Fractional Ownership of Boats, Yachts - The Advantages
Why own your boat outright and pay for all the dock/mooring/maintenance costs yourself when you only use it for a few weeks a year? The number of weeks that most boats are used during a year is even less than for vacation homes. With fractional ownership you can share the cost without reducing the amount of time that you spend on the water.
How Often Does Your Boat Really Get Used?
When I was young and had no commitments I owned a boat. I was really keen on my sailboat and tried to get out on it as often as I could. When I look back at this period I can see that I still only used it for a maximum of 7 times (weeks or weekends) in a season. Now this was a massive waste of money. Given that the sailing season was nearly 28 weeks I was using it for approximately 25% of the available time. I was still doing a lot better than some people though. There was one particular boat that was put in the water at the start of the season and was probably only used once. By the end of the season it sometimes had grass growing on it!
Most People Who Own Boats Have Commitments!
The example I gave above was for me as a young man with no family commitments, an undemanding job, and few domestic responsibilities. This doesn't fit the normal profile of someone owning a boat. They would typically be of an age where they had children, possibly their own business or demanding career etc. etc. In these circumstances it becomes even more difficult to allocate the time/resources to maintaining and using a boat. It can be quite common for the opportunities to use it to be only a few times in a season. In these circumstances does it really make sense to own your boat and leave it unused for 80% of the year or more?
What Are the Advantages of Fractional Ownership
For a boat the advantages of fractional ownership are even more compelling than they are for property/real estate. You can afford to have a bigger boat (or make the one you have cheaper to own). You can reduce the maintenance costs. It makes it easier to afford to have the boat professionally maintained leaving you free to enjoy using it rather than painting it! All the accessories and inventory that help to make using a boat more enjoyable or safer can be more easily afforded if sharing the cost with others.
Types of Fractional Ownership
You could find some like-minded individuals to buy a boat together (making sure that you have an ownership document detailing rights and responsibilities). There are also many companies that sell fractions of specific boats or opt for one of the many sailing club arrangements that are on the market. When entering into a "club" type arrangement be sure to understand how your joining/subscription fees are being spent and whether you have any right to a refund. However you decide to do it I virtually guarantee that you will enjoy your boating more!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Robertson has many years experience of shared/fractional ownership having been involved in such schemes for over 15 years. He owns and runs a website promoting fractional ownership (http://www.reachtogether.co.uk/) which has many more articles on the fractional ownership of boats, yacts, real estate, cars etc.