Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. The following is mostly in response to Little Otter's questions about how the the Moorings charter management program works, or at least what the terms where when I bought into it about 2 years ago.
Based on demand and what boats are retiring, they decide what boats they will need at each location and they go ahead and order them. These boats are then available for purchase
prior to ever actually being in the program. I decided on their smallest boat which is a 32.2 located in Tortola BVI. The owner buys the boat, either outright or with a loan. My boat will be in the Moorings program for 4.5 years which is typical and over that time I get monthly payments from the Moorings which will end up totaling about 45% of the price
of the boat over the course of the contract
period. That's fixed income
and I will get that regardless of how often the boat is chartered out. In addition, the Moorings pays for all ongoing maintenance
, dockage and insurance
As an owner, I can use that boat or trade
time for other boats in the program. Each Moorings base has high and low seasons and I can use the boat for either 2 weeks high and 2 weeks low or 6 weeks low. In addition, I can book another 3 weeks short notice on my own boat if its available. Trade
time is limited to 2 weeks per location per year.
While I don't have to pay a charter fee to for my own boat or trade time, I do pay an "owner's fee" for each use which is about US$300/week for me. (For the boat, not per person) This covers all the fuel
and ice I want in addition to all the accessories which are not actually mine like use of a dingy, a linen service
pots, silverware, propane
At the end of the contract
, I basically have 3 choices: I can take the boat, it's mine. I can take a guaranteed trade in of about 50% of initial purchase price
towards another boat or I can keep it in charter an additional 3 years through Footloose.
What many owner's do is put down about 20% on a 15 year loan even thought the contract is for 5 years. At the end of the contract period, they use the money
from the sale
of the boat plus their guaranteed income
to pay off the loan. In otherwords, for say a $120K boat, for an end cost of about about $6,000/year they were able to "charter" for 4-9 weeks per year which is similar to a 2-week charter for a similar boat. I actually structured my loan for so that I'll own the boat at the end of the contract
Realize, the boats get much more use and abuse than other boats do, so if one's goal is to buy a newer boat with less money
down, you may be disappointed. Even though I'm buying
a boat, I look at it more as buying
into charter program that allows me to "charter" for a fraction of the cost of a real charter. I should say however, I feel my boat has been maintained well after 2 years. Since they are charging
customers a fair bit for a week's charter, they can't let the boats just go. What I really like is the boat is always ready to go and I'm already in my end destination
without having to slog down the ICW
and across the gulf stream
like I used to do. I also like that the boats are equipped up front with the end use in mind, so things are not retro-fitted. (Build in autopilot
I guess how good a deal it is depends on a number of factors such as your cruising needs. Obviously for someone who likes to go out every weekend or cruises all winter, every winter, this is not a good option. As with purchasing
any boat, how good a deal it is also depends on what you are able to sell the boat for in the end and the opportunity cost of your money.