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Old 25-01-2021, 15:00   #1
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What issues do you see with my plan?

Hi!

This last year has motivated me to re-evalute my life, and where I want to be in the near future. And maybe the universe wants me to be on the water because a possible opportunity has presented itself.

A lifelong friend of mine has decided he wants to spend time cruising full time-ish with his 5 kids, and I would like to do the same with my family.

We both own a small business in the same industry. Our idea is that one of us will sell our house and business. Then we will essentially "share" our house, business, and boat. We will "swap" lives every 6 months cruising, and then 6 months working.

Full disclosure: neither he nor I have set foot on a sailboat. We have both spent time traveling/living out of a motorhome. We plan to do several charters and receive sailing instruction in preparation. Right now nothing is set in stone. I am just trying to gather as much information as possible to see if this would work.

So with that in mind - what might pose an obstacle to our plans from the cruising side of things? I don't need advice about relationships, or finances. I'm interested more in logistics of travel, maintenance, insurance, ownership, etc.

Also if you know of anyone that has done something similar, I'd love to know.
Thank you!!
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Old 25-01-2021, 15:02   #2
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

Hmmm what is the exit plan if someone decides they donít like it after a bit?
Charter is not the same but a fair start to see if someone is absolutely opposed.
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Old 25-01-2021, 15:05   #3
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What issues do you see with my plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjones454 View Post
Hi!



This last year has motivated me to re-evalute my life, and where I want to be in the near future. And maybe the universe wants me to be on the water because a possible opportunity has presented itself.



A lifelong friend of mine has decided he wants to spend time cruising full time-ish with his 5 kids, and I would like to do the same with my family.



We both own a small business in the same industry. Our idea is that one of us will sell our house and business. Then we will essentially "share" our house, business, and boat. We will "swap" lives every 6 months cruising, and then 6 months working.



Full disclosure: neither he nor I have set foot on a sailboat. We have both spent time traveling/living out of a motorhome. We plan to do several charters and receive sailing instruction in preparation. Right now nothing is set in stone. I am just trying to gather as much information as possible to see if this would work.



So with that in mind - what might pose an obstacle to our plans from the cruising side of things? I don't need advice about relationships, or finances. I'm interested more in logistics of travel, maintenance, insurance, ownership, etc.



Also if you know of anyone that has done something similar, I'd love to know.

Thank you!!


Dip your toe into sailing , charter with your family. The reality can be very different to the perception
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Old 25-01-2021, 15:46   #4
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Dip your toe into sailing , charter with your family. The reality can be very different to the perception
I have no doubt! That is exactly what I plan to do. I intend to charter several times before committing.
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Old 25-01-2021, 15:50   #5
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

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Hmmm what is the exit plan if someone decides they donít like it after a bit?
Charter is not the same but a fair start to see if someone is absolutely opposed.
We are both very laid back, and have worked together well in the past. We are both very happy in our current situation, and so if we needed to revert back to the norm, it wouldn't be a big deal. Neither of us are very materialistic. If, for example we shared my house, and he decided it wasn't for him, I would not mind if he bought my half of the house/boat or whatever.

I do plan to have an attorney write up some kind of "agreement" that puts some contractual stipulations regarding the finances into affect if we decided to part ways.
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Old 25-01-2021, 16:07   #6
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

What about 1 family consistently cruising during the same months? So if I work ever october to march, and cruise the other half, would hurricane season or something similar be an issue?
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Old 26-01-2021, 10:11   #7
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

Chances are you will both want the same six months (winter) in the Caribbean.
Who decides which one gets the most favorable months?

Good on you for making this a gradual process. Yes, take all the courses you can. Join a local sailing club that has a full assortment of sailboats to test the waters on. After you pass ASA 104 and get your bareboat certification take charter in the Carib with your friend and his family.

After you have a few charters under your belt and a few years in the sailing club you can decide what is the best boat for the two of you and your families.
cheers and happy sailing.
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Old 26-01-2021, 10:13   #8
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

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Originally Posted by billyjones454 View Post

We both own a small business in the same industry. Our idea is that one of us will sell our house and business. Then we will essentially "share" our house, business, and boat. We will "swap" lives every 6 months cruising, and then 6 months working.

what could possibly go wrong...
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Old 26-01-2021, 10:36   #9
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

Many, maybe most, insurance companies will not cover you for named storms from June to Dec. Those are the months that you go north to the Chesapeake or south to the far south islands of the Caribbean.
The real issue you may face is after experiencing the cruising lifestyle is that you may not want to go back to your old life.
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Old 26-01-2021, 10:47   #10
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

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Originally Posted by AKA-None View Post
Hmmm what is the exit plan if someone decides they donít like it after a bit?
Charter is not the same but a fair start to see if someone is absolutely opposed.
Yep, go on a couple of charters, and if you are absolutely sick to your stomach that the trip is over every time, then think about getting a boat and doing it full time.

