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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 26-07-2019, 09:27   #61
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I was in a sailing club for about ten years before that offered various sizes and ages. I also chartered to sail the BVI, and sailed with friends, etc. All fin keels though. If my type boat had been available to charter (center board), I definitely would have tried one out first.

I can see the starter boat concept, too. Especially if trailerable. I cant see spending a lot or paying moorage for it.

And I asked questions and read everything I could find on Cruisers Forum, etc.

Buying without most of the above only makes sense to me if you have to go RIGHT NOW for some reason or you have more money than you know what to do with.

It has been mentioned to me once or twice that I may tend to over research ... ����
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Old 26-07-2019, 09:28   #62
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I thought I wanted a sailboat as a first large vessel. When asked by my brother-in-law where we would keep it I told him Niantic Connecticut which I could make in 30 minutes on a dead run from my home in central Connecticut at 6AM. My brother-in-law said “30 minutes, dead run,?? Are you sure you are sailboat material?
Chartered a 37 foot mariner sailboat and nearly went insane watching Nantucket grow larger by eighths of an inch - Bought a powerboat
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Old 26-07-2019, 09:30   #63
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Different people grow with very different relationships with boats. I find the "I Should Have Had a V-8" group fascinating. They are in their 40s, 50s, or even later and they wake up one day with no previous sailing experience and say, "I think I'll sail around the world." I suppose such a person might want to, in addition to get their stern to a sailing school asap, charter a boat before buying.
However, in my case, having grown up with a yacht brokerage father, I started with a Sunfish that he let me "borrow." When I had proven that I knew how to squeeze every .0001 of a knot out of her he gave me a sailing test that if I passed it he would then give it to me. From there I studied everything in the type that I could afford at the time, picked one, sailing everything out of it I could get, learned from it until I settled on a 28 footer. I would never charter a boat. I would get a remote control 1 meter pond Herreshoff before I would charter a boat, lol. Traditionally, there was a reason why we called them, and everything on them, a "she." Most cruisers fall into two large general categories of sailboats: Dockers, - those sailboats that dock infinitely more than they tack and then there are the "Fixit Canoes." A fixit canoe is that sailboat anchored off of the "Paki Paki" Atoll (Really Broken Island), or wherever waiting for the part, the skill, the materials, or someone to show them what fixes what. Self sufficiency is one of the secrets to being able to continue to the next tack. If you can learn some of that from a rental go for it. However, it could be delusional for a person to charter a lot of large boats and then think they know how to cruise something. They can only charter the boat out if everything works. Remember, we used to call all boats and everything on them a "she."
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Old 26-07-2019, 09:37   #64
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We wanted to charter, but that required knowing how to sail.

For the amount of money it costs for a typical charter just to stand around and watch someone else sail it, we figured we wouldn’t learn that much about the boat anyway... so we just jumped in, moved aboard and taught (are teaching) ourselves to sail.

Never felt the need to rent a house for a few weeks before buying one and always knew we’d learn more before buying the next house... guess we figured the boat would be the same.

Now that we’re aboard for 7months and 2500nm... I can’t imagine living on any other boat we’ve stepped onto.
Guess it could have also gone the other way just as easy.
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Old 26-07-2019, 09:41   #65
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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I chartered sailing catamarans of the same brand/model before bidding on one. In 2-3 days charter you really get a sense for the vessel and how it sails. It is not cheap to do this but purchasing a catamaran without knowing much about it seems crazy.


The alternative is to crew on the types of vessels you intend to buy, but then you are on someone else's timetable.
Call me crazy, but the expenses of 10 charter turns make almost the costs of one hull of the cat, there are cheaper ways to find out how much space you need and what gear you want. We looked almost 2 years for a suitable offer before we purchased ours and we have not limited us to a brand or a size or a particular model. If you buy used, you have to compromise, find a boat with potential and make it yours and with find I mean search internationally.

There is rarely the perfect boat out there 2 times in the same configuration for charter and as an offer.
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Old 26-07-2019, 10:11   #66
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I did.
Not the specific model. I didn’t Charter to test boats. I chartered boats to go sailing. The experience helped me decide which kind of boats I enjoyed sailing. And more importantly what kind of sailing I enjoyed.
When a number of he years later I was looking to by a boat. I looked for a boat similar to boats I was familiar with.

The boat I bought was never a charter yacht. But it is a boat very similar to ones I did charter and which were very popular. In this area.

It works very well for my sailing.

I would recommend chartering to gain experience. Before buying.

Depends on the sailing opportunities you have available to you to gain experience and decide what suite you best.

