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Old 05-03-2021, 07:18 AM   #21
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I really appreciate the diversity of opinions and experiences on this!

It seems like a big part of this question is financial. Can I swallow the cost of having a reputable yard handle the prep work and shut down work of bringing the boat out of, and putting back into storage. This will not be cheap, understood. But I will need to contact a few reputable yards along the East coast to determine exactly what these costs could be.

Once I have that info, I will need to add up those costs, and the storage costs, as well as all the other ownership costs, and compare those to what it would cost to charter, which a good portion of you think is a viable alternative given my plans.

My experience chartering has only been with sailboats, of which there are plenty to choose from, especially in the Caribbean. When I tried looking for power boats in the size range I am interested in, and in the areas I’m interested in cruising, I did not come up with many options when I previously checked. Another consideration for me here is that a charter boat will not have the creature comforts of “my” boat, and will most likely not even be in the same class of boat. So while it may give me an idea of whether I want to make the leap to purchase a boat of my own (if I am able to even find one that will give me a similar experience), the experience of actually living on a charter boat vs your own boat seems as though it could be quite different, and maybe give a false impression of what living on your own boat could be like. Although, the trade off is you drop it back off and walk away from it without any more bills to pay on it. And as GT mentioned, it opens up different areas to cruise in without needing to travel to those areas.

Back to the cost comparison - chartering a 50-60ft boat for 3-4 months a year is not going to be cheap either! Once I’ve got a better handle on the yacht mgmt fees of prepping and storing an owned boat, etc., and comparing that to charter costs, I’ll need to see if those differences are big enough to drive the decision. I know 10% of the boats value is a number that gets thrown around a lot as the cost of ownership. Does that become more like 15% if adding in full yacht management fees?

I appreciate the input above, CarDude, as it sounds somewhat similar to ours with traveling out of state to use the boat (we are in Illinois).

I know it will be more headaches with owning vs chartering, I’m just trying to mitigate those, as I know the upside of having your own boat that you become familiar with and love, can be a great experience. However, I’ve also done enough to know that paying someone else to do something sounds good if you can fund it, but it can often just mean a different set of headaches now (managing their work, making sure they do it right, etc). And I also know the value of being able to do the work yourself if needed. So I would plan on learning how to do all that could be needed with maintenance or if things go wrong, for 80% of the issues that most commonly crop up, for the sake of being able to keep going while out there.

But, as BandB mentioned, I’m not interested in sewing the clothes I wear, but I would want to know how to stitch up a tear, in the event that happens. I would be getting into this to go out and cruise, not spend the limited time I have getting ready to cruise. And although I realize mechanical know-how and maintenance is part of the deal, I’m trying to make it less a part than others who have more time. One day, I really hope to have more of that time, that’s just not right now. So again, getting a better grip on what it could cost me to give me more of that time is going to be a big factor, as the funds are certainly not unlimited.

So, onto researching charter boats and their costs. Any good leads out there?
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:44 AM   #22
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Our boats are for recreation. I can work all I want and be very productive, but when I choose to take leisure time I don't choose to do boat maintenance. If that's something you enjoy then I applaud you doing it, but time is limited in quantity and that's now how I choose to use mine.

That's a good way to think of it. That's also why I happily spend more hours than most around here working on the boat in the freezing cold over the winter, as it means less boat work during the months where we can use it.



In my case, I DIY almost everything for a couple of reasons: paying for everything isn't in the budget, so at this point, the more I DIY, the more money I have left for upgrades and/or using the boat more. And I also hate other people working on my stuff (especially unsupervised), so I generally prefer doing mechanical stuff, etc. myself (plus, then it's done on my schedule). But for stuff like polishing and waxing, when the money is in the budget and I find a good person to do it, I'll happily take those chores off my plate.


And on the schedule thing, the last time I tried to solve a problem by paying someone, all of the answers I got back were "we'll have time to look at it in 2 - 3 weeks" which wasn't going to work with a broken transmission in the middle of a trip. So I ended up having a friend drive out to where we were, we pulled the trans apart, found the issue, overnighted a part and put it back together. Problem happened on a Sunday, we were ready to go again by mid day Wednesday. Even after paying the friend the most he was willing to accept (after some convincing), it still cost me a fraction of what a pro fix would have, plus the job got done much faster.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:48 AM   #23
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Its not just the yard and boat work...of course they can manage other specialties too.