But, if you're kind of ready to go home at the end, just keep chartering.
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Old 26-01-2021, 10:58   #11
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

I see more problems than solutions. You'd both have to be listed as joint owners of both the business and the house. The problem I see, and I've seen many times in the past when people have a family member move into their home. The person who's house is kept will always view it as THEIR HOME. The family that sells their home and moves in will always be viewed as the 'visitor'.

Good luck when people start moving stuff around and redecorating. It is doubtful that two wives are going to have the same taste in furniture or decorations. My wife's best friend has over 100 plants INSIDE her house. We have ZERO plants inside the house. I have a buddy who redid his kitchen and just painted over the wallpaper because he's lazy. All the work he does is lazy. I'd hate to come home to find I had to un-@#$% everything he did while I was gone.

You say "everyone is laid back". That might be the case, when everyone is just sitting around having dinner and drinks. Everyone is always laid back.........until they're not. This tends to happen when there is stress, disagreements or money involved.

Money is the best way to ruin a great friendship.
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Old 26-01-2021, 11:04   #12
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

As I think about it, the best way to approach this would be to sell both houses and buy two condo's. OR sell both houses and buy a duplex together. With a duplex, you share the cost of lawn care and structural repair and maintenance, (One roof, siding, painting, etc) but have completely separate living spaces.

In fact, you could rent out the unoccupied side as either an AirBNB or a short term 'seasonal' rental. Then have the person who is not cruising acting as the property and rental manager for the unoccupied side.
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Old 26-01-2021, 12:15   #13
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

I see a variety of issues with joint ownership, but for many it works well. When I first bought a keel boat I was joint owner with a friend (although we never shared houses). We sailed together much of the time too. Sailing a big boat is easier with more than a single pair of hands. So to have someone to go sailing with was awesome (often with our families too), especially in the early days when we were learning. We shared the maintenance too, although that became an issue.

All boats break, plus we all want to make improvements. So who decides what, how much and who does the actual work?

Another issue might be location. The OP hasn't said which part of the big wide world the two families live, but it matters little to the issue. The issue is the distance that they all will be to the boat. I note some posters have assumed the Caribbean is a close option. But that's a very big place when travelling at 10 knots and will each family just get to leave the boat anywhere they want for the other family when their allotted time is up? Perhaps the OP and his friend are Mexican and that the other family decides to cruise Cuba. So where he and his family start their cruise will be wherever the other family leaves the boat.

For me, that's one of the drawbacks with charters, shared ownership and syndicate boats. I want to decide where I go, when I go and what I do when I get there. I don't want to have to share that decision or be mindful of getting somewhere on a certain date because my time is up then and the boat has to be at X spot for the other owner. That's just me and this isn't about me.

But seriously I also wouldn't want to give up my house to go sailing either. Like cars, boats aren't really assets. That suggests a lack of available funds and that may become a real issue with maintenance too. If selling a house to buy a boat (and many do) to live and travel on that's a rather different objective.

But what seems to be a happening here is that a house is being sold to buy a boat that will essentially be a toy for two families. I would never do that. I would buy a boat I could actually afford with cash from my savings. Real estate is a real asset, boats aren't

In my own case of joint ownership, my friend actually turned out to have some financial issues. He talked the talk but often times he could not walk the walk and so many months I had to fund both our monthly cost shares. Or one partner decides to pull out; there has to be an exit strategy.

If one family has a relationship breakdown (or dies) then presumably their half share of the boat may become disputed matrimonial property or a part of an estate.

Some people too just never get to grips with being sailors. You see them at most marinas. They just don't learn and so bash their boat in to pilings, try to go on the wrong tide, do all the stupid things we hear about here many times, damaging their own and other's boats in the process.

