TalonF4U

Chartering Minis / Fig IIIs in Europe

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Bit curious what kind of coin it takes to charter a Mini for the Mini Transat or a Fig III for the Solitare du Figaro. Anyone here ever done it? How do they handle insurance or transportation (in the case of a Mini getting shipped home, for example)?

Seems like there's plenty of Minis out there and that buying one in France is probably not prohibitive (Class Mini site shows plenty of reasonable Series boats, Pogo 2s for example, well equipped under 50K euros) but I would imagine the same can't be said for a Fig III. 

 

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I appreciate the marketing effort for a cool looking boat, but it doesn't quite address my original question. I suppose I can start ringing phones in Europe, but was hoping there was some collective wisdom on the subject here. 

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Fig3 watch the class website.
Classe mini, watch the website.
Sometimes charter options  pop up.

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Best bet is before season/cycle concluding events or shortly thereafter - is usually when people dealing with financial uncertainty of projects put boats up on the class site.

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On 8/4/2020 at 12:41 PM, TalonF4U said:

Bit curious what kind of coin it takes to charter a Mini for the Mini Transat or a Fig III for the Solitare du Figaro. Anyone here ever done it? How do they handle insurance or transportation (in the case of a Mini getting shipped home, for example)?

Seems like there's plenty of Minis out there and that buying one in France is probably not prohibitive (Class Mini site shows plenty of reasonable Series boats, Pogo 2s for example, well equipped under 50K euros) but I would imagine the same can't be said for a Fig III. 

 

I believe Ms. Nathalie Criou from San Francisco area did for Solitare du Figaro last year.

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I know Natalie. I'll ask her. 

 

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Dehler 30 starts at ca 2000 eur per week, off-season, 4000 for racing packages at crazyboats (no affiliation here)

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10 minutes ago, Matagi said:

Dehler 30 starts at ca 2000 eur per week, off-season, 4000 for racing packages at crazyboats (no affiliation here)

You can't sail a Dehler 30 for the Mini Transat or Solitare du Figaro - he's obviously asking to explore a program/campaign for one. 

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Fiagro III rental just makes sense as an American looking to do the Solitare. That boat isn't cheap.

For the Mini, I'm trying to weigh the costs of shipping vs chartering. It may actually make sense to buy a well sorted boat in Martinique, sail it to the East Coast, race a bit to get things down, then ship and race and sell. Or maybe I just want to do that. Anyway, gonna head to the corner store and buy a Powerball ticket so I can quit scouting the costs on a forum and just start making it rain. 

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If you want to get good sailing a Mini - you have to move to France. There’s no other option than being part of the community and getting practice and sharing knowledge. 
 

You can probably save some money buying a Mini at the end of the transat and sailing it to the US, but better off just keeping it in the US and chartering a same series boat and sort it out so the exp you have transfers. 

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Yes... of course... to do "good" sailing of this sort, I know I have to move to France. 

Je suis desole, but that time in my life has probably passed. It's romantic, the thought of abandoning one's family to pursue one's dreams. I wonder how Moitessier's wife felt about it when her hubby parked up in Tahiti with a side chick. We all feel good reading his book, but we also have to admit there's a real life we have to deal with. 

I will accept less than good sailing to pretend that I can play by compensating for romance with cold hard cash. I can probably spend the money and stay married. Probably can't quit my job and move to France and 'do it right' and still get to see my kids most days. 

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15 minutes ago, TalonF4U said:

Yes... of course... to do "good" sailing of this sort, I know I have to move to France. 

Je suis desole, but that time in my life has probably passed. It's romantic, the thought of abandoning one's family to pursue one's dreams. I wonder how Moitessier's wife felt about it when her hubby parked up in Tahiti with a side chick. We all feel good reading his book, but we also have to admit there's a real life we have to deal with. 

I will accept less than good sailing to pretend that I can play by compensating for romance with cold hard cash. I can probably spend the money and stay married. Probably can't quit my job and move to France and 'do it right' and still get to see my kids most days. 

Do what you can, with the cards you have.  This isn't fantasy land.  Just enjoy the ride.  You've got it figured out.  

Aren't you on the West Coast now?  No interest in a Singlehanded Transpac?  

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Or Farallones, or LongPac, or, or......    Can someone from the USA even fly to Europe these day?    Could you travel through another country first?

 

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Of course, I will do those races. SHTP is an obvious one. Longpac, of course, a mere long weekend's work. Sailing shorthanded in the Bay--once I can flick this virus booger and get my boat out of Houston and into her slip at RYC!!--is clearly going to be fun. I'm West-ish now, penned up in northern Nevada, but not far from SF.

