A Perfect Alternative When Buying a Boat
Fractional yacht ownership is like timeshare for boats. You take part ownership in a yacht and share costs with one or more other owners. This can be an attractive alternative to purchasing a boat on your own for several reasons. This article explains why you should consider fractional yacht ownership, how to buy part ownership and will tell you where to look.
The average boat owner makes use of their boat twenty days to six weeks per year. You may use your boat more often. Take a few minutes now and calculate the number of days you used your boat in the last year. Very few boat owners have the time to devote 365 days a year to their passion. This simple calculation alone may reveal the reason why so many complain about the high cost of financing, maintenance, repair, cleaning, storage or slip fees and crew. Consider that a one quarter share in a boat may be easier to justify.
Here’s another way to look at partial yacht ownership. You can afford and justify an exponentially larger yacht and stay within your original budget simply by sharing ownership. If you have had bad boat partnership experiences in the past you now have a safe and convenient alternative. You will learn why this is a safe option later in this article.
Fractional boat ownership is on the rise for a number of reasons. The current economic climate is forcing many people to re-think how their money is spent on luxuries. The concept has been proved in other industries and fine tuned over the last few years in the yachting world. More boat builders and dealers are offering time share in yachts in order to sell product. Improved communications have allowed this ownership concept to be introduced to more of the boating community.
In the past some were turned off of this form of ownership. Naturally they disliked the idea of using other people’s stuff! This inconvenience has now been corrected by management companies who will freshen boats with your personal linens, dishware, silverware, art work, crew and even toys.
How to Buy Part Ownership of a Yacht
There are a growing number of companies worldwide who offer fractional yacht ownership. Typically each boat is divided into shares ranging from two owners to ten. You buy one or more shares depending on anticipated yearly usage. Payments will include the initial share purchase and then a monthly or annual maintenance fee. That fee is the yacht’s operating expenses for the year divided equally among the owners. Some programs allow owners to swap weeks with other owners to accommodate unanticipated changes in a family’s schedule.
When shopping for fractional ownership you need to check if the monthly maintenance fee includes; administration and scheduling, insurance, maintenance and detailing, dockage, a valet service, crew and even emergency assistance. You will likely have to pay for fuel, customs and port fees and provisioning.
Check and make sure that when you purchase a share of a yacht that you are an actual owner and not conned into paying for a glorified, long term charter. In the United States fractional boat companies are often set up as LLCs (Limited Liability Company). Company structure may take on a slightly different form in your country. Ownership plans can run from five to ten years. At the conclusion of the ownership period the boat is sold and the proceeds are divided up amongst the owners.
This is an ideal option for someone who wishes to enjoy exploring far from home. For example if you live in Europe or somewhere in Asia and wish to boat in the United States or the Caribbean you can get shares in a boat in that country. This eliminates the need to transport the boat home. It also ensures that your boat is professionally cared for in your absence.
A variety of yacht sizes are available. Companies offering smaller boats generally are specific to a certain geographic region. Larger yachts offer more range and can include trans-oceanic capabilities. What you would normally pay as full price for a smaller boat can expand your horizons considerably and buy you a share in a yacht that can take you places you only dreamed of before.
Where to Find Fractional Yacht Ownership
Fractional yacht ownership opportunities can now be found around the world. Most companies however are located on the US East Coast, the Caribbean and Mexico, Central America, and the Mediterranean. There are fewer options available in the Middle East, the US West Coast and the Pacific Northwest.
If you have been trying to sell your boat with no luck you can try approaching one of the fractional yacht ownership companies. This type of ownership is growing in some areas of the world faster than boats can be acquired. Ask them if they are interested in putting your yacht into their time share program. You could retain partial ownership and use of your boat and free up a large chunk of cash in the process. Interest will depend on each company’s clientèle. For example, fractional ownership companies that specialize in larger yachts may only want four stateroom boats in their fleet.
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