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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, 07:58   #1
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Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

In another thread, there was advice given to someone new to cruising boats to go out and charter various boats to learn the market and determine their tastes.


This is all good in theory but I don't think anyone does it.


My experience is that people who buy sailboats figure out what they want either by sailing as crew with friends, or through articles, forum discussions, etc. The main reason being that chartering is a very, very, expensive activity and the range of boats you can experience that way is limited.
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Old 19-07-2019, 08:15   #2
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I chartered many times long before I ever bought. I also worked as a charter captian and all the other things you mention above (crew for friends, sailing club, etc). The upside to all of those activities is that I got to sail a LOT of different boats in a LOT of different venues.

I think a big advantage to chartering for a couple/family is they get to spend extended time on a boat before buying one. Some discover its not for them. Chartering is WAY less expensive than discovering you just made a mistake in buying a boat at all
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Old 19-07-2019, 08:29   #3
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We bareboat chartered a 50’ Ocean Alexander for two weeks out of Anacortes and the next year it was a 65’ DeFever for three weeks. 12 years later we bought a 63’ Hatteras, does that count?
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Old 19-07-2019, 08:44   #4
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We chartered a Bavaria 32 before buying our Moody. The Bavaria was a delight to sail and park even in a tight marina, always felt it was on rails. However, I wasn't so keen on the plastic finish or the fit out by the UK dealer which was rubbish.

From the charter experience we switched from a motorboat to a yacht, but chose older higher quality rather than new and shiney.

So for us with the kids (now grown up and flown) it was worth the charter fee to see how we got on with a yacht in a size we were looking to buy.

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Old 19-07-2019, 08:54   #5
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

The boats I chose to purchase were never available in charter fleets.
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Old 19-07-2019, 08:54   #6
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
In another thread, there was advice given to someone new to cruising boats to go out and charter various boats to learn the market and determine their tastes.

This is all good in theory but I don't think anyone does it.

My experience is that people who buy sailboats figure out what they want either by sailing as crew with friends, or through articles, forum discussions, etc. The main reason being that chartering is a very, very, expensive activity and the range of boats you can experience that way is limited.

I think too many people think:
  • first thought - I wanna sail/cruise
  • second thought - ok, I need my forever cruiser NOW
Our approach was to buy a "starter" boat that can be sailed and trailered inexpensively, while experiencing different boats. The vast majority of that experience has been on others' boats, as you say - eg crewing races, or invited on short cruises, and we've now done one $$$ Caribbean charter on a 41' monohull.


After 12 years... we're still sailing the paint off of our 'beater', and we are also looking at larger boats. Yes the charter fleet is limited. But if we were in the market for a BIG cruiser, we would totally charter one or two before plunking down almost 6 figures.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:16   #7
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

For sure.

I charter every year and have for years, I'm not buying until I move aboard maybe next summer. or the next.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:21   #8
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I joined a boat club in San Diego while saving up to buy. I was able to do day sails on various size boats. Also a day rental allowed you too stay overnight so I got a base feel living on various size boats.

I feel this gave me a rough idea on overall boat size that was acceptable as well as what i wanted.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:35   #9
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

never chartered a boat yet besides a rowing grp for some hours.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:38   #10
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Our approach was to buy a "starter" boat that can be sailed and trailered inexpensively, while experiencing different boats. The vast majority of that experience has been on others' boats, as you say - eg crewing races, or invited on short cruises, and we've now done one $$$ Caribbean charter on a 41' monohull.

This is what I am doing also.


I think that a great deal can be learned from owning a modest boat that cannot be learned by chartering.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:39   #11
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We chartered thru the sailing club we joined. During the time taking ASA classes, we had available various monohulls (sailors are we), as we progressed thru the classes. Starting with 23ft J Boats, to 30ft catalinas and 34ft bavaria.

After that experience, we purchased our first 25ft S&S Northstar 500, kept her for 5-6 years, then moved up to a 34ft C&C, for 5-6 years, and now own a 39ft Jeanneau.

As we experienced each boat, it helped hone what are real needs and likes in our boat. Which is what I believe is the essence of chartering various boats prior to purchase. Check them out first, its a big long lasting expense once you buy.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:41   #12
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We chartered for three years before we bought that helped our decision on if we wanted a center cockpit or traditional aft cockpit we chose CC and never regretted our choice all sailing was enjoyable 😊
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:46   #13
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I chartered at least 5 to 6 times, 32-52 ft., before I bought my first cruising big boat. I owned a couple of smaller day sailors before that. As far as people doing research, reading articles, etc before buying a boat, yes you are right they do. And the majority them never do anything with the boat. They buy a fixer upper, which is a recipe for financial disaster for someone who knows very little about boats. Or the boat is too big for them to handle because of their lack of experience, or, which happens a lot, the spouse tries it out for the first couple of times and has no interest from that point on. Certainly not taking long cruises. I think someone is a fool to go out and buy a big boat with out doing a couple of charters first, or at the least, getting in some sailing time on a friends boat. And I don't count day sailing on a small lake, which is a far cry from deep water sailing on the ocean or great lakes.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:50   #14
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

We rentes a Wauquiez Centurion 48 in Sint Maarten. At that time we lived in Curacaou and back home, in Holland, we owned a Classic steel yacht of 36ft.(FransMaasBreeon).
The Centurion proved a very sturdy cruiser and after returning to Holland we searched and bought a Centurion 42. A few years later we bought a 48, exactly like the boat we rentes years ago.
My advice is rent before buyimg so you clearly understand your needs.
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Old 19-07-2019, 09:54   #15
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Re: Show of hands: who actually chartered boats before buying?

I didn't charter, but I had sailing on many different boats, including the one I bought and several I learned I did not want. This should have been another poll option.


Yeah, personally I think cruising boats are:
  • Lousy first boats.
  • Not great days sailers in general.
  • Not required by most people, since they don't overnight enough to matter. But they think they will. But they don't actually like the reality of cruising.
I've had a cruising boat, and that was great while I was cruising. But most of the time it is not really what I want. Judging from the number of boats that anchor out, as a percentage of the whole, very few cruise at all. In fact, very few leave the dock at all, and the number that cruise are a sub set of that.
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