In my last blog I indicated that there were other options to buying your own boat, and here is the first one.
I have seen some success in sharing the expenses and upkeep of a boat. Since many boats sit idle at the dock due to time constraints of the owner, perhaps shared ownership with a friend or acquaintance would be a more feasible and convenient arrangement. If you don't personally know anyone interested in boating, inquire at your local yacht club about crewing on race night, become a social member and keep your ears open to see if there are others who know of eager boaters looking for shared ownership. Of course, there is always social media! Put out the word on your own sites and perhaps there are even sites that cater to this arrangement.
Once you find someone who is interested, be sure to enter into the agreement by discussing all of the details first!
Maintenance: what must be done and by whom (personal ability must be taken into account).
Housekeeping: how the boat is to be left after every use.
Financial responsibilities: a comprehensive plan outlining all of the costs for upkeep, fuel, mooring, repairs etc. Are you buying a share in the boat or just paying for the use of the boat?
Logistics: prepare a schedule of allotted time when each party will be able to use the vessel.
I am sure there are other issues to consider as well but you get the idea. May I also suggest that you sail with the co-owner a few times before entering into such an agreement to ensure that you have compatible personalities. There are captains/owners who can never be pleased and others who are a little too unconcerned about maintenance. As in everything, some relationships just don't work.
You could also team up with someone who already owns their own vessel which could be a rewarding experiment. You would be partnering with an experienced owner who could teach you the" ropes” while you gain valuable sea time!