Boat Syndicates

This community is to discuss, promote and find out more about sharing a boat. Private boat syndicates are where the owners manage the arrangements themselves. They can range from partnerships to much larger groups.

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Posted January 23, 2011

The final weekend of the London International Boat Show was a busy one, with queues to see the boats at times stretching back across the stand’s platform and down the stairs!

The Bavaria 40 was the most popular boat on display. Some people came to see it because they’ll be chartering a Bavaria later in the year and wanted get an idea of what the boat will be like.

There were lots of experienced charterers at the show, weighing up whether to take the plunge and buy a boat, to get more of the sailing they want and move from renting to owning.

I managed to speak to quite a few of them whilst they were waiting, to see what they thought of purchasing a share instead. The interesting thing was, most of them felt that they’d outgrown chartering now, but kept going back to it because buying a boat outright was just too big a step. So the idea of purchasing a share had big appeal.

Mick, a US citizen now living in the UK, summed it up really well in his feedback to me: “That’s what I want to do; purchase a share. Why would I buy the whole boat, just to have it sitting in the marina for half the year? I love sailing, but there’s also other things I want to do with my time. This way, I still get to be a boat owner, at less expense – and get something back on my investment when I come to sell.”

Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of interest from families, who need a larger boat than they would be able to afford outright. I also came across a lot of younger couples and singles who liked the idea. They’re working hard, earning a decent salary and want a bit of luxury and excitement from their lives, to show for it. Buying a share means they can enjoy the lifestyle they want now, without getting in over their heads.

I found that a lot of people had preconceptions that ‘boat share’ meant time share, or being part of a managed scheme. When I explained the difference, all of them liked the fact that the group members each own an equity stake in the boat that is theirs to sell at any time. They also liked the fact that the group manages the arrangements themselves online, whilst having the reassurance of the full service package, which ensures the boat is always safe, clean and ready to sail.

Following the show, enquiry forms have already started to come in. So far, there has been interest in sharing a Bavaria yacht (from 36ft to 50ft) and also a couple of enquiries about sharing a Legend (41ft). The most popular requests for berthing locations have included the Mediterranean, Greece, the Caribbean, Croatia and the UK.

If you would like to explore the potential of being part of a private group that co-owns a new boat, or you just want to be kept up to date on the latest progress, just follow the link below and complete the enquiry form.


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Posted January 11, 2011

It’s been a great first weekend at the London International Boat Show at ExCeL London. This was my first time at this event. It’s very different from Southampton, as it caters mainly for indoor displays, but the atmosphere’s just as good; it’s relaxed and friendly. All the new boats were in the South Hall, which makes it easy for visitors to see the latest designs in both motor and sail.

I spent most of my time on the Bavaria stand, with their sole distributor in the UK, Clipper Marine, getting feedback from visitors about the option of buying a share in a new boat with other private individuals.

There was plenty of interest. “It’s a great idea actually,” Richard, from Kent told me. “We want to move on from chartering and get something of our own, but realistically, we’re not going to be able to spend more than a few weeks each year on the boat until we retire, which may not be for another 3 or 4 years yet. Getting a share in the boat would be a lot more cost effective - and when we do retire, I’ll either sell the share and then buy our own boat – or maybe just offer to buy out a couple of the other shareholders.”

There’s three new groups on GetItWithMe, each featuring a new yacht in the range offered by Clipper Marine. One features a Bavaria 40, one a Bavaria 45 and one an Azimut 48. All of them have a suggested berthing location of Palma marina.

In fact, Clipper Marine will syndicate any boat in the range they have for sale (including Bavaria yachts from 32ft to 55ft and sports cruisers from 28ft to 46ft, Azimut motor yachts from 38ft to 70ft, plus Legend yachts, Bryant deckboats, bow riders and cuddy cabins and the Storm 22ft trailer sailor). They’ll also berth it at any location the group chooses.

In each case, the company will commission the group’s boat at their choice of marina, provide all the crockery and linen and arrange all the services for the first year (maintenance, gardiennage, cleaning etc).

At the end of the year, the group can decide to continue with those services, change them or transfer the boat to another location. As the co-owners, they have complete control over what they do with the boat, where, when and how.

As part of the package, each group will be able to manage the arrangements online through GetItWithMe; booking, expenditure, usage tracking, recording issues and setting reminders.

Patrick and Sally, whom I met on the stand, liked the convenience of the online tools: “We don’t want to be locked down to deciding specific weeks up front. Using a booking system would be much more flexible. I think we would all use the boat more as a result.”

I’ve been asking people who have expressed an interest to complete an enquiry form on one of the group pages for the new syndicates. If you think you might be interested in purchasing a share in a new boat, just click the of the link below (this link will take you to the Bavaria 45 Group) to complete the enquiry form with information on your preferred boat(s) and berthing location(s).

As the forms come in, I’ll look for potential matches and gradually start introducing prospective sharers to each other so they can discuss a potential shared purchase. I am also very happy to help people formalise their group and how it will operate.

You can also use the enquiry form if you just want to be kept up to date on progress with the new syndicates.

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