Is a charter boat right for you?
Have you always wanted to own your own boat but simply don’t have the time to use and maintain it all year round?
Yacht charter investment is ideal for those who are time poor but love the idea of sailing their very own boat in some of the world’s finest cruising grounds. This popular investment opportunity gives you the freedom to sail your own boat when it suits you, and when you can’t be onboard it earns you an income and is professionally maintained!
Owning a charter boat is in many ways similar to owning a serviced apartment. Just as many serviced apartments are located in popular holiday destinations, externally managed for the owners and used personally by the owners at various times of the year, so is a charter boat.
Typically, a charter boat will be located in a popular tourist destination (such as the Whitsundays), will be professionally managed and maintained by a charter boat operator who may have up to 30 boats within their fleet. The boat will (in the case of the Whitsundays) usually be hired to holiday makers for 150 days or more per annum.
Depending on the size and configuration of the boat, gross annual income generated by the boat will be between $100,000 and $180,000 with around 65% of that income ($65,000 to $120,000) expended in management fees and maintenance and around 35% ($35,000 to $60,000) remitted as a net income to the owner. These figures will fluctuate depending on the age of the boat (eg. new boats incur less repairs and maintenance etc).
The charter industry
The bareboat and crewed charter boat holiday industry is experiencing exciting growth in the Asia Pacific region. From its origins in the Mediterranean and Caribbean in the early ’70s, the industry has flourished with charter fleets successfully operating from some of the world’s most beautiful sailing grounds.
Approximately 90 per cent of the boats operating in the charter fleets are not owned by the charter companies. They are owned by private individuals who operate their boats as a business to generate financial returns while also making use of their boat for regular holidays afloat.
The most common use for vessels in charter are week long sailing holidays commonly known as “bareboat charters. “Bareboat” basically means chartering a boat without crew, which is the most popular option for clients with sailing experience who want to explore a cruising area with their own friends or family at their own pace.
Often, vessels over 45 feet are chartered with a fully qualified crew allowing charter clients to sit back and relax while the crew guides them through their holiday.
Where do charter boats operate from?
Yachts can be chartered in areas such as Sydney Harbour, the Whitsundays, Fraser Island and Pittwater in Australia and other exotic cruising areas such as Tonga, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand, Langkawi in Malaysia, Greece, Turkey and Croatia in the Mediterranean, and of course the ever popular islands of the Caribbean.
Are catamarans popular charter boats?
Throughout the charter fleets worldwide, it is a fact that catamarans are becoming the most popular charter boats. Apart from their fantastic sailing performance, hiring a catamaran offers the following advantages over chartering a monohull:
- Firstly, you can’t go past the abundance of extra space both above and below decks. Catamarans can comfortably accommodate up to 12 people depending on the boat’s size.
- Catamarans provide a stable platform while sailing and when anchored. You experience little to no heeling over when sailing, and when at anchor there is no rolling around in anchorages guaranteeing a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Catamarans have a much shallower draft than monohulls which allows anchoring close to shore in the most protected anchorages accessible.
- Ease of handling – if you can sail a monohull you can sail a catamaran. Most charter catamarans are set up with furling headsails and slab reefing mainsails (with lazy jacks) with all lines running back to the helm station and cockpit. They also have two engines making manoeuvring even easier than monohulls.
What we offer
The Multihull Solutions team has worked with the charter boat industry for over 25 years and understands the position of both the boat owner and the operator.
Like any relationship, the most important initial consideration is to find the right balance. Multihull Solutions can assist you in sourcing and buying the right new or pre-owned multihull to fit into a charter fleet. We have close relationships with the most reputable charter companies to ensure your asset is well maintained and looked after at all times.
Along with a great choice of new sail and power boats we also offer a range of quality pre-owned charter yachts for sale. We have a wide range of catamarans for sale for either continued use in a charter boat holiday company or for placement into private use.
Before investing time and money researching charter boats be sure that you check your local taxation laws to ensure a charter boat will work for your current situation. Buying a multihull for commercial operation is not a simple process, so we strongly recommend you take your time and complete a thorough due diligence process.
Please talk to our team for advice and more information.
What type of multihulls fit best into charter?
Multihull Solutions’ experience in the yacht charter industry will assist you in making an informed decision with regard to the right multihull brand, size, equipment, location and charter operator to best suit the various regional industry conditions and hirer markets. These factors are very important in ensuring your charter investment experience is as enjoyable and successful as possible.
Statistics show that the power and sail catamarans built by French manufacturer Fountaine Pajot are extremely popular for charter use due to their balance of performance, comfort, style and safety.
The construction and design of Fountaine Pajot’s sail range is ideally suited to charter. They boast an exceptional amount of interior and exterior living space, expansive sea views, modern galleys on the main deck (not buried down in the hulls), spacious cabins with private ensuites, and loads of natural ventilation and light. The helm stations are protected from the sun, and the large cockpits feature generous outdoor dining settings, lounges, BBQs, and fantastic swim platforms to maximise your outdoor entertaining and fun.
The Fountaine Pajot Motor Yachts (power catamarans) are also ideal for charter with their remarkably spacious interior design, comfortable flybridge layouts, easy-to-handle twin engine controls, and are one of the most fuel efficient vessels in their class.
How do I get the right boat equipped and into commercial survey?
Our technical team has put more than 70 boats into commercial survey in this region, and understand how to “charter proof” each model to ensure the best possible return to the owner. We also ensure the condition of the boat is of a much higher standard than our competition through this process.
Naturally, we achieve a much stronger resale value of your asset at the completion of the charter period, if you wish to sell and exit or upgrade.
Understanding that a charter boat is a working asset which produces income, it is often seen by potential boat purchasers as an ideal “assisted” way to buy their boat as part of a long-term strategy.
During its charter life, the boat is being maintained by a professional charter boat operator, available for private use in an attractive destination and earning an income which is assisting in the financing or payment of the boat over the longer term.
Many owners of charter boats will keep their boats in these charter fleets for 5 to 8 years, prior to taking the boat back to their home port destination to be used as their private boat.
Buying a multihull for commercial operation is not a simple process, so please take the time to complete your due diligence. We strongly recommend you do not buy only on price and what you like personally – the boat is the business and must be a compromise to ensure the business succeeds.
As in any successful business, the people (charter operator and its team) plus the equipment (the boat), make the venture successful.