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Considering a yacht buy? Test waters by chartering one

If you’re in the market to buy your first yacht but not quite ready to jump in, brokers often suggest chartering a vessel first to get a feel for cruising. Here are tips to get you started, courtesy of brokers whose companies are represented at the Palm Beach International Boat Show.

MORE ON THE PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW

Ask some initial questions. Where do you want to go on your yacht? How much time do you plan to spend on the water? What destinations do you want to visit? How many crew members would be comfortable for you?

With your answers, a knowledgeable broker can offer charter options, said Shannon McCoy, a luxury yacht adviser specializing in retail charter and yacht sales at Worth Avenue Yachts. “Do you want to travel around the world or do you want to spend time in the Mediterranean or Caribbean? Knowing that will help us guide you to the type of construction your yacht will need,” McCoy said. “For example, with a shallow-draft boat, you can get into the nooks and crannies and shallow water of the Bahamas.”

Layout matters. What do you expect to do with your yacht? How many staterooms will you need? Will you use your yacht for family or friends? Choosing a vessel with a layout tailored to your needs is key, said Diana L. Brody, charter broker with Camper Nicholsons.

“Your boat is an extension of your lifestyle,” Brody said. “Consider the activities that are important to you. If you are going to use your yacht as a family boat, is the sky lounge large enough for watching movies? For fitness buffs, is there room on board for workout equipment? If you can’t be disconnected from work, consider a layout that has an office.”



Gain hands-on insight into operational costs. To understand what’s involved in owning a yacht, Kim Vickery, director of charter for HMY Yachts, recommends planning one- to two-week charters multiple times, at a destination such as the Caribbean, New England or the Mediterranean.

“Typically, sales brokers will say that operating expenses run about 10 percent of the vessel’s value. However, when experiencing the yacht on charter, you’ll get a feel for the necessary operational costs, such as fuel consumption, marina fees, dockage and provisions. Also, you’ll gain an understanding of the importance of having qualified crew to operate your yacht safely and provide the desired level of service.”

Take your time. “Sometimes, your first charter is it,” said Katya Jaimes, sales and charter consultant for IYC. “You’ll come back and love everything about it, but sometimes my clients will realize that they want a faster yacht, more room, or a quieter yacht. Maybe they’ll decide that they want stabilizers, or a yacht that’s more fuel-efficient, and I’ll suggest that they try another yacht to better accommodate their needs.”

Does pedigree make a difference to you? Explore the differences between American and European manufacturers. If you’re making your first charter excursion with an eye toward buying, consider a yacht manufactured in the United States, such as a Christensen, Delta or Westport, said Patricia Codere, head of USA charter management for Fraser Yachts. “They hold their value. See how they work for you,” she said.

For your second charter, try a European build, such as a Feadship, Amels, Abeking Rasmussen or Benetti, all yachts known for their style, she suggests.

And for a more economical boat, check out a Ferretti, Azimut or Sunseeker. “These are fast, sexy, and very popular boats,” she said.



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Boat sales growth slipped slightly in February

Boat sales were up year-over-year in February, but at a slightly lower pace than in January, according to the latest Info-Link Bellwether report.

According to Info-Link, the Bellwether report tracks sales of powerboats across the country based on new U.S. boat registrations on a rolling 12-month basis. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (varies by market segment and time of year).

Boat sales were up about 6 percent across all categories on a rolling basis for the 12 months ending in February, compared with 7 percent growth for the previous report. Sales were up about 6 percent for the 12 months ending in December, according to Info-Link.

The sportfish and tow boat segments continued to be the strongest for the 12 months ending in February, with both up about 10 percent. The PWC segment was also strong, posting growth of nearly 10 percent.

Overall, the outboard segment was up about 7 percent for the period. Sterndrive/jet was the only category to decline, with sales down about 2 percent for the last year.


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Expectations run high for sales at 32nd Palm Beach International …

As the 32nd Palm Beach International Boat Show prepares to hoist sails Thursday, expectations are high among organizers and exhibitors for another run of strong sales and buyer interest.

With more boats on display, robust online ticket sales and a sunny weekend weather forecast, bigger crowds are expected this year, said Andrew Doole, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale firm that manages and produces the event.

The boat show, which typically attracts more than 40,000 visitors annually, is owned by the trade group Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County

“It’s a larger show in 2017 with more than 700 boats in water this year, and more on land also,” Doole told the Sun Sentinel earlier this week. “Advance ticket sales are doing well and we’re looking for an increase in [attendance] over last year.”

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Caption Airbnb Reaches Deal With Miami-Dade

Will now collect resort tax from hosts

Will now collect resort tax from hosts

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Tourism Economics projects the U.S. will lose 6.3 million visits by the end of next year.

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asatchell@sun-sentinel.com, 954-356-4209 or Twitter@TheSatchreport


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Expectations run high for sales at 32nd Palm Beach International Boat Show

As the 32nd Palm Beach International Boat Show prepares to hoist sails Thursday, expectations are high among organizers and exhibitors for another run of strong sales and buyer interest.

With more boats on display, robust online ticket sales and a sunny weekend weather forecast, bigger crowds are expected this year, said Andrew Doole, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale firm that manages and produces the event.

The boat show, which typically attracts more than 40,000 visitors annually, is owned by the trade group Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County

“It’s a larger show in 2017 with more than 700 boats in water this year, and more on land also,” Doole told the Sun Sentinel earlier this week. “Advance ticket sales are doing well and we’re looking for an increase in [attendance] over last year.”

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Caption Airbnb Reaches Deal With Miami-Dade

Will now collect resort tax from hosts

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Is U.S. tourism heading toward a Trump slump?

Caption Is U.S. tourism heading toward a “Trump slump”?

Tourism Economics projects the U.S. will lose 6.3 million visits by the end of next year.

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asatchell@sun-sentinel.com, 954-356-4209 or Twitter@TheSatchreport


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