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Let me start saying that the Dream Yacht Charter people on base were absolutely kind and understanding, and every interaction with them was nothing but pleasant and nice. 5 stars for that
However, the boat was very poorly maintained and run down, which made me question its seaworthiness.
- Chips all over the boat, with the fiberglass exposed on many areas and never patched
- Overall the boat was clean, but had mold and corrosion in many places (shower head, faucets, ceiling, ...)
- The holding tank in the aft head started leaking on day 2 and made the bathroom unusable for the smell
- Outside cushions latches were mostly broken, and the instruments panel presented some plastic frames that were broken
- The aft sea platform latch on the port side was heavily corroded, to the point that it was lifting when stepping on it
- The dinghy was ok, although looked deflated, but the engine would not stay idle and shut off if you close the accelerator
I don't think the price paid reflects the quality of the boat we received, ESPECIALLY considering that they had way newer and better maintained boat on base (e.g., the Dufour 430 and 390). We booked months in advance, and had no heads up whatsoever on the conditions of the boat. Felt more like an old or 3rd party boat that they charter occasionally rather than a well maintained, base boat.
The Dream Yacht folks were very understanding of the situation, but admitted openly that the boat got "some love" and was in BVI thus ran down pretty hard due to lack of time to maintain them.
I'd like to ask for at least a partial refund of the trip given the situation we encountered. Happy to discuss a voucher for a future sailing charter (which we will happily do with them, but NOT on such a bad boat).
We had an amazing time. Captain and Hostess were perfect. Cannot wait to be able to do this again.
We had expressed interest in the Dufour 37 but it was already booked and instead we were scheduled for a 39 footer. When we showed up in Annapolis that boat had problems and they instead put us in a Dufour 430 GL. I was not too happy about this. Bigger than we needed, and we had managed to book slips with some difficulty because of the beam of the 39ft and worried about the 43 footer.
The owner (Dave) has been very responsive to questions.
Sam, our charter contact, was Very helpful and approachable.
The boat is very spacious.
The a/c was excellent.
The galley and heads worked perfectly.
We all slept very well.
The cockpit is gigantic.
The electric winches (form the jib) worked very well.
The swim platform was a great plus.
The check-in time took too long. We were at the location at 8.15am. In the end we were not able to leave annapolis until 11.30 due to problems with the windlass that needed to be fixed, and other things that kept us waiting for a long time. And still the handover felt rushed (but Sam who did it was great and he was very helpful during the trip).
The VHF radio did not work.
A boat this size would benefit from bow thrusters.
The cockpit cushions were very dirty.
The in-mast furling mainsail was a problem. Always very creaky. We were very careful but on day 2 it got stuck 1/4 out. Admittedly, I am not very experienced in using in-mast furling, but I felt we unfurled and furled very carefully and as instructed, Annoyed with having to worry about this during the trip.
This particular boat is starting to show its age but we did get a great price. One of the berths does not have AC which would of been a huge problem if we needed all 4 berths. And it's not that it didn't work, there was none at all for that berth. New system installed throughout the boat could not be installed in that berth for some reason. The electronics were a little buggy and are showing their age. There is a new autopilot mounted but not wired in yet so hopefully there are upgrades coming. All in all for the price we paid and what we used the boat for we were happy.