My boat works for me. It might not work for you.
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Old 26-07-2019, 13:55   #67
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Thumbs up Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I chartered a couple Moorings (Leopards) 3900 and 4400, and a Lagoon 450. Bought an old Privilege.
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Old 26-07-2019, 15:11   #68
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We have ordered an Outremer 51 and taking delivery next Summer.
We chartered a Lagoon - nice but sailed like a Lagoon.
There aren't any Outremer's for charter, but we were lucky enough to sail one in here in Los Angeles - 6.5Kts of wind and my wife - a longtime sailor/racer could nurse it up over 5 Kts on Main and Code Zero - that settled that.
Other than that sailed our J80 for a couple of seasons - and ready to spend extended time Cruising starting next year.
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Old 26-07-2019, 15:48   #69
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Ever since reading Treasure Island as a kid I knew, just knew, that one day I'd have my own sailboat and be out there footloose, free, and roaming the high seas.

Charter boats before buying? Of course! How else to truly understand yourself and if the sailing/cruising life is the way to go? Do you have the mettle when things get rough? Really?

The plan was simple; the execution not so much.

1) Work, save, and build a hefty bank balance. {Can you say: Switzerland?}

2) Go sailing as much as possible on whatever becomes available through whatever means available. Borrowed a boat once. The owner and the police unreasonably called it theft.

3) Date women until finding one that has similar dreams -
then take her out sailing and make her prove it!

4) Charter, charter, charter boats to build experience. Not just sailing experience in different weather conditions but how life works when there's only the two of you aboard. Provisions, cooking, cleaning, maintenance/repairs. Different sizes, models. Different countries, oceans and seas. And as much as possible different ports, different anchorages, different docking arrangements. Its not a job, you know - its an adventure!

For ten years my then-girlfriend and I chartered boats (two weeks in springtime, two weeks in autumn). Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Thailland, Malaysia.
"Have Lonely Planet. Will travel."

5) Retire, find and buy that blue-water cruiser.

Shortly before retirement kicked in we agreed to marry.
But I'd told her flat out: I'm buying a 40 ft(ish) center cockpit ketch. If you don't like that then don't marry me. Get on a plane and go away!


Soooo..... After months of searching, countless brokers, visits to countless marinas and harbors in different countries, looking at countless sailboats...



We bought a center cockpit sloop. Celestial, 48 ft. She'd fallen in love with the boat. She said that she was the galley master and if I wanted to eat more than peanut butter & jelly sandwiches I'd better provide a decent galley. All the other technical stuff was my problem. Well, then...
Love of the sea, meet love of the heart.


Pls forgive the repeat reference:
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Old 26-07-2019, 17:05   #70
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

If I see a boat I like with the owner on board I will always go ask them about their sailboat. Sailors love to talk boats, especially theirs! I can usually get invited on board to look around. I have not pressed it, because I have not yet seen the boat I would like to buy, but I’m willing to bet I could convince someone to go for an afternoon sail.
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Old 26-07-2019, 17:25   #71
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I said ‘yes’ to charter...but that was just so I could sail a big boat.

My wife said “No, if we’re going to do it just buy the boat we think is best and live with it. Done. Over. Get off Yacht World!”

So we did. Tough woman. Glad we saved the US$18k now that we’re cruising!

But...grew up in a beach town, California. Day sailed with the family. Never overnight...too difficult with kids.

All good��

And smaller is more better��
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Old 27-07-2019, 00:45   #72
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We toured some boat shows, Multihull in la Grande Motte, Yachting Festival in Cannes, Düsseldorf's Boot, looked at cats wherever we see one in marinas, watched YT catamaran channels and boat reviews, dreamed the dream.

We even participated on a short test sail of the Nautitech open 46, nice boat. But after all the older Lagoons were our favorites for the livability and space. The performance cats, like Outremar, Nautitech, Catana, Bali do not appeal to us, small cabins, galley dessign, materials it does not feel like cruising, but like going from A to B and the staying on shore. They are nice boats, but not for us.

The contenders in style were Fountain Pajot Lucia 40, Helia 44 too expensive even used, Lagoon 42, the 39 was too small, the Leopard 40, but did not like the forward door / cockpit dessign. We also saw a neglected 400S2 4 cabin charter version for sale. Most space in the 40 range.

Out of reach but awesome were the Xquisite X5, we also visited Privilege, not so impressed, and some other manufacturers.

Of course we checked out the monohulls too and some insane power boats.

It boiled down to Fountaine Pajot Lucia, Lipari, Orana; Lagoon 400, 420, 421, 440, Leopard 40, 43. Finally we found ours and think stil, it was the best match to our cruising habits and the best livability in the 40ft and budget range.
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Old 27-07-2019, 05:04   #73
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We bareboat chartered in the BVI before buying just to be sure it was not just a dream. Years later we bought our L47, not one of the boats we chartered but similar enough to know it was what we wanted.
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Old 27-07-2019, 05:08   #74
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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Glad we saved the US$18k now that we’re cruising!
Good lord, I think our charter fee was £500 for the long weekend.

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And smaller is more better��
We like the choice we made 12 years ago and have no regrets.

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Old 27-07-2019, 09:43   #75
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I told my wofe that we should learn to sail together forst, then rent /charter a boat a few times before we buy or build.
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