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Old 20-04-2018, 14:45   #1
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Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

Hello all, I have been through as much of the "search tool" as I can and I don't find much that addresses some of my questions specifically. So here we go...

I live very close to Nassau Bay Texas which is on Clear Lake/Galveston Bay. I have a young family (wife and 2 kids 9 and 5) so we are interested in getting out on the water on our own boat locally. Mostly weekends, maybe evenings, and the occasional week long coastal cruise. What concerns me are the costs involved in owning a used boat (maintenance being a big one) seem to get scarier the longer I look at boats. I don't want to be the kind of owner who's boat slowly deteriorates because I didn't budget well for maintenance.

Unlike other yacht charter experiences I've read about here, we don't really want a new boat and we don't have any desire to take off around the world or put the boat in the BVI. We just want a sturdy cruiser.

I'm curious about whether or not putting a used boat into a 2nd tier charter company (assuming it is a good company) is a good way to help offset the cost of ownership to get us into a boat that's a bit nicer than we could otherwise afford.

Does anyone have any resources or experience with this kind of charter arrangement specifically?
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Old 21-04-2018, 07:17   #2
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

I’ve considered the same idea and I’ve chartered from companies in the area you’re considering. The one I would choose has requirements on the boat (i.e., Bimini, wheel steering and roller furling jib) and insurance only covers Clear Lake and the Bay. THey also have recommendations on length (IIRC, 27-32’ are the most popular because of the folks wanting to continue learning after their ASA101).

There’s another company I’ve chartered from that I haven’t checked their requirements, but their boats are newer and larger, so only for more experienced charterers.

Both have their pros/cons. So far I haven’t moved forward on this because I live 1 1/2 hours away and that limits how often I can really use the boat.
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Old 21-04-2018, 07:31   #3
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

Ive worked with a number of small charter companies/sailing schools (and big ones too). Ive also owned boats managed by small charter companies. Have done all the above in Texas too.

To answer your question: can it help defray cost of ownership? Yes, but realistically thats about it. Also be sure and look into how putting it on a depreciation schedule can affect your taxes...it can be a nice bonus.

A big issue with boats in charter is maintenance. Mom & Pop shops tend to come in 2 flavors: ones who do a really good job of maint and really bad. Being an active owner who shows up on a regular basis helps.

The market for charters in Texas is mostly weekend bareboaters. This will interfer with your intended mostly weekend use.
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:25   #4
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leboyd View Post
Iíve considered the same idea and Iíve chartered from companies in the area youíre considering. The one I would choose has requirements on the boat (i.e., Bimini, wheel steering and roller furling jib) and insurance only covers Clear Lake and the Bay. THey also have recommendations on length (IIRC, 27-32í are the most popular because of the folks wanting to continue learning after their ASA101).
Which company is this?

So far I've run into two that look reasonable:

South Coast Sailing Adventures | Sailing School and Gateway Charters | ASA Certified

This one looks OK but seems a bit run down when I visited. The owner seems like a solid person but I want to know more about their maintenance program.

https://windwardseaventure.com/

I haven't been to this one but the fleet seems to have a wider range to it and the boats look to be in better condition. I'm considering this as my first choice for my wife and I to get our hours. I'm not a huge fan of the ASA sailing school and the cost associated, as much of it can be gained online, but we still need the experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leboyd View Post
Thereís another company Iíve chartered from that I havenít checked their requirements, but their boats are newer and larger, so only for more experienced charterers.
Can you recall which one?
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:32   #5
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
A big issue with boats in charter is maintenance. Mom & Pop shops tend to come in 2 flavors: ones who do a really good job of maint and really bad. Being an active owner who shows up on a regular basis helps.

I live very close so being nearby wouldn't be an issue. Maintenance is my biggest concern moving forward. If you own the boat and these companies are diagnosing problems and doing the maintenance for you (then passing the cost along to you), it seems like it would be a diamond in the rough to find the one that would care for the boat properly and not overcharge you. Has this been a concern/problem for you in the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
The market for charters in Texas is mostly weekend bareboaters. This will interfer with your intended mostly weekend use.

