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Old 07-07-2011, 11:15 PM   #21
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RE: Have you ever considered a boat swap?

Boat swap is a lot like house swap.

For years now we have been registered on Homeexchange.com. We have had some wonderful swaps, and no disasters. We have noticed that one side usually gets a better deal on the other person's home, and it is always nice to be the winner on that comparison. Some people will trade a fabulous home in a mediocre location for a mediocre home in a fabulous location, and both will feel they got a good deal. on Home exchanges, we have been to Yorkshire, England; southwest France; Costa Rica; Los Ayala, Mexico; Whistler, BC.

We have also been registered on VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner) and have had many revenue producing rentals of our vacation home. In turn, we have done vacations in places we never would have considered, either renting or swapping. On Vacation rentals we have been to Provence, France; Palm Springs, CA; and to Paris, France; We had a booking in Carcasonne, France, and received a full refund when the trip was cancelled due to the Iceland Volcanic eruption. That is still on our "to do" list.

We have rented our Vacation home to folks from BC, Alberta, Pennsylvania, Ottawa, Washington DC, England, Kansas and a few I have forgotten. Each has opened up to us on email and phone calls before we book their trip, so we have felt comfortable with them in our home. Likewise, the Exchangers are people we get to know as much as we can over the internet and phone before confriming an exchange. It is a process that takes time and will only work out as well as the effort you put into it alllows.

We are now able to compare the two ways of getting to a vacation site. If the place we are going to is generally less expensive, it is better to rent from a VRBO than to swap, as we will get our revenue from an equivalent amount of time, and spend less there. If the place is more expensinve, we try to do the home exchange, and will swap cars too if that is offered.

In both, the owners have universally kept their places up to a high standard, are respectful of our place, and we have no bad experiences to relate.

Boats, however, are very personal. When I was still in school, (1977 to 1980) I had a 30 ft sailboat and the only way I could avoid selling it to pay tuition, was to put it in a charter fleet. I cringed every time I sent it out on charter, but in the first year it always came back to me in perfect condition. In the second year, I got burned by a charter group that had no respect for my baby, and the charter broker didn't help me at all, so that ended. My present 44 ft trawler is much more complicated and much more personal. I can not conceive of turning it over to a stranger and expecting no trouble. There are far too many things that are unique about this boat to show someone in less than several hours. I doubt that a single showing would adequately acquaint a new skipper with its features. Rather than set yourself up for failure, save enough to charter in those remote locations. If you are comfortable renting your boat out, do it through a charter Company. They will give you the guidelines for getting your systems organized in a way that they can train the charterer. You won't need to do it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #22
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RE: Have you ever considered a boat swap?

"If you are comfortable renting your boat out, do it through a charter Company. They will give you the guidelines for getting your systems organized in a way that they can train the charterer. You won't need to do it."

Koliver is right about most he says, the only propblem with the above proposition, and one of the reasons I don't hire out my present boat, (but as posted above, have had a boat in a charter arrangement), is the survey requirements imposed.* That is, most countries, if for commercial hire,*enforce survey requirements re construction and equipping of the vessel which are higher than*most of our boat would meet, and therefore expensive, especially if not constructed from the outset to meet those scantlings etc.* They are even more expensive,*if not nigh impossible to do retrospectively.* It is a pity, but it otherwise kills off what would be a great way to mitigate boating expenses, and let's face it, most of us use our boats "as much as we can, but less than we'd like to".** (My stock answer to those who ask.."how's the boating going?").*

So that is why this boat swapping concept is not a crazy idea.* Most people do take extra care of someone else's boat, as while they are on it they tend to treat it as if it was their own anyway, because*they are living and sleeping on it and their lives are depending on it..!* That is where it does differ from almost any other possession.... food for thought..?
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:20 AM   #23
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RE: Have you ever considered a boat swap?

Keith shares most of my concerns about boat swap/charters.

If it takes me a number of years to*become comfortable with knowing my boat (which includes all of the machinery, deck equipment, safety and navigation equipment, etc.), how can I expect others to enjoy the boat with the same level of safety and reliability.

However, there are some*mainstream boats with very simple systems, easily understood by experienced (but not novice) boaters.* For these boats and boaters,*swapping/chartering is viable.
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