanis 46/Moorings bought March 2000 and sold June 2005. The UK citizen who bought our boat had it in charter with a secondary charter company in Tortola for about 5 years. The boat is still in the Caribbean, but not in charter because he had some issues with the secondary charter company.

Bill
__________________

__________________
svBeBe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Caribbean

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:09.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.