I owned a boat in charter with The Moorings/Footloose for 7 years. I have absolutely no regrets. My biggest advice is to crunch the numbers objectively and compare how owning a charter boat compares to chartering or owning a non-charter boat for your desired use.
In my case, I ended up using the boat for about 5 weeks per year for about the same cost as 2 weeks of chartering per year would have cost.
Having owned 3 non-charter boats as well, I also found a lot of value in not having deal with maintenance
issues. I sometimes spent weeks doing work on my non-charter boat. With my charter boat, I just flew down and was out causing the next morning. I also liked the ability to trade
time of other boats in other locations.
Here's a few things to give some though to:
Compare the cost of owning to chartering for whatever boat you are considering.
Will it drive you nuts thinking about other people using your boat? My solution to this was to think of it as buying
into a program, more than buying a boat.
Talk to you tax person about the tax consequences of charter income
and being able to write off boat depreciation, that's the big thing none of the literature from the company mentioned. In my case those two things were about wash.
I think owning a boat in charter management was a great deal compared to either chartering the same boat for the same time or owning the same boat and using it the same time. The question is however: Is that what you would otherwise do? Buying a Beneteau
33 at 55% cost was clearly better deal than buying one 5 years old at the same cost. However, as I now look at Cats, I could buy a used one I might by happy with for maybe 20% of the cost of a new charter cat. That changes everything.
Another thing to consider is if you charter instead, would you be sharing the charter costs with others (friends) or paying all the costs yourself (family). Owning my be cheaper overall, but if I'd otherwise be paying just 1/6 of a charter, for me, that might make chartering cheaper.
One of the biggest criticisms I hear here about buying a boat in charter, is that newbies will be using it and beat it all up. This criticism is often made by people who have never actually owned a boat in charter and are also not looking at the bigger financial picture. in my experience the company did a much better job maintaining the boat than I've seen of most private owners.
If you like chartering and want to spend more weeks per year at the same price
, I think it's worth considering buying a charter managed boat. You can't take it and go spend 3 months cruising the Bahamas
while it's in the program of course.
They often give an example of buying a boat with a 15 year loan and 25% down with the idea that will even generate a small monthly profit and at the end the boat will be worth more than the balance on the loan. - Well, that may or may not be true. I much prefer to structure the loan so that I own the boat outright at the end of the charter contract
. Which is another thing to consider: What are you going to do with the boat when the contract
is done? If you want to sell it on site, you may be paying dockage, some maintenance
and a broker fee. I ended up sailing mine from the BVIs back to the states to sell.