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.