While we're talking about West Coast, there is no way I don't sail the R2AK in the next couple of years. I also happen to have, uh, professional connections with physically strong people who are immune from pain, cold, and fatuige. Not like I'm going to be spinning those pedals when the going gets rough!  Roleur, you and I clearly ought to get some folks together to go crush that race. 

But my "Races" spreadsheet goes out way past the timeline for this virus. It might take me a decade, but I'll get 'em done. 

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2 hours ago, TalonF4U said:

Yes... of course... to do "good" sailing of this sort, I know I have to move to France. 

Je suis desole, but that time in my life has probably passed. It's romantic, the thought of abandoning one's family to pursue one's dreams. I wonder how Moitessier's wife felt about it when her hubby parked up in Tahiti with a side chick. We all feel good reading his book, but we also have to admit there's a real life we have to deal with. 

I will accept less than good sailing to pretend that I can play by compensating for romance with cold hard cash. I can probably spend the money and stay married. Probably can't quit my job and move to France and 'do it right' and still get to see my kids most days. 

Understood - there's still plenty of Pogo 2s, particularly from small budget campaigners that'll always be available at the end of a transat, and if you pick it up you save the person from shipping it back to france. Maybe see if you can get picked up as a 2nd on the Mini Fastnet - the duo exp is always enjoyable.

If you want to participate in the Transat, what I said before re remains the case - the boat and skipper must qualify as one, and chartering a Pogo 2 (after you've built the exp yourself state side) is probably the easiest way. You still need to have completed at least 1500nm in Mini events in the preceding 5 years, 2 races on the specific boat (1 single handed) & more than 500 nm nonstop event in the year of the event.

 

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Euh, it is modern times now, get a good serie in the US, pay a French coach to get to know the tricks. Zoom baby.
Try to find another idiot so 2 boat testing, training alone is tough for most. Or get a person to film you in a RIB.

Shipping costs, remember you have to ship a French rented boat back too. Package deal so probably cheaper.

Oh, and only the very gifted with many connections in the mini world do perform top ten on the first Minitransat they do. Aiming for position halfway serie fleet is a good start.
As an American you are behind the curve. But it is fun to do. And a serie is so easy to sail at average speed, it is a simple boat, just with a lot of sail.

Fig 3, damn that circuit is tough and less fun, you will find it harder to perform average. And expensive. (info 10 years old).

For Qualification always pay attention to Rule 10-f, non Europeans can skip some requirements to race in the  EU, but must make miles in their continent.
Checked the 2020 rules, and it is still there. Before you start thinking of a Mini, read the rule book, will take a while to take that all in. Your project management skills are needed.

Talking about rules, new for me is the wish list...and survival container can be a backpack (nice), and proto, all sail materials allowed, no restrictions as in the past.

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While we are on the mini transit topic, has anyone bought one new from Structures (Pogo3) or IDB (maxi650) and had it shipped to the Bay Area ?
Probably not, but I thought I'd ask :-)

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The owner of the Annapolis based Figaro 3 chartered a boat for the season in France as well as attending a school over there in preparation for the A2Gr that got canceled. He said it was somewhere around 80k in costs (he provided his own sails) I have no idea if that is just the boat or included flights back and fourth housing, ect. He explicitly mentioned that the school was cheap (~100usd a day), I think it was training with Tanguy Le Glatin in France. He also hired he Sidney Gavignet to come over here and teach him the Fig3 and that was not cheap. If you want to get in touch with the Fig3 owner I'd be happy to help or you can try to reach out to him through Beneteau. I am absolutely in love with the Fig3, fantastic boat, very forgiving at the lower skill levels but tune-able enough and challenging at the top that the IMOCA and Class40 guys are racing and loving them. It is however a horrible light air boat, and at least on the east coast of the US it is difficult to get insurance to race (or even sail) a boat sub 35ft offshore.

I've looked heavily and drafted a budget to do the Mini itself but there is a substantial time and money investment difference between finishing and competing. Competing would be 2 year campaign in France and a newer boat (~80-150k), finishing I estimated 1 year sailing the boat in the US with an american based coach (Joe Cooper, Nathalie Criou, Jerome Sammarcelli, ect who know this type of sailing), and then another year of part time investment in France to qualify and see how badly I sail compared to the french Mini sailors. I had planned on getting a 600+ numbered boat ideally a 750+ after I had lots of work and issues with my 400 sereis boat that I (and the new owner) had to fix. Remember that qualifying on a Series/Classe boat is much harder and spots fill up faster than those of prototypes (mostly due to limited availability compared to protos). Also remember that doing a non-european qualifying leg can be tricky, I would suggest something like soloTP, B1-2, or A2B that would allow you to compete and give you a support fleet should something go wrong but you'll need to co-ordinate that with the Mini RC. The Mini NOR is available in English as an FYI, I'd read that ASAP.

