A common comment by charter guests while reluctantly handing their boat back to our staff is: “I wish I could do this forever.”
Kevin and Linda Potts had the same thought after a charter in the Fall of 2016. They loved cruising the beautiful Caribbean and the freedom of charting one’s own course. They promptly returned home and did more than just dream about owning a yacht – they started planning their retirement to include sailing from port to port. Kevin and Linda signed up for sailing lessons to improve their skills and then began researching the cost of purchasing, commissioning and maintaining their own sailboat.
With just four or five years to plan for retirement and their new cruising lifestyle, Kevin and Linda decided to look into placing a new boat in charter service as a means of offsetting some of their expenses. They started researching charter companies where a boat could be placed in a charter program to help make payments and keep up with general maintenance. After researching several charter companies they chose CYOA Yacht Charters in St. Thomas.
Kevin explained, “The people at CYOA truthfully explained the process and the realities of putting our boat in the charter fleet and they were experts on the Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 we decided to purchase. They also helped us to afford sailing Counting Stars 4 to 5 times a year ourselves. Location was key to our decision as well. CYOA in St. Thomas is so easy to get to. We are able to start sailing the Spanish and U.S. Virgin Islands before we would even set foot at other charter companies. We squeeze every moment out of our vacation time!”
“Also important in the Caribbean is caring for our boat during hurricane season. CYOA had our boat stored on the hard during the devastating hurricanes of 2017, which kept her safe when others were destroyed. Trust is huge when you are thousands of miles away.”
Now that Counting Stars has retired from charter and the Potts have retired from work, they are counting down the days until they pick up their yacht. They have plans to sail the Caribbean, the east coast of the US, the Bahamas and then head across into the South Pacific.
“We highly recommend a purchase/charter package with CYOA,” said Linda. “They are upfront in letting you know that charters won’t make you rich but will pay maintenance, upkeep, and insurance and it gave us 10 weeks a year sailing aboard our yacht. This was an important lifestyle choice for us. We wanted to enjoy time in the Caribbean on vacation while financing our boat. CYOA was very flexible and accommodating.”
A few words of advice from Kevin and Linda: “Interview several yacht companies and don’t just go with the big guys. Seek a level of trust that your investment will be well taken care of.”
We asked if they would spend their retirement years sailing, to which they replied, “Ask us a year from now!”. Kevin and Linda look forward to sailing the world, to the mental and physical challenges, and the adventure. “Change is hard but exciting!” they exclaimed.
Did we mention that this retirement couple just hit 50 years of age? “It takes research, planning, saving, and making wise decisions. We’re here to tell you to dream it, then do it.”