After careful consideration we finally elected to purchase a Leopard 46. This is a 2011 model that is factory ready for delivery with most of the options and upgrades we were considering anyway. The discount offered was too good to pass up and along with placing the yacht in charter, the costs now become affordable.
The plan right now is to keep the yacht in charter for about 3 years while we improve our catamaran sailing skills. Each year we will spend more time sailing and eventually move onto the boat. The goal is to eventually start sailing and spend less time working.
So you’re thinking of purchasing a yacht and placing it in charter with Moorings? I had the same thought, but followed up on it, and here we are, 4 years later. Allow me to share my experiences with you, all factual, nothing exaggerated, you can then decide for yourself. I must add that in purchasing the yacht, my intention was to keep the yacht after the charter period, unlike most other owners, who either trade up on a new yacht or sell.
Purchasing the yacht
On visiting the Miami boat show in February 2011, we decided to enter into an agreement with Moorings, whereby we would purchase a yacht for them or a subsidiary company, get preferential financing through their preferred lender, and enjoy a fixed monthly income for 5 years. In addition, we could utilize owners time to charter a yacht rom any Moorings base worldwide, while they took care of insuring and maintaining our yacht. A perfect partnership, or so we thought. On choosing a location, we selected a base with an advanced skill level, believing that charterers will sail the yacht rather than motor from one anchorage to the next, thereby placing excessive hours on the engines.
These are the ‘points’ you use to charter a yacht, the number of points it costs is determined by the season. Different bases have different seasons, plus under certain conditions you cannot make a reservation more that 7 or 14 days out. You try purchasing airline tickets and securing a yacht with only 2 weeks’ notice, it’s almost impossible. Short notice ‘points’ are essentially a waste of time unless your yacht is based somewhere where nobody wants to sail. Besides the points used to offset the cost of the charter, there are other hidden fees, like cross branding, turnaround fees and permits, to name just a few. So your free vacation aboard your new yacht will still have you sending Moorings about a thousand dollars.
What is appealing about the contract, is Moorings take responsibility for insurance docking fees, professional maintenance and any warranty repairs or claims against the manufacturer of the yacht or any of the ancillary equipment. You as the owner don’t have to worry about a thing. Or so I believed. You also have a dedicated customer service representative and booking agent to take care of you.