I can also tell you that Pogo is very responsive via email (I spoke to them recently about the foiler), as is the Mini Classe itself and they are happy to help you (in English) answer any questions you have.  I know a new pogo 3 is somewhere around 80K eur, and shipping from france to the east coast (Baltimore) was right around 6Kusd when I was pricing out 888. Another resource to reach out to is Jay who built Speedy Gonzales, you can find him and his wife via their facebook page "The Coconuts sailing Team" they can be slow to respond but have been a great resource, I talked with them about visas and how to sail in France, but this was before COVID.

If you are serious about pursuing this I would buy a boat in the US to get an idea of what a mini is like, they handle like dinghies, and don't like big swell, if you aren't used to it and not running 110% all the time a proto will chew you up and spit you out, I had mine up to 23knts, and to give you an idea of the sheer power, I bought used M32 kites for practice sails.  My old boat (415) is for sale in FL and has seen a $40k refit, and an incredibly well equipped RG650 is for sale in Annapolis, both of these boats have issues associated with them if you were to try to use them for the transat, but they are both probably capable of doing the race but neither would be competitive. There is a Tiptop for sale in the classifieds here that seemed to have been kitted as a cruising boat, and I'm pretty sure a US built pogo 2 will be on the market very soon.

Another thing to note, if you buy a boat and sell it in the US you will take a huge loss, and even then potentially sit on it for years. 

I hope this helps, I haven't been able to pursue this dream very much further as I either have the money and no time, or time and no money. The year I bought 415 I spent 6 months in the arctic, and came home in the winter so when the opportunity came to sell I jumped on it....

Also link to the Mini listings, 
http://oceanracers.net/boats-for-sale/

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Great stuff! Thanks! 

I've definitely been down the "completing vs competing" road in my head. As a human, it is impossible for me not to compete; but as a matter of practical sense, I don't think I have the time/money/mental energy to 'compete' per se and would probably be best served by a 'completion' attitude. Certainly for the first attempt! The info in this thread has been valuable in regards to qualification and the like. 

I would suspect that buying a Mini and sailing it for a while in the USA is a great idea, and possibly even required, but the reason I started this thread was concern about some of the costs you mention. Of course I'll take a massive loss selling a Mini in the US when it's time to move on. Economically it would probably make sense to train here and just charter the boat there, but when you look at the cost of running (and then selling) a series boat in the USA, I wonder if I'd be better off just taking a few training sessions in France...especially at the rate you quoted about Figaro training! I should call him--we've chatted a few times if it's who I think it is. 

I know the owner of the Annapolis mini from the 1-2 and would probably buy that boat if I had loads of spare cash stuffed in my pillowcase. Alas, not the case. But it would give me an 'east coast boat' for when I hit the level of wealth where I keep a boat on each coast to maximize regattas. Definitely not there yet either.  The conundrum you bring up about the time/money continuum is a real bitch...and I'll add in the concept of experience, too. Like most, I graduated school lacking the money. For a brief period, I sort of had the money, was short but not critically short on time, but really lacked the experience needed to turn the combination of meager funds and limited time into something cool. Now, having put together a few ocean adventures, the experience feels better, and the money's getting there, but the time is the real bitch. 

Heh, I wonder if the asyms from my Sun Fast 3200 fit? I recall doing some math on Minis once and figuring the SA/Disp was about the same as one of my faves, the 505, when the kites were up...dope. I mean, dumb, but dumb in the way that makes me say, "That's dumb! But I am going to go try this. Hold my beer."

The Figs seems almost reasonable by comparison, but the competition is pretty intense. It's the cost vs level of getting my ass kicked ratio I'm here trying to evaluate.

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yeah the fig 3 in France you're going to get your arse handed to you, but you have waaaay more transatlantic racing opportunities, it may even qualify for the race the 3200 was built for the Transquadra. Honestly though, if you are going to race a proto in the mini, get a mini here, and vise versa. Vernon's boat in annapolis would be a fine training platform for a series boat, it just becomes an issue of getting a spot in the mini. 

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20 hours ago, TalonF4U said:

Heh, I wonder if the asyms from my Sun Fast 3200 fit?

Do the Transquadra. Same kind of atmosphere as in competing in a Minitransat. I agree with a person.
Sail it to EU at the end of a year, compete next year. You then can spend two times in France to get to know the scene, get some personal coaching, do some tourist stuff :)

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Talon now that I know who you are I agree with Leo, do the transquardra, hell I’d be happy to help deliver your 3200 over to france. There’d be no investment in a new boat, you’d be HIGHLY competitive with a good sail inventory, and you’d basically be prepping your 3200 to do TP or vise versa

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You guys assume I am old enough to do the Transquadra!

