I purchased a boat through the Moorings, and after finishing that contract
have now had it in Footloose for about a year. Of the four cruising boats I've owned, it was the most expensive to purchase
, but I'm confident will end up being the least expensive to own.
If you like chartering, but would like to do it more often, I think owning can be a very good deal. I have no regrets. (I figure about 2 weeks/year will likely be my break even point compared to chartering)
If your alternative is not chartering however, I think you need to compare charter management to what ever else would make you happy. Owning a charter boat and using it for 6/wks per year will almost certainly be cheaper than buying
the same boat new and only using it 6 weeks per year - but is that what you would otherwise do?
It's a buyer's market now, so if you are happy with a 25K used boat
, it may not make sense to buy a 180K charter boat. Paying all the expenses yourself may be cheaper in that case. You can't drive down to the marina and take your Moorings/Sunsail boat out for a sunset sail.
One thing I've seen many state that I do not agree with is that charter boats will come out of the program in much worse shape than privately owned boats. Having owned, exchanged, but also purchased a couple used by owner boats, my experience is the opposite. Many privately owned boats have been neglected and have issues that I've never seen on any of the charter boats I've been on. Sure charter boats get used hard, but the Moorings and Sunsail also need to maintain them in charter ready condition.
I've looked at both the Sunsail and Moorings offerings. Typically, I think the Moorings boats are a bit nicer. I believe the biggest difference in the use structure is that Sunsail charges owners less, but does not include fuel
and a few things that the Moorings does. - Just my general observation. Obviously you should talk to reps and study each.
I've also felt that Tui marine
has been very good about being very honest about exactly what the contract
does and does not include. I've had no surprises along the way.
I should add, while I've been exceptionally pleased with the program, I probably won't do it again, and that's due to the way new vs. used boat
prices have changed over the past 6-7 years. Six years ago, one could get into the program for under $120K. Now I think their entry level boat is over 180K, and the used boat market has come down. I'd love to buy a cat, but how do I justify spending 370K+ on a new charter cat, even with 43% or so back in income
, when I can go buy a similar used cat that's only 10 years old for $140K?
Though I should add one thing that is so nice about the program is a complete absence of stress regarding upkeep and maintenance
. Show up, and go cruising.
Feel free to message me if you have any more specific questions.