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Old 08-06-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
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Anacortes Yacht Charters, questions

Hi All, the admiral and I are looking at upsizing and cruising the PNW in a larger boat than we currently own.
We live in California and want to keep the vessel near the San Juans. We have twice chartered boats from AYC with great results. But now we are considering buying a boat and putting it into their charter biz and use it a few weeks a year until we can spend 4-5 months and cruise to Alaska.
Currently looking in the 50'-60' size range.
Does anyone on here have first hand experience with AYC as far as having your personal boat in their charter fleet? What was your experience? Upsides/downsides? Anyone have a boat with another charter company?
I have spoken to AYC about putting a boat in their fleet and they have sent me some info. We are waiting for the lead person to return from vacation to get more info and answer some questions we have come up with.

Thank you all in advance for your wisdom and answers!

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Old 08-07-2018, 12:55 AM   #2
City: San Francisco
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What I have is second hand knowledge from speaking to the owner of the boat I chartered in the same area (but from a different company). The upsides for him were that the rental income almost covered the fixed expenses of ownership. The downsides were that the charter company tended to side with the charterer in equipment failures (even if it was operator error), and they put a lot of hours on the engine each year. This was a smaller boat which tends to rent the most.

I'd at least ask to see the real books for a real yacht the size you are talking about. You're tolerance for knowing others are driving your boat around a very rocky area would need to be high.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:12 AM   #3
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Have you considered buying a boat in their brokerage program? It offers huge advantages for the sales tax, a built-in customer base from previous years so you're earning "mature" income in year one. In addition to AYC, talk to NW Explorations out of Bellingham. They have an excellent reputation and specialize in longer term charters with experienced skippers.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:03 AM   #4
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There was a recent thread about putting boats in charter. You might search for it and take a look.

I am not sure that placing a boat in charter will necessarily cover your costs of ownership. If you have the boat in charter, you will be paying to use your own boat for those 2-3 weeks each year. In the meantime, your boat will (hopefully) be getting a lot of hard use and wear put on it by others. If not, then you arenít coming close to covering your costs. Once you can use the boat for months at a time, the boat wonít be in charter service any longer.

I would try to get some real number and compare that to simply continuing to charter a boat 2-3 weeks at a time until you can cruise for longer periods. Then buy yourself a used boat and go cruising.

Either way, you will have a used boat by the time you have the time to go cruising. Might as well continue to charter in the mean time and let that experience inform your selection of the eventual boat you will own. That way you can buy the boat you want without any consideration for the type of boat that will stay chartered.

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Old 08-07-2018, 11:26 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your comments. Great points to ponder. I have looked at what they have for sale currently through their brokerage but the right boat is not currently available. I am in the sub $300k market so a lot of very fine vessels are out of my reach. One of the problems I see with deferred tax is if I pulled the boat out of charter for a year because I wanted to take the boat to Alaska I would have to pay the tax then instead of upfront. That could affect an unexpected upgrade/repair schedule.
I still need to educate myself on diesels. My last boat had the DD 8.2 turbo and finding someone to work on it who was knowledgeable was an issue. Once I had the turbos and risers replaced it was very reliable. My belief is that I should stay with Cummings or Cat for parts and service availability. Any input on that is appreciated.
I will check out NW Explorations to see if their charter system is similar and to see what they have for charter or for sale.

Thanks again,

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Old 08-07-2018, 05:10 PM   #6
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I would second talking to NW Explorations for something to compare.

We have chartered several times from NW Explorations with positive experiences each time.

They are probably the most well run charter company of any we have used on the east or west coast.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:52 PM   #7
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Hi Charlie,
I don't know much about AYC, but we did have our boat in charter with a different company in Anacortes for several years. We live 4 hours from Anacortes and originally planned to have our boat in charter for a couple of years as we thought our business commitments would slow down as we approached retirement. Instead, we became busier and had less boat time instead of more. Because of our schedule our boat was in charter for 6 years.

Like most things in life, there are positives and negatives to chartering. I was told by some that chartering would pay most of my expenses, and by others that chartering would destroy my boat. The reality in the Northwest is that a boat will probably be in charter for only 6-12 weeks. Most people want to charter in July or August, with some the first part of September. Our average was about 8 weeks a year. So you are not going to get enough business to pay all expenses, but you don't get the wear and tear on your boat like you do on boats chartered in warmer climates.

The busiest time for our business was June through August, so we used the boat in May and September, leaving July and August open for charter. If you want to use your boat in the prime months, you won't get many charters. We found that most of the folks that chartered our boat were older with a lot of boating experience, so we didn't have much damage to our boat. However, it did drive us a little crazy to come back and find that things were set up and stowed differently than we had left them.

One of the advantages of charter if you live at a distance is that the boat is always clean and ready to leave the dock when you arrive. If your schedule is tight, you can just walk off the boat and let the clean up crew deal with it. Most of the charter boats that I see in our marina are cleaner and in better shape than the average. Let me know if you have specific questions and I'll do what I can to help.
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