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Old 19-10-2015, 11:45   #16
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Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 5,421
Re: boat co-ownership

Neo's points are well taken. I knew two skippers who had partners in two different boats. One guy (John #1 - see below) was always happy 'cuz he did all the work, the other partner just sailed the boat. I thought John was crazy, but he was happy because it reduced his costs. Mind you, though, this was the same guy who told me he was going to move his boat from his well protected slip into a wind tunnel slip a few miles away. I cautioned against it. Only a week after he moved, he got on another boating forum asking how he could dock and un-dock his boat in those high winds!!!

The other guy?

4. Who will do all the DYI work? and there will be lots.

Just to be really silly but reflecting reality, the two partners were Jon (my friend) and John (the partner)! Go figure...

Jon wanted new sails, John #2 didn't. Jon wanted a cabin heater since he used the boat to sleep on during the week, John couldn't care less, he only sailed on nice-weather weekends.

You startin' to get the drift?

5. What if one of you wants a new chart plotter and the other wants to have the keel dropped and re-bedded?

These are maintenance vs. "nice-to-have" issues that need to be addressed up front.

Here's another example: Jon wanted an inverter since he anchored out a lot and they had a microwave on board. John could care less, he'd eat PB&J all year!

The issues are endless.

There are some good partnership agreements out there if you look and do you homework to find them. In fact, a search on "boat partnerships" on Google and this or any other boating forum will give you enough reading for years.

Good luck, whatever you choose to do.

Me? We're keeping our boat in the family!

Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 19-10-2015, 12:04   #17

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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,077
Re: boat co-ownership

1. Get the lawyer.
2. S/He'll probably advice you to form a limited liability corporation (LLC) or other business partnership and make the boat a "business". That solves a lot of problems including the insurance and the question of who will pony up for repairs and what is to be done if someone craps out or wants to sell off their share. If that sounds like it makes life complicated...

Hey, you can buy a spouse on CL also. Doesn't mean you're going to be happy with the results fo that acquisition.

Your new boat buddy t-bones a megayacht being used in a reality tv show, they turn around and sue for ten million, the cost of a lost charter season and royalties while the sent is being returned to Estonia for repairs by the builder...Guess what? You're in court alongside them, unless you've got a solid legal firewall, like a corporate structure.

Even if you are good at walking down a dark street and finding rolls of $20 bills dropped in the bushes...really...there's a lot of risk in doing this casually, and even more risk in doing this with partners who think "casual" is a good way to do it. Assuming it isn't Yet Another CL Scam being presented by the two "partners".

I wouldn't be surprised if the lawyer said "Hire a PI, or at least do a background credit check on them" to find out just what you were getting involved with.

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