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Old 13-03-2010, 17:29   #1
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We Are Considering Taking the 'Moorings Owners' Plunge - Any Advice?

We are considering making the Moorings plunge with the guaranteed income program. We know the financial pitfalls, depends what you put down. What do you like about the Moorings Program? We understand Moorings will make concessions to their contract, if asked. The first 5 years are a no brainer, it's phaseout where I hear the nightmares. Talk us into being new boat owners.

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Old 14-03-2010, 16:49   #2
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Have bought a 'Moorings' boat at "phaseout' time in Tortola... will never do it again. Their mechanics are crap, riggers are as bad and re-gasketing the windlass consists of pumping in cheap domestic sealant.
A friend of mine in the Med went out to inspect his Cat at 'Phaseout', found it immaculate... arranged for a delivery crew to sail it to Portugal where he lives..
When it arrived the flooring had been switched along with a head and a few other things...
DON'T DO IT... you'll end up with an abused piece of crap

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Old 14-03-2010, 17:32   #3
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OK, one opinion, really looking for any good stories. We looked at several Moorings boats for sale after phase out and they looked in excellent condition. I'm sure there are bad stories, but you have to think it is in Moorings best interest to keep the boats in good shape. As a previous Moorings charter customer, I have to say the boats are in excellent shape, better then most second tier companies.
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Old 14-03-2010, 18:15   #4
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They always do.. untill ... still as you say... lets see if theres any "good stories"...
Mine was a 2001 Beneteau 331 purchased in 06, 5yrs old with 3500hrs on the engine which blew its pump on the way to St Martin, then the starter and alternator in the next coupla months.... watertanks leaked.. Was assured all was refitted but any probs would be fixed... when I sailed back to take em up on it I was told as I'd gone "Out Island" tough
But did get a great deal on new set of Doyles sails...

PS; the Cat was under the ownership scheme your looking

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Old 14-03-2010, 19:51   #5
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I just looked at a Moorings catamaran that had been in their fleet for 8 years and have to say it was in very good condition. There where areas that showed use, but I was expecting much worse. I personally wouldn't be scared off of looking at a used one to purchase.

But, buying new right now? In my opinion, very risky. How are they guaranteeing revenue? I personally can't believe that the first 5 years are a "no brainer". If the boat costs $400 new and sells or is worth $200 after the contract, did you get $200 worth of use? Use whatever numbers you want, but the boats devalue hugely in the first 4 or 5 years.

What you may think about is purchasing one of their boats and putting it in a second tier charter company like Provalor.
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Old 14-03-2010, 20:30   #6
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That's an excellent point. If the The Moorings does not own the boat then they do not pay the depreciation cost. Whoever owns it does.

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Old 15-03-2010, 14:59   #7
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Has always seemed to me that if you wanted to go this route (the charter boat one); that you should just buy a boat coming out of the fleet. If the owner option wasn't a better deal for the Moorings, why would they do it? Why buy a boat to "made" $100/month over your payments while it depreciates much more than that.
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Old 15-03-2010, 15:42   #8
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Well, I think the idea is that if you have a 5 yr. loan and your share of the charter revenue is enough or nearly enough to cover the payments, then 5 years from now your down payment will have bought you a 5 yr. old boat free and clear plus whatever limited use you may have gotten over the course of the contract. If your down payment was less than the value of the 5 yr. old boat, it's a pretty good deal.

I donít know anyone who has done the Moorings or any other charter-purchase program. But, I know several people who have bought ex-Moorings charter boats - all of them Beneteaus. The consensus seemed to be that the 5 yr. old boats are generally in good basic condition, some better than others, except that the engines always have many more hours than a typical 5 yr. old private boat; and they always need additional equipment/upgrades for serious cruising.
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Old 20-03-2010, 22:31   #9
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I owned a Moorings boat that was in charter for five years. I cannot under the rules of courtesy governing this forum express my degree of displeasure with the experience. I can only say that it is something, I would never do again, and never suggest anyone else do.

Just for entertainment, you might press the issue about what these boats actually sell for at the end of their charter life versus what the advertised prices are in magazines.

Then, you might find out how many people after buying one boat from the Moorings ever buy a second boat.

Then, you might insist that Moorings give you the names and phone numbers of five or six owners who had boats, once, but did not buy a second boat.

