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Old 04-09-2007, 10:30   #1
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Things to Know before chartering - Financial/Liability

Hello all, sorry if this is not the right part of the forum for this. I did searches for charters, and this seemed to be the sub-forum that had the most threads on the topics.

My friend and roommate spent the better part of his 20s sailing around the Caribbean on various boats that he has captained. A short while ago he decided that he wanted to take a break and get a college degree before returning back and spending his remaining years on a boat somewhere.

He/we are arranging a sailing trip for a week in the beginning of January with him and me and about 5 other friends. Because he prefers to live a 'cash only existence', the credit card that he does have has a small credit line. This makes me the de facto money guy, and we'll be using my credit card to pay for the charter, and all of the other passengers will be paying me cash.

I'm wondering what I should know as far as financial liability when it comes to chartering a yacht, and if there are any things that I should do or look out for? Obviously, this only becomes an issue if something bad happens, however it's something I'd like to know ahead of time going in.

We'll be chartering a:

Beneteau 40'- Chinook Wind

The charter cost includes a mandatory Damage Waiver of $27.95 per day.

The terms of the damage waiver are:

'The Damage Waiver Fee covers any damage or loss to the vessel or its equipment over and above the amount of the refundable security deposit. The security deposit on all vessels is $350.00 per charter. A lost or stolen dinghy is not covered by the yachts insurance or the Damage Waiver. A submerged, lost, or stolen outboard motor is not covered by the yachts insurance or the Damage Waiver. The yachts insurance or the damage waiver, as determined by third party sail maker, does not cover any damage to sails due to severe misuse by charterer. '

Are these standard damage waivers sufficient? Is there a need to seek additional insurance somehow? I'm not sure if it's appropriate board etiquette to ask about a specific chartering company, so I'll hold off on doing that, but is there a place to see past reviews of a specific chartering service. (Sort of like a TripAdvisor for charter services).

Any advice on what I should know or do in regards to being the 'money guy' behind chartering this type of yacht would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Duane-O

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Old 04-09-2007, 10:55   #2
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Duane,

As charterer you are on the hook for everything. If you lose the dink you pay. If you drown the motor you pay etc., etc. If you blow the sails you pay. Many companies are very good and I have blown sails in the past and the company agreed that the sails were worn and did not charge. There is a good site that you can get info re boats and charter companies. I am assuming you're chartering in the BVI.
Traveltalkonline: Viewing forum: Charter Boat Reviews and Questions
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:57   #3
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Welcome to the Forum, DO'C

A few thoughts occur to me regarding the financial aspects of your upcoming cruise.

1 - Set up a separate account that each of your buddies deposits his cash into before you book the cruise on your credit card. I would have an understanding in place with your friends that, in the event any one of them cannot go on the cruise, he must replace himself with someone else to get his money back.

2 - If you have one, book the cruise on your American Express card. There are coverages that Amex applies in such situations, and you might check with them to see if their coverage makes the Damage Waiver redundant. I know the company you're thinking of using states that the Damage Waiver is mandatory, but that may not be the case with all such companies.

3 - Look into getting Trip Cancellation coverage. It isn't too expensive, and could save you a bundle.

4 - Think about stocking up on provisions in, say, Miami before you take the hop down to the Islands. It's even possible to bring frozen foods/cold cuts if you have coolers and blue ice. You can save quite a bit this way, as opposed to having the charter company provision the yacht for you, and you can get exactly what you want at Stateside prices.(Keep in mind, these provisions aren't light in weight, so if you're on some small, inter-island puddle-jumper, this probably won't work.)

5 - Have a great cruise!

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Old 04-09-2007, 12:00   #4
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Ok, I must confess that I made a fairly ignorant mistake in my posting. We're sailing out of Ft Lauderdale and plan to head towards the Bimini (assuming everyone gets their passports straightened out, there is one potential snag on this but thats a different topic). If Bimini fails, then it'll be towards the Keys. I'm not exactly sure why I put Caribbean in my initial post, it's a great thing I'm neither the captain or the navigator. I'll leave that to the people who know what they are doing. [I was going to edit the initial post, but it doesn't seem to be an option.]

I've definitely taken care of making sure that I'll have the money from everyone ahead of time, and even forced a delay in placing the reservation because of a straggler.

Great suggestion about using Amex. I have one, but it's one of my unused backup cards. I'll call them up and see what sort of coverage they may offer.

Also, thanks for the website, I'll start reading there straight away.

Duane-O
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:20   #5
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I think the mistaken assumption was mine, DO'C. I put the part about your friend sailing around the Caribbean together with the part about your week-long cruising plans, and assumed you were going further down-island.

If you only have a week, bear in mind that weather will play a big part in determining when and/or if you ever get across the Gulf Stream, and, if you do, when you can get back to Lauderdale.

Given that you only have a week to cruise, and that it begins and ends in Lauderdale, making plans in advance to do the Keys and possibly the Dry Tortugas is wise.

If you do get over to the Bahamas, remember that you will have to pay a $300 cruising/fishing permit fee upon entry. Seems a bit excessive, to me, for only a few days there. And, once you clear in, Bimini won't hold your interest for very long. As you cruise further into Bahamian waters (which is a wonderful experience, to be sure) you are getting further from "home," and the days will fly by.

The Bahamas would be a much better choice if you can arrange to be there for at least two or three weeks. If one week is all that is presently possible, have you thought about chartering something in the Bahamas instead of Florida?

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