Southwest Florida Yachts


A Boost for Your Bucket List
By Barb Hansen
June  2013

I guess just about everybody has a bucket list. Some items are on those lists just in case the list maker gets lucky with the Powerball or Lottery, while others have high potential of being accomplished. Vic and I meet people all of the time who have a boat on their bucket list. Sometimes they already have a boat and want a different one, and sometime they’re looking for guidance or opt to charter one of our power or sail yachts, kind of like trying on the shoes before you buy them. We get that and encourage it. Buyer’s remorse is not a good thing, so trying before you buy is a smart move.

We’ve had a way to make boat ownership on that bucket list more of a possibility and we’ve been doing it for as long as we’ve been in business and that’s three decades come next year. The option I’m talking about is putting your boat in charter. But before making your plane and room reservations to do that, let me share some facts about the charter option for you to mull over.

Not any boat will work in a charter mode, and even if you have the right model and size of vessel in excellent condition you can make some money. Please note that I said “some” not “a ton” of money. We find sail and power yachts ranging in length from 30 – to 50-feet to be ideal for chartering. Sailboats, both monohulls and catamarans from 34-to 42-feet, are especially attractive. Frankly, we need both power and sail yachts for our charter fleet.

No, your yacht does not have to be new. It must be the right model and size and in great shape, but it does not have to be new.

Basically, charter revenue helps offset the cost of yacht ownership. Again, please note that is some of the cost of ownership. For example, let’s say you spend $20,000 annually for dockage, insurance and maintenance of your boat. If you can bring in $15,000 from charters that goes a long way toward helping you cover your out-of-pocket expenses. Let’s look at some facts that relate to this discussion.

Think about how much you are using your boat now. Probably not much. The worst thing for a boat is to just let it sit. If it’s the right boat in excellent condition, it won’t just sit in charter. If you’re an absentee owner, that’s probably worse since you leave your boat for months at a time and probably find yourself spending most of your “vacation” cleaning and repairing your boat when you return to it. Not the best way to get that much needed “R & R”. Having your boat in charter also means having it ready for you when you want to use it. Just get on board and cast off. I doubt anyone would object to that!

If you’re a new boat owner or considering retirement in 3- to 10-years, placing your boat in charter will give you several years to get to know your boat and equip it the way you want. That means when you take the boat out of charter or retire and go cruising, you will do so on a nice boat that you feel comfortable with and it’s all set to go?

If this is beginning to appeal to you, we would be delighted to have a discussion with you. I encourage boaters to talk with and visit different chartering companies. Check their charter fleet out, pay attention to their charter agreements, including the fine print. There are some potential tax advantages that you will want to explore with your tax advisor. Be sure you proceed with your eyes wide open.

We’ve worked with many yacht owners over the years. They have benefited in a variety of ways by putting their yachts into charter. Think about it and give us a call or check with another charter company. You might be that much closer to checking “Own a boat” off your bucket list.

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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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