Finally, ask the Moorings to put in writing a dollar figure they will guarantee to pay you for the boat at the end of the charter period if you can't sell it on the open market within six months.

I can pretty much assure you the last question will end the discussion.
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Old 21-03-2010, 08:10   #10
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I would suggest you also check with Horizon and see how they compare.
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Old 21-03-2010, 08:43   #11
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Happy Moorings owner here, 5 years with Moorings Belize, 2 with footloose Tortola / phased out 2 years ago. Best thing I've ever done. Boat currently trades for ~65 K more than I put into it. Wouldn't sell it for 100K more.

I was lucky. The 2000 Leopard 38 has retained it value exceptionally well and is still in strong demand almost a decade later. Built strong, easy to maintain, a pleasure to sail.

I think the OP is correct in that the 5 charter years are a breeze in... one sense... there little you can do about anything so just let the management company take care of it and don't sweat it. Like getting on a plane...let the pilot fly while you sit back and enjoy the ride.

Phase out... A while back it was stated very well that "You earn a good phase out, and the currency is time and personal attention." The key words at phase out are: "Broken is unacceptable". Your surveyor will take a snap shot of condition but can not tell you what happens after systems have been running for a while. Coolant leaks, heat exchanger perforations, overheating, bad batteries, etc etc. Those you must find for yourself and bring to the attention of Moorings before you sign off.

I was in Tortola for 6 weeks while the phase out work was done. Lived on board for 2 weeks before I signed off. I got a great boat in terrific condition.

Moorings truly "gets it". They know very well that their business depends on chartering and delivering good boats.

Regarding Moorings mechanics (Tortola), it is my opinion that they are highly skilled, and take great pride in their work. I got to know them quite well during my phase out and they were thrilled to make solid, quality repairs for the owner instead of the quick turnaround fixes that are typical in a busy charter season.

Dave s/v Alexian
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Old 21-03-2010, 09:42   #12
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I owned a Moorings boat 10 years ago. It wasn't my best boat experience - but not my worst either.

It is the "easiest" way to own a boat I can imagine. No maintenance, no worries when a storm rolls through, no wondering about whether you remembered to shut the seacock when you left. On the other hand, there is none of the emotional joy of owning a sailboat. It's like you own a rental car at the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

Assume you are not going to "break even" (e.g. Down payment plus financing cost minus honest sale value at end of five years). But if you include the value of the insurance, dockage, and maintenance you come out OK. But don't kid yourself that this is an investment.

It makes no sense if you don't use the Moorings "free" weeks at as many Moorings bases as possible. Unless you are going to take three years to circumnavigate in your own boat - this is by far the most economical way to sail at many of the world's great cruising spots. If you and your spouse are not ready to spend four to six weeks a year sailing in different locations, don't buy a Moorings boat.

After the charter, do you really want to own an old charter boat when you can get a privately owned boat for only a little more that has been used 1/5th as many days and cared for by a meticulous owner?

At the end of the charter, I let the Moorings sell my boat. People like yourself do check the sale price of old Moorings boats so they pay attention - and there's a broker looking for a commission who knows it has to pass the buyer's survey. Sure it cost us 10% (the commission) but no stress and no worry. Sale price was a little less than I wanted - but it always is with boats. We never even saw the boat in its last year since we were sailing at other Moorings bases.

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Old 21-03-2010, 10:15   #13
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I think Carl's overview of his Moorings experience is fairly typical, and I agree that sailing at various Moorings locations at least four weeks / year is necessary to make the program make any sense. And, at that point, you have to ask yourself if it might not make more sense to skip the "owning" part of the program altogether, and just go charter somewhere new and exciting for a month every year.

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Old 22-03-2010, 10:11   #14
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I have been hired by several BVI Moorings and Sunsail owners to skipper their yachts for various reasons. They all expressed satisfaction with the operation. They were also VERY attentive regarding maintenance. One might describe them as "nags." A correlation?

I have also worked closely with Horizon fleet managers in BVI and Antigua and think very highly of that organization.

Remember: it is your boat/investment/capital good... You have to take care of it in the end.
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Old 22-03-2010, 12:37   #15
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Moorings 51 sank off Oyster Pond 2 weeks ago. Mooring chain broke, it drifted out the inlet onto the reef - a total loss. The management didn't seem upset. Someone in Boulder, CO probably doesn't think it was a good investment.

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