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Charter firm summons boat owners

Should you put your boat into charter? It's a good time to do it, say the owners of Southwest Florida Yachts. The charter yacht firm is having a strong year and, well, they need boats to meet the demand.

"We need power and sail yachts, especially sailboats, in the 34 to 40 foot category," said Barb Hansen, owner and manager of the North Fort Myers operation.

Hansen said the preference is for yachts less than 10 years old, but she will consider any well-maintained yacht. She noted that the firm has had good success over the years chartering Catalina and Island Packet sailing vessels and Grand Banks, Mainship and Sea Ray power yachts.

Revenue generated from chartering is a major advantage for the boat owner, said Hansen, but there are other benefits, too, including the owner knowing the vessel is maintaining its value because it undergoes regular maintenance and is used regularly.

Also, when the owners want to use the boat, they know it's in ready-to-cruise condition.

Yacht owners and those who wish to consider chartering as a way to help purchase a vessel may contact Hansen at (800) 262-7939 or via e-mail at