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Old 14-01-2008, 12:03   #1
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we just inherited a freedom 44 and would like to charter it out year round in the caribbean. Does anyone know how to do this, what companies are recommended. I would like to try to make some money and have the boat for our own use a couple weeks out of the year, is this realistic.
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Old 14-01-2008, 13:15   #2
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Does anyone know how to do this, what companies are recommended. I would like to try to make some money and have the boat for our own use a couple weeks out of the year, is this realistic.
A lot of money - not even a chance. A little money - probably not. A lot will have to do with the age, condition, and equipment on the boat. Is it a boat people would love to charter? Is it setup the way it needs to be?

None of the major charter companies would take your boat into charter. That much is for certain. They use new boats that they sell and make charter agreements with the real owners that offset expenses over say 5 years. Your deal won't be anything like that.

The company has to manage the reservations and upkeep of the boat. When you charter your boat you must pay all the maintenance expenses no matter what money you generate in income adds up to. The expenses could be a tax deduction so that may help. Part of the agreement could include times when the boat is available for your use. Using your boat in prime time is not going to help you offset expenses easily. You obviously would be working with 2nd or 3rd tier charter companies. They will need figure out how they can make money for themselves by making you pay all the upkeep and be happy with what money and unused time is left over. That is what it adds up to for you. It might not work out that good.

The business and legal aspects of all this is complex. Tax and real legal advice from a real account and lawyer would be mandatory. It isn't something where you make a few phone calls, sign a contract, and can expect an assured income.

If you can't move the boat closer to a place you could use it all the time (or a lot of the time) then the costs of owning a boat will not pay for the pleasure of using one you own just a few weeks a year. A boat sitting doing nothing generates a lot of expenses. Insurance, expenses, and upkeep on a boat like this could be $10,000 / year doing nothing. It could be more. If you ended up getting a few free weeks a year it may be the best you can hope for. You do risk it not being that great too.

Maybe the better idea is to sell the boat outright and use the money to charter a few weeks a year. It might be cheaper since the money you get from the sale could earn interest where the boat sitting around is costing you a fair amount of money per year.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:13   #3
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A little background before I comment. We own/charter a 30 foot Carver power boat in the Puget Sound/San Juans through ABC Yacht Charters. We purchased the boat a year ago for 32k and then put 12k of improvements/repairs in it. Moorage and insurance are on top of that, although the charter service gets good deals for both.

Offsetting this was net charter income of $7900, 75% of charter rates. We were still able to use the boat during the summer, e.g. Labor Day weekend, whenever the boat wasn't scheduled. Also, it's fully available to us for winter boating, Oct-May, which we love!

Bottom lines for us are these....

1. We didn't pay a nickel of sales tax. In Washington, the charterer pays it. This applies to repairs and upgrades as well.

2. We get to deduct losses while depreciating the boat.

3. We are surrounded by a team of mechanics, etc. who make it their business to maintain the boat to very high standards while acquiring the best rates and materials. The advantages of a fleet buying power.

4. If there is damage, then the charterer or ABC pays for the repair. This happened on the final charter last summer, a stanchion was ripped, and ABC is paying for repairs. Earlier, a rope got caught in the prop. Again, ABC paid for the rope, haulout, diver costs, and prop replacement.

5. I have a better boat now than when it was purchased. The $7900 net income made it possible to pay for much of these upgrades. Also, the boat gets used year round vs. sitting idly in a marina, like it did b4 we purchased it.

Now...this is how things are done in Washington state. We are looking into eventually purchasing a Cat and chartering it out of the Caribbean. Different standards may apply but my charter manager, who spent 30 years there in the biz, assures me it's often a mutually profitable both for the owner and charter company, if you choose the right boat and charter company.

Hope this helps.

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Old 04-02-2008, 05:09   #4
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You might try Barefoot Yacht Charters:

Barefoot Yacht Charters

I have no experience with them myself, but have heard that they will manage boats with some age on them, and don't insist they they all be Beneteaus or Jenneaus. They have operations in the British Virgin Islands and in St Vincent.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:54   #5
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It all depends on the age and condition of the boat and configuration of the sleeping spaces. If all three fit in with what the independent second tier companies want they will take it into their fleet. The first tier companies (actually Sunsail as they own most of them including Moorings) make a lot of money from selling boats to go into their fleet. They will not touch your boat nor will their second tier companies (Footloose) who get all their boats from the Sunsail fleets. If your boat meets their criteria I would try Conch Charters in Tortola.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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