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Old 17-06-2008, 23:38   #16
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There is one time where you can do it and make it work........................You buy a Cat and a Chainsaw.


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Old 17-06-2008, 23:51   #17
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
There is one time where you can do it and make it work........................You buy a Cat and a Chainsaw.
Ah yes, mono hull's always win the argument

Re: two couples (as owners) on a boat, I would either get a smaller boat (thus your own command) or be prepared to enforce the pirate's code: every man's quarrels to be ended on shore, at sword and pistol”.

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Old 18-06-2008, 02:51   #18
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I'll be the voice of dissent. It sounds like you are not circumnavigating but that you want to share a boat and that it appears your overlap will be about 3-4 months.

Have you spent any considerable time with the other couple? I mean like ski trips where you shared a condo etc...?

I have been in two successful airplane partnerships and have been in a successful boat partnership for the last 15 months.

The key to our partnership is that we are both pretty laid back and the wives get along well. I am technical he is not. I take the lead on boat improvements and repairs.

We have an awesome boat agreement that I would be happy to share with you if you PM me. The agreement makes the details of owning the boat a no brainer. It covers among many things:

Who is skipper and when (odd even weeks but 3 weeks at a time "scheduled")
What we contribute to the boat kitty
How to decide on repairs and upgrades
How to get in and out of the parntership - including divorce, death, burn out etc.
How the books are kept and the boat is valued
Where the partners can cruise and what the rules are

There is also a very successful 4 way partnership here as well.

The disadvantages of sharing a boat is that you have to share the boat and if you can afford it sole ownership can be better.

The advantages are many including the splitting of fixed costs, the boat gets used a lot, two males who frankly are more interested in crewing than two females. We are never short handed. Our kids also get along fabulously.

I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. Our boat is smaller so maybe your broker has an idea there but I would be happy to trade up to a bigish cat with my current partner. A cat makes sense because we could basically do one hull per family.

For those who say impossible, I am curious as to whether you have been in partnerships yourself or just heard about it from a friend and if you had been in a partnership, what went wrong?

(Stereotype mode - I suspect the gentler sex had issues with each other)
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Old 18-06-2008, 12:25   #19
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After 6 years of cruising full time and numerous guests...we have found only one VERY good couple of close friends that we can stand for a full week and still remain friends...but even they cannot stay for 10 days!! Most visitors drive us nuts after 3-4 days. I would say that they all feel the same about us as well!! The broker is right.

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Old 18-06-2008, 14:40   #20
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If boats required no work, then it would be a lot easier to maintain a partnership. But cruising boats always require work, and sooner or later someone will get unhappy because they are always having to do more work than someone else. And if they aren't unhappy about it, their spouse will be. On the positive side, maybe its better (at least for a while) to have your spouse ticked off at someone other than you.
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Old 18-06-2008, 15:28   #21
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You can not SELL a boat owned in partnership either.

When we were looking at boats one OK boat was owned by 3 partners: 2 wanted it sold and one didn't. However the one who didn't want it sold was smart enough to be realistic about the price where the other 2 were not. Why? Because the guy who wnated to keep it was the one who got them into the deal in the first place and had put an unreal resale expectation on the other 2!

LOL Needless to say we could'nt even make an OFFER because the broker could never contact all of them!

We gave up because we knew no deal would ever go through, or if it did the time taken would be astronomical.....
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Old 18-06-2008, 16:08   #22
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Originally Posted by billr View Post
...On the positive side, maybe its better (at least for a while) to have your spouse ticked off at someone other than you.
I love it!
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Old 18-06-2008, 17:04   #23
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Originally Posted by tardog View Post
Are there good and bad examples of two couples attempting such an adventure? Are the odds that long that we'll remain friends after a year or two?
Here is a good example: charter

Oddly enough, people seem to get on with complete strangers for a week better than close friends. Go figure. Maybe it's trying to figure them out, or everyone putting their best side forward ... or maybe I just had good luck.


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Old 19-06-2008, 12:39   #24
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Letsail and Tardog

All; My wife and I are the "other couple" that TARDOG was referring to when he started this thread. I can help clarify a couple of things, but for the most part you are alarmingly consistant in your warnings.

TARDOG, his wife ...and LETSAIL and his wife are looking to co-own 90% of a heavy displacement full keel (slow but hearty) sailboat.

TARDOG would liveaboard with his wife nearly year round. They are selling their house, etc; and plan to take up the cruiser's lifestyle. They are relatively new to sailing, but in their mid 30's are big time adventure seekers and love the minimalist life. They have no children. They love wilderness trekking and camping, are athletic, and would be most happy, if not in a sailboat, living in a tent in the mountains rehydrating food from water filtered from a nearby stream. Sailing is a natural extension of this for them, and they have embraced it fully in recent years.

We (LETSAIL) have owned sailboats from 23ft to our current Catalina 387 on an inland lake (which ironically we co-own with a couple --but don't live together on it) and chartering for 20 years around the world. We have done coastal cruising, but have yet to experience long passages, and the experience of being hove-to and riding out a big storm. (TARDOG relishes this thought.) We are in our late 40's and are not as athletic, but share the dream. Our two girls are grown and out on their own.

Starting in 2010, we would join for 4 to 6 months a year. During our stay, they may or may not fly back to the states to visit family for a month or two. Over the course of a few years, we plan to work our way from California to the Carribean via the canal, then come up the eastern seaboard, then to England, spend a summer in the Med, and circle back to the Virgins. From there, who knows? Obviously, we (LETSAIL) will experience most, but will miss some.