But as pointed out how much time and how much energy do you want to spend cleaning, stocking, and preping for cruising the vessel? Or pay for them?

As previously pointed out it could be pretty extensive depending on the type of cruising, and if done by others, the inventory and storage plan will help a lot if cruising on a 60 footer ( also cost).
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:00 AM   #24
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BanB my bad and my apologies.

Whatever floats your boat is good with me. One of the pleasures I’ve enjoyed is the strength of the cruising community. You’re at a get together -drinks in the cockpit and saloon, get together for dominos or music jam, group dinner or charity event. Chat turns to whatever boat troubles people are having. Soon you’re offering or accepting help to walk through a particular problem or the strong back to do it. You work together to solve it and made a new friend. We’ve developed a excellent circle of cruising friends that way. Many are friends well beyond anything to do with boating. Same occurs on the daily “treasures of the bilge” section of all the morning VHF cruiser nets, owners groups and cruising rallies.

Yes, a different relationship with your boat. The cold mechanical or electrical problem becomes a time of learning and social interaction. 99% of your time full time cruising is with your bride or significant other. Would hate to miss that socialization with a good group of people in the main. That learning is almost always helpful. Especially when you contract that work out in unfamiliar places where you have little or no idea who’s good and who isn’t.

BTW we’re headed to Florida. On the way stopping off to visit friends in Annapolis ( one set were passage crew, the other cruising friends met when I helped them with a repair). Then off the North Carolina to see other cruising friends ( initial meet was sharing a rental car and searching for parts in St. Lucia). Then several sets of friends while heading south through Florida but closest friends are a retired navy couple who then served as captain and cook on mega yachts >100’. He taught me how to Med moor in a strong cross wind. He also taught me innumerable single handing skills while bopping around BVI while my wife was home working and I had already retired. All these relationships developed initially from either getting or giving boat work help.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:10 AM   #25
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Here are two very good outfits in Bellingham, WA to charter with, and my opinion is based on previous experience with them.

https://sanjuansailing.com/charters.html

CHARTERS | NW Explorations

Anacortes, WA

https://www.burgessyachts.com/en/charter-a-yacht?

https://anacortesyachtcharters.com/
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:28 AM   #26
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BanB my bad and my apologies.

Whatever floats your boat is good with me. One of the pleasures Ive enjoyed is the strength of the cruising community. Youre at a get together -drinks in the cockpit and saloon, get together for dominos or music jam, group dinner or charity event. Chat turns to whatever boat troubles people are having. Soon youre offering or accepting help to walk through a particular problem or the strong back to do it. You work together to solve it and made a new friend. Weve developed a excellent circle of cruising friends that way. Many are friends well beyond anything to do with boating. Same occurs on the daily treasures of the bilge section of all the morning VHF cruiser nets, owners groups and cruising rallies.

Yes, a different relationship with your boat. The cold mechanical or electrical problem becomes a time of learning and social interaction. 99% of your time full time cruising is with your bride or significant other. Would hate to miss that socialization with a good group of people in the main. That learning is almost always helpful. Especially when you contract that work out in unfamiliar places where you have little or no idea whos good and who isnt.

BTW were headed to Florida. On the way stopping off to visit friends in Annapolis ( one set were passage crew, the other cruising friends met when I helped them with a repair). Then off the North Carolina to see other cruising friends ( initial meet was sharing a rental car and searching for parts in St. Lucia). Then several sets of friends while heading south through Florida but closest friends are a retired navy couple who then served as captain and cook on mega yachts >100. He taught me how to Med moor in a strong cross wind. He also taught me innumerable single handing skills while bopping around BVI while my wife was home working and I had already retired. All these relationships developed initially from either getting or giving boat work help.
You point out so well different aspects of boating you find pleasurable. We all do things differently and it's important for the OP to realize that. I know most are like you and enjoy the community of other boaters. We generally have others with us and socialize with them instead of those on other boats, but also we spend a lot of time exploring the towns and ports and the ones we meet that we enjoy most are locals from artists to craftsmen to store owners to gallery or museum employees to waiters and waitresses and restauranteurs. We do enjoy the local festivals and events as well and learning what makes that area unique.

There have been a few other boaters we established long term relationships with, especially those who have needed assistance and we've gotten to know that way. However, when we do return to our boats at night we have others with us with whom we largely socialize.

