Boat Share Basics And Benefits

By Armando Stevens

A boat share is a middle-of-the road solution in between buying a boat and chartering one. Buying it might be overkill for someone who isn't planning to virtually live on it. At the other extreme, a yacht charter is cost-effective only for those who need it once a year or so for a vacation.

Sharing ownership, on the other hand, offers a whole lot of flexibility in terms of use and time spent on the water, without being saddled with the costs and responsibility of ownership. There's no need to worry about buying the vessel, nor about insurance, marina fees, etc. Most importantly, the hassles and cost of the vessel's maintenance are out of the picture.

All these matters are taken care of by the fractional yacht or boat share company. This company buys the vessel and allocates shares in each vessel to different people, thus creating co-owners. Another arrangement is where people pay annual fees to become members, like a timeshare. Any member who wants to take the vessel out into the water then has to pay a small charge, which is nothing compared to what chartering a similar vessel will cost.

In order to get the best possible deal with favorable usage terms and costs, it might be advisable to look around and check out a few of these companies. Check up on things like how much time on the vessel per year the company allows each co-owner, and how they schedule it. Many companies have limits on how soon after one trip a co-owner can book the next one.

Also, there will be a need to book in advance, in order to avoid date clashes with the vessel's other co-owners. This has a big chance of happening during holidays and other peak periods like summer vacations, if there is no scheduling system. Also look into the details of the maintenance charges for the vessel, and how the company actually maintains it.

Then there are also questions about the crew (if any) and other such factors that depend on the size and type of the vessel. The summary of it is that a boatload of money can be saved by opting for a boat share. It allows people to roam the seas at will without having to pay through the nose, but it still has to be looked into carefully to make sure the arrangement is legit.

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