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Old 03-02-2016, 15:27   #1
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Timesharing a boat?

I'm someone with a long interest, but little experience, in live-aboard cruising. Recently, I decided I needed to actually learn something about it: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Since then, I've signed up for an ASA 101 course, and looked around at my options for getting some helm time. I could, of course, take more courses. The school I've contacted runs a boat club, and I'm sure there are others around. I've found a couple of places that will charted 23-27-foot keelboats, on a few nearby lakes. I will look into all of these.

I ran across another option, yesterday. There are a few folks looking for shares on a 27-foot Catalina, that they intend to berth on lake within easy driving distance. They're aiming at a six-way share, at a cost of $2000, plus $35/month for insurance+slip. (For comparison, a two-day charter of a similar boat on the same lake runs $500).

I'm seriously thinking about it.

Searching the forum, I've seen some discussion of boat timesharing: Admiralty Law - Boat timeshare concept launches. I'm not sure this is going to be that formal, but it does provide some interesting questions.

Does anyone have any ideas as for anything I should be looking for, in particular?

The questions that come to mind:
  • Who would hold title
  • What is the condition of the boat
  • Who would manage and maintain the boat
  • How would we manage scheduling
  • How would maintenance and repair costs be handled
  • How long would the arrangement continue
  • How would the boat be disposed of at the end of the arrangement

Reading the Admiralty Law post, above, raises what might be the most important question, what liability would I be exposing myself to, other than the loss of the investment? The investment itself is small enough that if it all ends up lost, I could just write it off as a learning experience, but if someone lets his idiot nephew wrap the boat around a Mississippi River coal barge, what would be my exposure?

Anyone have anything else I should be looking out for?
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Old 03-02-2016, 17:12   #2
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

Dont know about in the USA but in Aus there are companies who specialize in shared boat ownership. Talk to a few brokers they may be able to put you in touch with one or two of them.
In the case of Aus, the company handles all repairs etc and sets up a "roster" of sorts for the boat. So you have a third party as an administrator per say.
I am aware there are also other private partnerships. No idea how they are set up. Dont know that I would be a fan of either to be honest. But, to each his own.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:28   #3
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

The cost is right in that it should not break the bank. Insurance should cover idiot mayhem. The club should have these answers. I would say it is worth investigating but if you get the willies you should run away. But if you can see and touch the boat and will have your share of access that suits your needs then you continue to consider it.

On the other hand a small keep boat like you are talking should come on a trailer. That means you can go other places. For years I had a small power boat. It was always exciting to launch on a new lake.

Good luck

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Old 04-02-2016, 20:24   #4
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

You might have scheduling conflicts with 6 people. Who gets it on holidays? You might want to try a 2 or 3 way arrangement with someone you trust.
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Old 04-02-2016, 20:28   #5
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

How the scheduling will be handled is certainly a question that I will have answered before I make a decision to go ahead with this.
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Old 07-02-2016, 13:03   #6
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

Partnerships can work well but key to success is to have simpatico partners who you know well and have similar sailing interests, ideally having sailed or chartered together, and you know to be financially responsible and with similar standards on boat upkeep and maintenance. Not strangers who you haven't vetted. For a boat this size, one or two partners might be better.


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Old 07-02-2016, 14:25   #7
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

There are online boat sharing schedulers. Nautical Monkey is one. I've shared various 33-38 foot boats for the last 5 years. It really all comes down to scheduling and availability. Last year was a nightmare. Way too many members on the boat. I've since bought my own.

6 members is pushing it. I have found that 4 is a comfortable number. Sometimes a collection of members will get together and pay a premium to keep the number low. In your case, that would mean everyone pays $3000 instead of $2000.
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:23   #8
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisgo View Post
There are online boat sharing schedulers. Nautical Monkey is one. I've shared various 33-38 foot boats for the last 5 years. It really all comes down to scheduling and availability. Last year was a nightmare. Way too many members on the boat. I've since bought my own.

6 members is pushing it. I have found that 4 is a comfortable number. Sometimes a collection of members will get together and pay a premium to keep the number low. In your case, that would mean everyone pays $3000 instead of $2000.
At this point, there are three of us. I might be willing to pony up $4000, for a three-way split, but I'm going to need to see the financials and the precise proposed agreement, first. (The $35/month that was quoted for slip fees and insurance looks very low, from what I can see for local slip rentals.)

As an alternative, there are a number of chartering options around town, and some boat clubs. (Minneapolis is a long way from the ocean, but nowhere around here is far from water.)
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:46   #9
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

Hmm, Minneapolis eh? That's a short season, so ya I think 6 member is too many. You'll all be jammed into July and August. I can't imagine the $35 is going to cover the slip.

Is the boat owned by one person who is selling the shares? Usually that is the situation. And he pays the slip fees and basically manages the group and the boat. The yearly membership fee gives him a small profit.

There really should be one guy in charge. You need a bad guy so to speak!

For more info, Nauticed has some good resources on boat sharing.
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Old 09-02-2016, 00:33   #10
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Re: Timesharing a boat?

i shared cat with 3 other owners. great way to learn about costs of ownership and do all stupidest mistakes. Had fun 3 years, then felt too limiting.

After couple of years decided I am ready for full ownership financially and otherwise.

I think it is excellent first step where backing off is still not that expensive.

Also I had this cat/mono dilemma that i resolved for myself by number of charters of all sorts of boats.
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