We may live in the area, but realistically, we wouldn't be out on the boat more than once or maybe twice a month (generally weekends). perhaps come random weekdays. Some months maybe none at all. These dates, I'm assuming, could be scheduled in advance and the charter company could charter on the dates we don't want the boat. Is that how it works?
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:57   #6
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmc30 View Post
I live very close so being nearby wouldn't be an issue. Maintenance is my biggest concern moving forward. If you own the boat and these companies are diagnosing problems and doing the maintenance for you (then passing the cost along to you), it seems like it would be a diamond in the rough to find the one that would care for the boat properly and not overcharge you. Has this been a concern/problem for you in the past?




We may live in the area, but realistically, we wouldn't be out on the boat more than once or maybe twice a month (generally weekends). perhaps come random weekdays. Some months maybe none at all. These dates, I'm assuming, could be scheduled in advance and the charter company could charter on the dates we don't want the boat. Is that how it works?
Maintenance is one of the biggest concerns with all boats in charter. This is a bigger issue than wear and tear from charter use. Some mom & pops lack the resources and/attitude to do it right (not that all the bigger ones do it well either).

Being close by is good. You can check up on maintenance to help ensure its done properly and they know you are watching.

Yes, you can (in fact must) put your dates on the calender. Your charter contract should spell out the terms & conditions regarding owner time.

Another intangible perk to look for is the social environment at the location. Some small shops are run more like sailing clubs and thus can be a fun place to have a boat in the fleet.

If you only plan to use a boat a few days per month, then I suggest you just charter. Easier and cheaper.
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:14   #7
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Another intangible perk to look for is the social environment at the location. Some small shops are run more like sailing clubs and thus can be a fun place to have a boat in the fleet.

If you only plan to use a boat a few days per month, then I suggest you just charter. Easier and cheaper.

Thank you so much for these answers. It really helps. Last time I went in to a charter company (not the ones I listed above) I got swamped by a salesman that tried to sell me a $350,000 cat and didn't listen at all. It's nice to get some sound answers to help guide us.

I think we will probably end up chartering for at least a year before moving forward on any large purchases. That will work us in to some good experience, too.

My other big concern is finding that social outlet you mentioned. As I said above, my kids are 5 and 9. I don't want to go drop 150k on a boat and have them not enjoy it. My understanding is that Galverson bay and the surrounding areas is, kind of, lacking in good "destinations". Also, apparently, most people don't swim until they are well out of the bay (can't imagine why). This means that we will be relying heavily on the act of sailing itself and the people we sail with to make sure that the kids have outlets to enjoy themselves
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:43   #8
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Re: Buying a used boat and putting it into a second tier charter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmc30 View Post
Thank you so much for these answers. It really helps. Last time I went in to a charter company (not the ones I listed above) I got swamped by a salesman that tried to sell me a $350,000 cat and didn't listen at all. It's nice to get some sound answers to help guide us.

I think we will probably end up chartering for at least a year before moving forward on any large purchases. That will work us in to some good experience, too.

My other big concern is finding that social outlet you mentioned. As I said above, my kids are 5 and 9. I don't want to go drop 150k on a boat and have them not enjoy it. My understanding is that Galverson bay and the surrounding areas is, kind of, lacking in good "destinations". Also, apparently, most people don't swim until they are well out of the bay (can't imagine why). This means that we will be relying heavily on the act of sailing itself and the people we sail with to make sure that the kids have outlets to enjoy themselves
The big companies like Moorings/Sunsail have a very different, and more effective, biz model than mom & pop. They make money at every phase of the transaction, including the intial sale...so thus are only interested in selling you a new boat from their portfolio...otherwise, move along please.

The Texas coast is not exactly a choice cruising venue and the destinations/anchorages tend to be far apart.

Sound like to me, an occassional weekend charter would fit your needs better and give you a chance to experience options in the area before plunking down bucks on a boat just to discover it really wasnt the best option for you. Way cheaper to charter and just decide its not a good fit.
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