The things you mention do sound interesting and, for the record, I hate med mooring but it's an essential skill for the Caribbean as well as Europe so have worked at it. The one thing that does limit us from much of what you describe though is so much of the socialization centers around drinking and alcohol. Not our choice. We're not teetotalers but when cruising we very seldom drink and see so many others do so to what we consider excess that we don't choose to socialize with them. Growing up in families destroyed by alcoholism plays a role in our approach. We may drink chosen wines with a very nice multi-course meal when not cruising the following day or occasionally celebrate a big day with champagne, but we don't consume alcohol very often when cruising. Not saying this to criticize any others, just to explain our preferences. Still we've met some incredible people in various areas we've cruised and very much enjoyed meeting them. We share very little about ourselves and ask them to share very little but mainly enjoy what's in the moment. The exception is artists where we do try to know their stories and maintain long term business relationships forged by our initial personal meetings.

I'd say to everyone to just be yourselves and do what you wish. Just because we love museums and art galleries or historical sites, doesn't mean you should ever feel pressured to go to them. Similarly if you don't like pot luck, don't be intimidated to participate. Plenty of different ways to enjoy cruising and your recreational time.

So many different ways. Anchoring vs Marinas. Moving most days vs sitting for long periods. Dock socialization vs community socialization. Relaxing and resting vs. sight seeing. Fast vs. slow. Warm vs. cool. Large boat vs. small. Couple vs. Family vs Family and friends. Restaurants vs cooking on board. Laundromats vs. onboard laundry. DIY vs Pay. There is no right or wrong as we are all very different people.

To those just jumping in, you'll have to find your way and what works best for you. Listen to all others but don't feel compelled to copy any of us.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:55 AM   #27
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So true. BTW we perhaps have one single malt and a small bottle of Prosecco per week. Our visitors usually stay with us for a week or two and are rarely boaters. Like you like to live in a new area for awhile not just visit. Avoid tourist areas like the plague. Slips are for storage or boat projects that can’t be handled at anchor. Much prefer anchoring for many reasons. Don’t like most other peoples music and don’t want to hear other peoples conversations or spats. We’re history and ethnology buffs. Mom was a professional artist, teacher and art historian writing books used as references on those subjects. Was dragged around so many museums as a kid I’ve only in the last several decades gotten past my aversion to them. Want to talk about differences in modeling, light or perspective in Goya, dutch masters, Hudson River or Titian can still hold up on my side of the conversation but don’t seek those conversations out. Different folks different strokes. All good.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:16 AM   #28
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We're on the boat from May until October. From October to May the boat is hauled and sits in the yard on blocks.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:55 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Nialltom View Post
I really appreciate the diversity of opinions and experiences on this!

It seems like a big part of this question is financial. Can I swallow the cost of having a reputable yard handle the prep work and shut down work of bringing the boat out of, and putting back into storage. This will not be cheap, understood. But I will need to contact a few reputable yards along the East coast to determine exactly what these costs could be.

Once I have that info, I will need to add up those costs, and the storage costs, as well as all the other ownership costs, and compare those to what it would cost to charter, which a good portion of you think is a viable alternative given my plans.

My experience chartering has only been with sailboats, of which there are plenty to choose from, especially in the Caribbean. When I tried looking for power boats in the size range I am interested in, and in the areas Im interested in cruising, I did not come up with many options when I previously checked. Another consideration for me here is that a charter boat will not have the creature comforts of my boat, and will most likely not even be in the same class of boat. So while it may give me an idea of whether I want to make the leap to purchase a boat of my own (if I am able to even find one that will give me a similar experience), the experience of actually living on a charter boat vs your own boat seems as though it could be quite different, and maybe give a false impression of what living on your own boat could be like. Although, the trade off is you drop it back off and walk away from it without any more bills to pay on it. And as GT mentioned, it opens up different areas to cruise in without needing to travel to those areas.

Back to the cost comparison - chartering a 50-60ft boat for 3-4 months a year is not going to be cheap either! Once Ive got a better handle on the yacht mgmt fees of prepping and storing an owned boat, etc., and comparing that to charter costs, Ill need to see if those differences are big enough to drive the decision. I know 10% of the boats value is a number that gets thrown around a lot as the cost of ownership. Does that become more like 15% if adding in full yacht management fees?

