I have never owned a boat in partnership
but I have had partners in airplane ownership
. What works really well is to have a document (that may change and/or grow over time) that tries to explain how usage and expenses are to be split.
Also create a logbook for equipment
breakdowns and maintenance
done. We tried to create an hourly maintenance
rate so that all evolved felt like they were paying their fair share.
For instance, I was the more experienced and did most of the maintenance. George felt like he should bear a little more of the expense. It worked real well. We also debited ourselves a per hour charge for future expenses. Of course if everybody always spends equal time working on the boat and equal time using the boat there is no problem sharing costs. We shared fixed expenses like hanger fees
payments based on our individual monthly usage.
We also kept a calender on whose week it was to have total use of the plane. We did not say that the other partner could not use it that week, he just had to clear it with whomever had it that week. We sometime flew together and just assigned half time as pilot in command ( and therefore paying!) to each.
We also had a buy/sell clause where if one partner wanted out he could name an amount and the other partner could either sell his half for that amount or he could buy out the other partner. I don’t know how that will work with three owners.
You are friends now. You want to stay friends if you buy a boat. You want to stay friends when you sell the boat. Plan ahead now and keep your friendship.