his month we focus on a family's carefully designed plan to Achieve Their Cruising Dreams Through Chartering, plus Charter Notes.
Having the Fun Without the Hassle: A Five Year Management Plan In these hectic times, many sailors find they just don't have the time to properly maintain a boat of their own — not to mention the cost of buying and berthing one. As a result, the international charter industry continues to flourish, and membership in local sailing clubs continues to rise. You may not realize, however, that most boats offered by both clubs and charter operators worldwide are owned by private individuals who have entered into management contracts with the charter operators. The costs and benefits of such deals vary substantially from company to company, but all contain some sort of financial benefit — typically a path to eventual ownership, a share of the rental profits, and/or free berthage and low- or no-cost maintenance — plus a generous allowance of time for personal use of the boat. Last month we were introduced to a somewhat different approach when we caught up with Katie Burgess. She and her husband Lyall have embraced what they call their 'five-year plan'. If all goes as planned, in a few years they'll be crossing the Atlantic with their daughters 'Iwalani, now 5, and 'Anela, 3,
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY BURGESS FAMILY
After crunching the numbers, Lyall and Katie think their ﬁve-year plan is an investment that will pay off in myriad ways.
aboard a completely paid off, late-model sloop. Katie and Lyall have done lots of sailing, and they hope their young daughters will eventually share their passion for the sailing life. But because they live on the Big Island of Hawaii, they feel it's impractical to own and maintain a family boat there. So a couple of years ago, they began researching the idea of buying a boat within an international charter fleet. Today, they're a year and a half into a five-year management contract with Dream Yacht Charters on a late-model Dufour 382 sloop. She is based in the Med, at the picturesque harbor of Propriano, on the southwest coast of Corsica. "I met Lyall when he'd just crossed the ocean on a Dufour 382," recalls Katie. I stepped aboard and said, 'Wow, this has everything I want in a size of boat that's manageable.' "We really like the idea of having an unbranded boat — one that hadn't been customized for a particular charter company." As with many other owners who've placed boats in management programs, both in US waters and abroad, Katie and Lyall consider their deal with Dream to be an investment in a lifestyle, as well as in a boat. "For us," explains Katie, "a family with two kids, part of what made this management program appealing is that we knew we had the flexibility to take a month or six weeks off every year." Their annual allotment of per sonal sailing time aboard their boat — or boats at other Dream bases — is six to eight weeks a year. They are not allowed to sell their weeks, but they can
gift them to friends or family members.) "Knowing we would have those weeks to use, was a huge value to us. "We pay a $300 cleaning fee for three weeks of chartering. T h a t ' s i t . We book our weeks a year ahead, and that's allowed us to see places like Propriano, which we'd never have visited otherwise." Some owners who put boats in management programs are looking for profits, but Katie and Lyall are more interested in introducing their kids to farflung sailing destinations. "Next year we are looking at sailing in Thailand and the Seychelles," says Katie, "again, places we would never sail to on our own boat. But there are other owners who are happy to keep their boats in places like the BVI, and go there to use their weeks four times a year at the same place." Clearly, no single approach is right for every investor. And each management firm offers somewhat different deals. "We made one big balloon payment in the very beginning, and we won't pay another dime until year five," explains Katie. They make no profit from the program but pay nothing for maintenance, repairs or berthage. "For us and for other families who want to eventually cruise together, this plan is a really cool because it gives us an opportunity to take a vacation every year aboard a boat, test out the lifestyle, and get our kids to slowly adapt and fall in love with sailing, rather than forcing it on them by suddenly moving aboard
The February 2019 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.