I appreciate the input above, CarDude, as it sounds somewhat similar to ours with traveling out of state to use the boat (we are in Illinois).

I know it will be more headaches with owning vs chartering, Im just trying to mitigate those, as I know the upside of having your own boat that you become familiar with and love, can be a great experience. However, Ive also done enough to know that paying someone else to do something sounds good if you can fund it, but it can often just mean a different set of headaches now (managing their work, making sure they do it right, etc). And I also know the value of being able to do the work yourself if needed. So I would plan on learning how to do all that could be needed with maintenance or if things go wrong, for 80% of the issues that most commonly crop up, for the sake of being able to keep going while out there.

But, as BandB mentioned, Im not interested in sewing the clothes I wear, but I would want to know how to stitch up a tear, in the event that happens. I would be getting into this to go out and cruise, not spend the limited time I have getting ready to cruise. And although I realize mechanical know-how and maintenance is part of the deal, Im trying to make it less a part than others who have more time. One day, I really hope to have more of that time, thats just not right now. So again, getting a better grip on what it could cost me to give me more of that time is going to be a big factor, as the funds are certainly not unlimited.

So, onto researching charter boats and their costs. Any good leads out there?

I'm kinda curious...what's your purchase and annual operating budget?
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:33 PM   #30
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Yes you can do it. BandB outlines a few different methods in his first post. All I would add to the conversation is my own experience, when I had my own boat in St Lucia, BVI, then FL for two and a half years, while I was living in WA. The boat was for sale so it was not the same as your planned experience but do not underestimate the angst that you might feel, having a significant maintenance-hungry asset a long way away from you in the hands of others.


So it is worth considering whether you are likely to suffer from 'separation anxiety'.

Lastly, if you decide to do the commissioning/decommissioning yourself as you arrive and depart the boat, do not underestimate (a) the amount of work involved, (b) the amount of gear failure that will require troubleshooting and repair before you take off. The only way I know to avoid this is to essentially have a port captain that looks after the boat, runs systems, takes it out occasionally and runs the engines up etc. and fixes the issues as they arise.

I don't know how practical it is to 'store' a boat of the size you are considering. This would be a topic worthy of more input. Most boats this size are kept in the water which allows systems to be operated by a caretaker while the boat is not being used; Main Engines, Generators, Stabilizers, Air conditioners, Various pumps, head seals. None of which can be run with the boat stored on the hard. Things dry out on a boat on the hard, especially in hot climates. Seals degrade, lose their seal, problems arise. Nothing overwhelming but potentially time consuming to resolve on splashing.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:41 PM   #31
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Have used yacht management companies. Many exist scattered throughout the eastern Caribbean. Very hard to vet them. My experience has been the best way maybe simple word of mouth. That commonly requires being there actively cruising that area. Another helpful way is via brand owners groups.
It’s so nice getting off a plane and going to your boat. Cleaned, waxed, recently dove on, fully stocked. You’ve left your cruising clothes and gear on the boat so just throw off the lines and leave. Truly a luxury. You can contract any level of management you want. Don’t know your situation but at 60’ I would also entertain getting a full time captain. May ultimately be similar money and you would have a really good teacher to prepare you if and when you want to full time cruise without his/her services.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:19 AM   #32
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To the OP, the 10 percent per year guess/rule-of-thumb is for owners mostly maintaining their own boat. Every job I do I play the game "What would this cost if I had to pay someone?" When you pay for everything for remote ownership, plus a management company, 10 percent flys out the porthole PDQ IMHO.
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:31 AM   #33
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At the higher cost end of the spectrum is Ken Williams who has documented his part time cruising travels for years. Part of his routine is to fly-in mechanics and experts to get the boat ready for him. He's a good, candid, and prolific writer and can be found at www.KensBlog.com

At the more modest end of the spectrum is a friend who owns a Willard 40 and cruises the Sea of Cortez a few months a year. He has done so for about 15 years. He stores the boat on the hard and has developed a relationship with the local boatyard. Being in Mexico, costs are reasonable. Dry storage seems to be key for him

