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View Poll Results: What was your chartering experience before buying your first cruising boat
None. 90 48.65%
I chartered unrelated boats. 43 23.24%
I chartered boats similar or identical to the one I ultimately purchased. 52 28.11%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 19-07-2019, 16:58   #31
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We knew we wanted a cat and chartered before we bought. However, it was totally by accident that we chartered the actual model we ended up buying. I disagree that production boats are bad boats to buy. We have a 2004 Leopard 40 and she sails really well. Also, she was only in charter for about 1.5 years.

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Old 19-07-2019, 17:18   #32
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I'm one of the ones that knew it was for me. I spent a lot of time in tinnies (small aluminium open fishing boats) and my wife and I spent years as kids working and travelling around Australia and loved it. The thought of doing it from the water appealed, I did a little research on types of boats. Went out on show demos 1 x power cat and 1 by sailing cat, each for about 1/2hr. Asked a few questions on CF, got some great advice, and narrowed the search to 2 manufacturers and bought one.

The boat was a long way from home and the owner was kind enough to sail it home with me and teach me the basics of how to sail.

A couple of surprises along the way but I knew there would be some.
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Old 19-07-2019, 17:30   #33
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We chartered a Bavaria as part of our ASA training as well as a motorboat in The Caledonian Canal in Scotland and another in The Shannon river in Ireland. All three were to see if we really would like the boat life and we did!
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Old 19-07-2019, 17:36   #34
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We chartered 3 boats, a Bavaria, a cat , and an IP32. We now own an IP38.
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Old 19-07-2019, 17:47   #35
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
We knew we wanted a cat and chartered before we bought. However, it was totally by accident that we chartered the actual model we ended up buying. I disagree that production boats are bad boats to buy. We have a 2004 Leopard 40 and she sails really well. Also, she was only in charter for about 1.5 years.



Maje


99% of us own / sail production boats, very few have custom built boats, maybe the number isn’t 99% but it’s certainly the vast majority.
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Old 19-07-2019, 18:10   #36
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Chartered twice similar boats to the boat I finally bought
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Old 20-07-2019, 00:03   #37
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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I would be interested to see who has actually sailed before buying their first yacht? A client of mine spent $300,000 on a cat and the first time he went sailing was on the sea trial! He knew it all, had watched YouTube and was hiring a delivery skipper to show him the ropes for a few weeks.
I get a fair few clients who have never sailed or boated and just throw themselves in the deep end.
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Not too unusual.

We went to several boat shows to compare the models and get an impression of livability and built quality, but knowing we would rather afford a pre-owned cat we had to look at the older models. YT research and various used boat platforms gave us an impression what to expect. Lots of reviews too so we sailed in theory every boat. Many prospects even were not available for charter and because of lack of experience we even have not considered to charter one alone for a test ride.

Never sailed before, done the sailing classes and practical training on a 45ft monohull with a certification as costal cruising skipper in a one week intensive sail turn.

We did exactly know what we wanted and finally found our cat, an owners version, fully equipped and almost ready to sail, was in charter before. We hired a surveyor to dig deeper and check it out after us having looked at it inside out for a couple of days.

First sailing was indeed on the sea trial. First alone moving the boat was 6 month later off the travellift slip to the floating dock and getting her tied up in a tight slip between two other cats, what an exciting experience. Between this she was on the dry dock, have done a lot of maintenance during this time, sanding down the bottom paint, applying copper coat, fixing electronics, upgrading the electric systems, living on board and making her ours.

Then we took her out of the marina for couple of hours, figured out how to set the sails properly and how she behaves in different conditions. We have done 2 weeks of coastal cruising, first returning to the slip, then our first over night anchorings. I would say comparable to a charter vacation, besides we knew the boat in and out technically then in contrast to a 1h introduction when chartering.

Then we set sails for a 5 week / 1000+nm cruise from France via Korsika, Sardinia, Sizilly, Italy, Croatia to Slovenia. We started with lags of 20nm ad light breezes and ended up in day and night passages of 300+nm in severe weather conditions. We buit up confidence in the gear an also respect of the sea and weather. We left her at the dock for the winter and now we are living on board full time and cruising the 4th month, with more than 3000nm on the keel water. Still learning every day new tricks.

Should have we chartered before buying? My gut feeling is no, charter cats are different, I see them every day passing by, small cabins, no livability, lots of heads, no electronics like AIS, radar whatsoever, overcrowded and lazy, most of the time docked at marinas for eating out, always motoring. This is not the experience for living on board or trying before buying.