We want to buy the boat now to equip her well and make several coastal cruises to get ourselves aclaimated and live as two couples in a small space for awhile. As a foursome, we are unique. Both wives teach in the same English Department in a local university. Both guys are entrepreneurs and gadget-fixit-learner types. We've been talking about this for a long time, and are now ready to put it into action.

The buddy boat idea has merit, but neither family is wealthy enough to do it. We realize we are enabling each other... emotionally, financially, etc to make this dream a reality. But if we could do it with two boats, we would.
But our attitude is, "sure, we will piss each other off from time to time, but if it weren't for the other couple, we could not be here living our dream." --much easier to recall from a sunny Carribean cove vs. slogging through a storm, but true nonetheless.

Our experience with co-owning our 2004 Catalina with another couple is actually going so well that it made us think the 2-couples cruising idea was plausible. Sure, I've had the opportunity to pay 1/2 of the other couple's mistakes, but they've paid for 1/2 of mine, and some of my love for gadgets.

Anyway, we really appreciate all of the feedback; and it is causing healthy soulsearching. If there are others out there who have succeeded with 2 couples aboard/ownership and seen it work, let us know. Otherwise it looks like the vote is about 10 to 1 against the idea. We'll let you know how our decision comes out.
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Old 19-06-2008, 13:33   #25
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Interesting Letsail, as you undoubtedly have more experience than virtually any of the posters here with respect to shared boat ownership. I was going to suggest an extensive contract as between the co-owners concerning issues such as cost sharing, scheduling and re-sale - although enforceability outside of the USA would be dubious, at best.

Ultimately, it seems that the cost savings over purchasing and maintaining your own boat(s) is the sole argument in favour. The question is whether you will end up with something that is worth 50 % of the cost of your own boat - and that will ultimately depend upon the success of the venture and your joint desires to remain in it. One thing I did not understand was the reference to co-owning 90% of the boat - is there another 10% owner?

Just out of interest - are you planning on keeping your share in the Catalina 387? I suspect that 50 % of the cost of that could a long ways towards purchasing an older, full keel cruising boat.

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Old 19-06-2008, 13:45   #26
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I guess the key discussions to have would be, what do you if someone dies, divorces, goes insane (in my case I don't have to worry about that, already there), etc....

If all falls apart, can you afford to split the potential loss on a fire sale of the boat? Can one afford to buy the other out?

If you can easily swallow the worst case pill then go for it, everyone is in a different position, from my perspective as I said previously I am pretty much a loner, so I find it hard to tolerate anyone other then my wife for long periods of time, she's a fairly solitary person as well so we work good as a team but don't play so well with others for long periods of time.

I don't have any experience with spending time on the boat with other couples, but we have had one "couples vacation" disaster and in that case we even had our space, but we ended up never speaking to them again after having been friends for 8 years prior to them inviting themselves to mexico with us.
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Old 19-06-2008, 13:48   #27
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True; if we could afford it, we would do two boats. From the offers we've made and then backed away from after sea trials, we think it will take about $150,000 to buy and equip a 38-40ft full keel double-ender. (That too, is a number that I'd be open to comment on by this forum...) While selling my half of the 387 would allow my wife and I to buy our own, it doesn't enable our friends. And frankly, I like the idea of each of us having skin the game vs. us buying the boat and renting it to our friends.

The 10% owner is a third couple that has agreed to slip the boat and care for it until we are ready to sail off into the sunset, sometime in 2010. He and his wife lives on the coast, while TARDOG and I are in the midwest. They will join TARDOG occasionally when we are not on the boat....since 6 on that boat for any period of time is not a good option. In essence, they get a boat in their backyard to sail whenever and we get some elbow grease. Plus they are really fun people.
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Old 19-06-2008, 13:54   #28
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Since this post started, we've been asking ourselves many of those key questions... "can we survive the worst case pill?" is certainly one of them. Financially,we could do it. It's the examples, like your friends of 8 years that you lost, that give us bigger pause....
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:01   #29
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Definately go for a written agreement - preferably by a lawyer (not an internet DIY)......apart from the "who does what" and "who pays when" stuff........VITAL to have the worst possible scenario of a total breakdown in the relationships covered so you all have an exit.....i.e. one half (or one third!) cannot block a sale, including from setting an unrealistic price, but nor can a fire sale be forced at short notice......."good fences make good neighbours", but also "good agreements make good partners"....having stuff agreed (and written down) long before an issue arises will help prevent an issue turning into a dispute......and each knowing you do have an exit will mean far less chance of feeling "trapped" in the deal / with the boat / with knowing the others could exit means folk not so tempted to take the p#ss.

Never tried it with a boat. and no even I get fed up living with me In a large space, let alone confined on a boat long term
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:11   #30
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Originally Posted by Latitude9.5 View Post
If all falls apart, can you afford to split the potential loss on a fire sale of the boat? Can one afford to buy the other out?
One method of dissolving a partnership that I think is simply brilliant goes like this:

Partner A makes partner B an offer to buy out his interest in the partnership, and names the price he's willing to pay. Partner B then has the option to do one of the following: 1) Accept A's offer, or 2) Turn the tables on A, and buy out his interest in the partnership for the amount of A's offer to B.

This solves a lot of the grief that can accompany a protracted (often, increasingly bitter) negotiation. When such an arrangement is incorporated into the partnership agreement, it should go without saying that it's best to keep your financial situation closely held.


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