Good luck

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Old 05-04-2021, 06:02 AM   #34
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I don't know how practical it is to 'store' a boat of the size you are considering. This would be a topic worthy of more input. Most boats this size are kept in the water which allows systems to be operated by a caretaker while the boat is not being used; Main Engines, Generators, Stabilizers, Air conditioners, Various pumps, head seals. None of which can be run with the boat stored on the hard. Things dry out on a boat on the hard, especially in hot climates. Seals degrade, lose their seal, problems arise. Nothing overwhelming but potentially time consuming to resolve on splashing.
~A
Yes, this is something I had not considered. I assumed it was preferable to store for longer periods, on dry land. However, as you mention, leaving in the water allows for the boats systems to be run on a regular basis. But would storing on the water cost a lot more typically, than on blocks? If not, then I could see the benefit of doing this, as long as the wet storage does not add much other issues with wear and tear on the boat ie paint, bottom, etc.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:05 AM   #35
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Have used yacht management companies. Many exist scattered throughout the eastern Caribbean. Very hard to vet them.
Good to know they are available there. Ill assume there a good ones along the East coast as well.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:06 AM   #36
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When you pay for everything for remote ownership, plus a management company, 10 percent flys out the porthole PDQ IMHO.
Yep, that confirms my fear!
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:09 AM   #37
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At the higher cost end of the spectrum is Ken Williams who has documented his part time cruising travels for years. Part of his routine is to fly-in mechanics and experts to get the boat ready for him. He's a good, candid, and prolific writer and can be found at www.KensBlog.com

Peter
Thanks for sharing this. I have checked out KensBlog in the past from it being mentioned elsewhere on this forum, but have not dove into it much. Ill review it more thoroughly.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:18 AM   #38
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Yep, that confirms my fear!
All those percentages depend on what you include and how you calculate but with a new boat and not counting depreciation, our experience is under the 10% number. What you need to do however is figure how you'll use it and do your own budgeting.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:13 AM   #39
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I'm coming back to this after a while away, so apologize for rehashing anything...


We really value(d) owning rather than chartering, and here's why.


- No matter how good the charter company, they will never maintain the boat the way you will, and will not make improvements the way you will. A charter boat will work fine (hopefully), but will have minimal appoints and finishing touches. After all, it's a rental.


- When it's your boat, it's set up the way you want it, everything is where you want it and where you left it, you can keep better things on board like stabilizing binoculars, hand held VHFs, your favorite coffee maker, etc. and it won't be trashed when you return.


- You can keep all your own clothes and gear on board. I can't even imagine the amount of crap we'd have to bring for a 2 month charter if we were really going to fully enjoy the charter. Heck, two pairs of muck boots take up a full rolling suitcase by them selves, plus foul weather gear, etc. If you own the boat, all that stuff is there ready and waiting for you.


- Because the boat is ready and waiting for you, travel to the boat is easy. We typically only took a carry on bag with personal stuff, because everything else was on the boat. But did often have a second bag of parts, supplies, or whatever was more conveniently bought at home and hand carried.


- When you own the boat, you can go use it when you want, for how ever long you want, and if weather suggests a change in schedule, you can do it. Your constraints are limited to your own personal time constraints, not a fixed window in time, selected and committed to a year in advance.


- The boat will be the boat you want, not whatever happens to be available. You are talking about a 60ish foot boat. I don't think there are many of those for charter, and if there are, they are probably crewed boats which is a totally different experience.


- If your boat is in good shape, leaving it for months is just not a big deal. Rig up remote monitoring for a few vitals, have someone local who can check on things if there is a problem, then go. We always left power on , heat or HVAC on but at reduced temps, refrigerator and freezer on. Then when you return, all you need is some milk for coffee and you can move right back in. The grocery shop for perishables at your leisure, and push off the dock when you are ready.


- To leave the boat, have a good checklist. Turn off stuff other than the basics above, dispose of perishables, turn up or down the heat, and leave. And because you leave all the boat clothes and gear on the boat, your return trip is light on luggage too.


Now all of this ignores the comparative financials, and only you can assess how that factors in for you. But chartering isn't cheap, and if you are doing so for 2-4 months a year, it's hard for me to believe that's any cheaper than the carrying cost of owning a boat. If you own, you have cash tied up in the purchase cost, or more carrying cost in a loan, but if it's a good boat and well kept, you will get most of that back when you sell.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:15 AM   #40
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Yep, that confirms my fear!

I think for what you are talking about, a Yacht Management Company is seriously overkill.
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