We saved the money instead and invested in our new home in LFP batteries, a proper galley and refits that make it comfy and safe, epirb, plbs, proper life vests, chart plotter upgrade, maintenance. It may make sense, when you buy new and intend to give your boat in charter to charter first and see how the company treats the fleet, but making a decision for a cruising liveaboard boat based on charter is almost meaningless. Livability and storage is more important than sailing performance, the systems on board you may need for cruising are rarely installed, the time is too short to check it in all weather conditions by chance.

Choose the boat you want to live in and fit it out for your cruising grounds.
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Old 20-07-2019, 01:23   #38
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Its surprisingly common, Ive delivered boats to clients who didnt have a clue. Ive also met many cruisers who just bought a boat and took off. They of course had many "learning experiences", but only one I know of lost their boat.

There are also some threads here of people who just took off and it ended badly...at least 2 I can think of.
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Old 20-07-2019, 03:05   #39
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Even experienced sailors some times loose their boats or worse their life's at sea, it is not an newbee issue at all.

World cruising and living on board full time is very different to sunshine weekend sailing or one week per year chartering.

You are exposed to the elements all the time, most of it at anchor and not in a cozy marina, you have to cope with everything that comes along and fix your gear constantly.

Delivery skipper is even a harder job, to sail unknown boats in almost any weather conditions on a schedule to any place.

Only regatta sailing tops this in regards of danger and exposure.

If you want to try before you buy, assuming you are not searching a weekender, try to crew on a liveaboard vessel for a passage.

BTW, everybody was at some point a greenhorn, experience builds up over time, so chose your gear, start slowly and built up confidence, there is no easy way, you have to earn your Lametta and make your own mistakes...
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Old 20-07-2019, 06:45   #40
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I chartered a 25/28 foot boat with one of my sons for a weekend after taking a three day sailing class as a brand newbie. I always thought the local charter company was very brave giving us any boat. We are in Maine. That weekend we had fog and rain. But somehow managed to return it undamaged.
I did most of my offshore in my Hinckley 38, now I have a Wauquiez 33.
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Old 20-07-2019, 07:31   #41
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Never chartered. Sailed friends’ boats, studied and examined a lot, bought a couple (so far). I also took two live-a-board courses which gave me some exposure to different boats. In fact, I specifically chose my advance course based on the boat (Valiant).

If I was richer I might have considered chartering, but the cost of chartering for a week or more is no small amount in my budget. Way too expense just to go testing.

Besides, I’m not all that convinced chartering teaches much about the real challenges of boat ownership. Sailing is easy. It’s all the rest of the stuff that makes it a challenge.
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Old 20-07-2019, 08:48   #42
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We did. Infatuated with one 42’ model we’d seen at boat show visits. Charted in BVI, loved the looks and living spaces but felt it was sluggish to sail. Sailed a different builder’s boat and ordered one. I was so convinced I wanted one boat and am very happy I chartered. Chartering revealed sailing characteristics that weren’t evident in reviews but turned out to be important to us. We’re now making a different purchasing decision then I think we would have if we hadn’t chartered.
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Old 20-07-2019, 09:21   #43
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I've never really understand how a week charter teaches anyone all that much about how it will be to live and cruise full time on a model. I would learn the same thing by just looking at the layout of the boat. I've owned my current boat for 8+ years and have lived/cruised full time on it for the past 34 months and am still learning things about it.
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Old 20-07-2019, 11:59   #44
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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I've never really understand how a week charter teaches anyone all that much about how it will be to live and cruise full time on a model. I would learn the same thing by just looking at the layout of the boat. I've owned my current boat for 8+ years and have lived/cruised full time on it for the past 34 months and am still learning things about it.
You are always learning something new.
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Old 20-07-2019, 12:03   #45
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I've never really understand how a week charter teaches anyone all that much about how it will be to live and cruise full time on a model. I would learn the same thing by just looking at the layout of the boat. I've owned my current boat for 8+ years and have lived/cruised full time on it for the past 34 months and am still learning things about it.
Our family is not into boating, being desert dwellers from California (tons of experience rv'ing and offroading)

I got the sail bug in 2008 with all the financial difficulties. Thought of living smaller and being able to travel slowly.

In 2014 I took a week live aboard course while living in Mexico. Found that I liked sailing and living on board on top off the tiny house/off grid aspect I was most interested in.

Like I said I rented keel boats of various sizes for a year. Gave me a better idea of what I was looking for. I think if I hadn't done that I would be on a smaller boat. Which I would outgrow and then be stuck in due to finances (having tied a large percentage of my cash into the first boat purchase)

Having lived the last 8 months on a mooring ball, the frustration I sometimes feel with living aboard has nothing to do with the boat. It's the extra steps needed to do anything lol

But then you stand up in your bedroom and see this

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