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Shared Boat Ownership - a Budget Option?

Shared Boat Ownership - a Budget Option?

Boat sharing, or a boat syndicate agreement, is not a new idea, but one which is gaining increasing ground amongst eager would be boat owners who long to own a boat but are not financially equipped.  In the current climate, boating is a luxury for some, and this offers a method for ownership which hopefully will not break the bank.

What is boat sharing?

A boat syndicate might comprise of 4, 6 or 10 families who each own a share, much like a time share, of a specific boat.  A share can vary from around 8%, which equates to 4 weeks use of the boat each year, to around 25%.  Each shareholder owns a portion of the boat in accordance with their share, and is therefore responsible for the same percentage of running costs and so on.  Decisions are made jointly, some managed by the owners, some managed by a management company who work on behalf of the joint owners.  This is different to a timeshare, where you purchase right of use.

Shares can vary, but the ownership agreement should make unequal shares and any issues arising, such as time with boat and proportion of costs paid to avoid any difficulties.

What are the costs?

Owning a share on a boat or yacht is of course a much more cost effective way of owning a boat, allowing you to in effect only pay for the time with the boat you can actually realistically use.  Boats are not just expensive to buy outright, but also have high running costs – a rough estimate put standard costs at in the region of 10% of the purchase price.  If you choose to enter a boat share scheme, these costs will obviously be divided amongst the owner, although if you choose a syndicate who use a management company, there will likely be these fees to pay annually as well.

What is on offer?

There is an awful lot of variety available, from day cruisers and sailing yachts to the sort of mega yacht that wouldn’t look out of place on a James Bond set.  Budget is entirely personal, and much may depend on the type of use you are planning on making of your boat share.

The advantages:

The ability to purchase a larger, more modern boat on a minimal budget
Only paying for the proportion of the year you would reasonably use
Sharing any depreciation in value over the ownership period
Sharing the costs of maintenance, mooring and repairs
Stops you feeling ‘guilty’ for not using your boat enough
Yacht sharing lessens the environmental impact of boat ownership

Fractional yacht sharing seems to be a rapidly budding industry, and there is plenty of detail online about management companies, and ‘how to’ guides for more information.
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