Shit.. I will be in a couple years.

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5 hours ago, TalonF4U said:

You guys assume I am old enough to do the Transquadra! Shit.. I will be in a couple years.

Forums are for dinosaurs, owns a nice boat, writes in full sentences, voila at least 35 years old.

Or get a 40ft and do Route Du Rhum, or a C40 and team up with another sailor and do Jacques Vabre.

Still going for Minitransat, have 20 K to spend freely in 2 years and 50 to 60K ready to buy one, and it is very doable. Logistics (planes and hotels) and insurance, food and drinks, maintenance, storage it all adds up. Buy a serie in France, sail the race, ship to France and sell in France again. You will take a hit of 15 to 20 K (including shipping costs, was 7k last time IIRC, and a few months on the hard by a broker). For quick sale add extra 5k loss. Sails are almost worthless.
This are numbers out of my head, helped a few with prep before, but now out of the loop.
Track down Andy Abel, he did MT based in the US and last time I heard about him, he had a French wife and selling homes in France :)
Still serious contact Classe Mini and ask them of there are any US guys already preparing for MT, it is even possible one has a boat stored in France. A few dreamers wanting to do MT but fails (money or time) store their mini and are figuring out or to sell or to keep preparing. In Lorient or some other place, I forgot, there is a yard with a row of them.
Best time to contact CM, just after race season, October or in Jan/Feb after Class meeting.
And be very clear in message, they get thousands of emails a month.

Oh and time; count on 6 months in 2 years to be sailing you mini in race, quali and the MT.
You can do it in 4 months, but that is very time limited. And not enjoyable.

So in short;
1- 50 K to 60 K buy boat up to specs and get 35 to 40K back after MT.
2- 20 K do spend on costs
3-have 4 to 6 months time.
But if you can do that, it is an adventure of your lifetime.

And costs compared to sailing around the world of 3k a month, it is the price of a year.
This is a deal some miniists made with partner who did not want to sail around the world :)
No ROW trip, let me do a MT to get my fix. And you can spend time in Paris while I sail (which almost never happens).

PS in CM adds, an Ofcet 899 for 57K and is open for charter.
Ofcet is bust, so not the best choice as replacement parts and support is harder to get, not handy when in the US. But with a local owner...
That P2 in the Acores, damn nice area to buy one, 25K. But need new sails,  at least 10K max 18K, and update of much of the equipment, 5 to10K.

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8 hours ago, LeoV said:

Ofcet is bust, so not the best choice as replacement parts and support is harder to get, not handy when in the US.

Did Prepa Nautic close as well? I thought they split the maintenance/boat production sites just before Ofcet & RM deck building went bust and kept the older service business going. 

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That is a bit better but for instance getting a new mast is much harder for a repair shop then for an existing manufacturer (who orders them often by 5 or 10)
Same for making spare rudders, way more expensive for repair biz then for a yard specialized in producing them in volume and have material and moulds ready and experience builder.
Same for special metal parts.
It is not the core business any more, so you are not priority nr 1. Not a good spot to be if you are based in the US. For a Frenchie it is not such a problem.

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Before I bought my P2 I was looking at chartering, I was quoted 10'000 EUR for a year on a brand new Vector 6.50 (unproven boat at the time, not yet series rated), on top of that you then needed comprehensive insurance (I've only gotten quotes around 3000EUR for insurance including the transat but with ridiculous excesses), sails, and all your usual running costs.

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Don't get hung up on the west coast situation, you'll get transferred again back here before you know it! In the meantime, let's do the Pac Cup next year doublehanded on Barcanova; I'm not going on any major expeditions for another 2 years.

Robert had great advice and as a former Mini owner, he knows what it's like to have one in the US. And based on my direct observations, I agree the Fig 3 sucks in light air, way too much wetted surface. Not an issue in the Bay of Biscaye, but relevant for the US.

Cheers, Greg

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On 8/17/2020 at 7:44 PM, JonRowe said:

Before I bought my P2 I was looking at chartering, I was quoted 10'000 EUR for a year on a brand new Vector 6.50 (unproven boat at the time, not yet series rated), on top of that you then needed comprehensive insurance (I've only gotten quotes around 3000EUR for insurance including the transat but with ridiculous excesses), sails, and all your usual running costs.

That may not sound cheap, but if you divide that by # of sailing weeks per year, that becomes at least reasonable.

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2 hours ago, Matagi said:

That may not sound cheap, but if you divide that by # of sailing weeks per year, that becomes at least reasonable.

Yeah I think it'd be more now the scows have series ratification and validated performance.

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