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Old 22-08-2021, 06:21   #1
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Lease space as form of boat sharing

Making some assumptions about many people who are not yet cruising but want to:
You are a retired a couple and want to cruise oceans while you still can.
You don’t want to sacrifice your creature comforts entirely.

In your dreams you have absorbed all of the positives – freedom and adventure going where the wind blows, warm sunshine, sparking beaches, rum cocktails at sunset. So why are you hesitating?

Because besides dreams there are also the nightmares – having to sail and dock with just two people, exhausting night watches with just two people. What happens if one of you gets sick offshore? Yachts are expensive to buy and maintain – are the costs depleting your nest egg? Separation from friends and family, having to leave your house unattended, or conversely having to leave the boat unattended if you go to visit family, or not having a house at all other than your boat. Storms, Pirates, Boredom.

Could it be that sharing the yacht with another couple alleviates most of the issues?
For boats that just do day trips and sit mostly in marinas like 90% of boats – sharing means divvying up who has the yacht on which weekends. Occasionally partying together on the boat.

For cruisers – that cannot work. The boat is not coming “home” after the weekend. The boat has to have a single captain. So perhaps the Captain/Owner can lease part of the boat to another couple.

If for example you take a 50 foot catamaran and lease one hull out and have shared communal areas and charge for example $4K a month and share provisioning costs then:

You have covered $48K annually in costs without adding costs. You would have your fuel bills and maintenance bills and marina bill anyway.

You have in effect crew to assist on night watches, anchoring docking. You have people to share the experiences with. You have people to help when there are medical issues, man overboard, mechanical breakdowns. People who can stay with the boat while you leave for a month to visit family.

Of course – compatibility would be the big issue. Would this count as a commercial enterprise requiring that the owner be a licensed captain? What effect would this have on insurance and liability? – plus 1001 other things. But would possibly the benefits make it worthwhile?

Anyone on the forum ever done something like this not counting family members? Anyone think such an arrangement would have merit? Anyone see insurmountable problems with the idea?
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Old 22-08-2021, 06:41   #2
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Re: Lease space as form of boat sharing

Sounds like a very sociopathic way of creating a partnership among a sailing crew but whatever works for you...
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Old 22-08-2021, 06:55   #3
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Re: Lease space as form of boat sharing

Yes, this would require the owner be a licensed captain in the US. He is getting paid for passage on the boat, so there is no question. You are running a crewed charter vessel. You might pretend to call it something else, but that's EXACTLY what it is.

This would turn a recreational vessel into a for hire vessel with paying passengers not crew. That will create regulatory complications everywhere you go. And yes, your insurance company would most certainly care.

People DO run crewed charter boats, and that's certainly a thing. But it you are doing this to defray the costs of a "50 foot catamaran" it would be far better to just get a smaller boat... you won't need to rent out half of it to afford it.
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Old 14-04-2022, 03:21   #4
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Re: Lease space as form of boat sharing

No no... The way to stay away from it being a commercial enterprise is to have both parties own the boat. You can’t have “the owner”. You must have “the owners.”

So, rather than a lease, you would have to enter into the whole thing together. Or sell them part of the boat.

Agree ahead of the purchase about the route the boat will take. Put in lots of flexibility clauses and also make sure the other couple is easy going if the boat doesn’t make it somewhere expected by a certain date or time. Or maybe agree on large geographical areas like “Caribbean in winter” and “Nordic countries in summer”
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Old 14-04-2022, 05:04   #5
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Re: Lease space as form of boat sharing

This came up recently with someone who had the idea to lease long-term space/ passage.

Those who can drop $48k per annum for a hull are unlikely to do so, they're more likely to invest that money into their own boat.

So you'd have to break it up, and effectively the owner is then a charter. And charters can't be very picky about the people they take on if they want to fill that slot for income.

Everyone is different, but I can count on two hands the number of people I know whom I'd trust to sail and/or provide night watch. Not surprisingly, they all have their own boats. I'm sure there are those who could come up with $4k to rent my boat or a cabin for a month, and they're the same type I'd not want on board for an hour, much less a month.
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Old 14-04-2022, 05:46   #6
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Re: Lease space as form of boat sharing

They have shared boats in the city. Nice fleet of boats too. A Dufour 38 I think , Beneteau 41.1, 41, and a Jeanneau 38.
As I understand you rent 2 weeks vacation time on the boat you’ve bought on to. You take lessons with several captains to get your Harbour licence Boating licence, navigation etc. Most folks graduate from this group of new boaters and buy a boat and show up in one of the clubs.
It’s more a training ground than a desirable life style.
There is equity in owning a clean fresh boat. Whether it be personal or financial.
Most boaters you can’t get on cruise ships.
Boats raft off often but we anchor as quiet boat and crew units.
I’d say it was a slim market and not in the boating community.
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Old 14-04-2022, 06:20   #7
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Re: Lease space as form of boat sharing

This is like when I was in college and made money on Friday nights. I didn't sell beer. I sold you a cup and let you drink the beer for free. It is also delusional to think that you can get away with one thing by trying to call it another.

Leasing space on a boat you own to a paying tenant is called a Charter. You're simply trying to call it a lease based on the length of terms of the stay.

Paying for a hotel room long term doesn't make it an apartment, nor are you protected with any tenants rights. The hotel isn't your landlord.
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