What if one of the partners is a useless yachtie and every time you pick up the boat there's another little bit of damage? Maybe too the other family isn't as tidy and clean as yours. And how do you sort out food and other stores? I want to be able to leave whatever stuff I want to leave on my boat. And some of it I wouldn't want anybody else using. Some of my stuff is private. These are all surmountable issues, but need to be discussed.

And will friends and family members be allowed to sail? Will the kids when old enough be able to take the boat out for a few days? Will that include on their own with their own friends? I trusted my kids once they hit about 18 to use the boat.

Will that include when no owners are on board? Who are the owners anyway?

Here's some common newbie mistakes.
- Fill the diesel with water or fill the water with diesel. How would that be resolved?
- Furler jams so use the winch and rips the sail.
- Forgets to check the engine water is open (or it blocks) and fails to hear the alarm.
- Relies on GPS and sails the boat on to a rock.
- Doesn't tie up the $5K dinghy properly and so it just disappears with the tide (of course no one ever does this, everyone blames a thief).
There are hundreds of examples of course.

So hypothetically your brother Harry, a very competent sailor asks to borrow the boat for a week and no one is using it. If it were you're own boat then it's a simpler decision. But what if your boat partner's brother is said Harry; what decision will he make? Would you expect you're consulted? Other partner's week, then surely he/she can decide what happens with the boat. Would you be comfortable with a complete stranger, so far you're concerned, sailing around on your boat?

And with such large families what's the backup plan when some of the kids hate sailing, or living together in a confined place. There are no details on age/genders of the children. But when they're little they have no choice, but as we all know kids eventually all express their feelings.

Covering all these issues and the many I've not pointed out are going to mean a serious legal contract and consequential fees too.

On a positive, if I were wanting to follow the OPs intent then I would first be looking at a syndicate type arrangement. Typically limited to 4-6 owners, fixed purchase price and monthly or annual maintenance. The issues of mooring, repairs, insurance, cleaning etc are all taken care of by the syndicate manager. Plus there are clear rules as to when each owner will have access to the boat and where the boat will be. Click here for an example of a syndicate currently being put together for an Isla 40 in New Zealand. I am NOT in anyway way endorsing this package. I am suggesting it because it gives an example of an alternative ownership option along the lines of what the OP is proposing. There are syndicates like this all over the world.
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Old 26-01-2021, 12:30   #14
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjones454 View Post
Hi!

This last year has motivated me to re-evalute my life, and where I want to be in the near future. And maybe the universe wants me to be on the water because a possible opportunity has presented itself.

A lifelong friend of mine has decided he wants to spend time cruising full time-ish with his 5 kids, and I would like to do the same with my family.

We both own a small business in the same industry. Our idea is that one of us will sell our house and business. Then we will essentially "share" our house, business, and boat. We will "swap" lives every 6 months cruising, and then 6 months working.

Full disclosure: neither he nor I have set foot on a sailboat. We have both spent time traveling/living out of a motorhome. We plan to do several charters and receive sailing instruction in preparation. Right now nothing is set in stone. I am just trying to gather as much information as possible to see if this would work.

So with that in mind - what might pose an obstacle to our plans from the cruising side of things? I don't need advice about relationships, or finances. I'm interested more in logistics of travel, maintenance, insurance, ownership, etc.

Also if you know of anyone that has done something similar, I'd love to know.
Thank you!!
Your question has more to do with human nature than sailing or boat ownership particularly since you are talking about your families as well not just you two guys. There are a mountain of places where conflict might develop.

Your idea would never work for me or anybody I know. If you proceed take notes and get back to the forum on your experiences...I can't wait to read them.

Good Luck...I think you guys will need it.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 26-01-2021, 12:53   #15
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Re: What issues do you see with my plan?

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What about 1 family consistently cruising during the same months? So if I work ever october to march, and cruise the other half, would hurricane season or something similar be an issue?
Sounds like if you're both in the same business, you should just merge them and have one guy run the whole shebang for 4 months while the other sails the boat. I say 4 months because 8 months is all you really have discounting hurricane season which means you'll need to start each year in a hurricane hole and finish that way. Closing down a lot of businesses for 6 months at a time can tend to kill any momentum you may have built up so having one guy run both makes sense while the other guy plays on the boat. Just make you both want to be on a boat for 6 months as you'll both be spending 2 months living in the hole if you intend on sharing one house.

An interesting idea and one that could work in the right scenario - but a lot of details to work out.
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