Consumer Q & A

Topic: Fractional boat ownership, timeshare, etc
Terri Parrow
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Posted: 07 October 2005 at 12:15pm | IP Logged

Given the costs financially as well as the costs in terms of time commitments, I'm interested for personal reasons and for discussions among some of us here at BoatUS, in learning:

        1) Are there are any people out there who have fractional ownership in a boat or a type of timeshare in a boat; if there are, what their thoughts of them are, esp. the differences between fractional ownership and timeshare?

        2) What's out there in the way of fractional ownerships and timeshares?  What's good about them and what's bad?

        3) If you have had experience with a shared boat, are there any special arrangements you'd advise? (i.e. set up the boat as a Trust, have a written agreement that has a set term of partnership, etc)   What's worked for you?  What hasn't worked?

        4) Has a shared boat arrangement helped keep you in boating?   

Feel free to post your thoughts or email me:      

Thank you!

Edited by Terri Parrow on 18 January 2006 at 12:41pm
Terri Parrow Botsford
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Posted: 10 October 2005 at 9:42am | IP Logged

I considered it, but passed.  For me, it seemed like a good "pre-starter boat" but it led me to a strategic dead end. If I enjoyed it, I would want my own boat and would regret being locked into a long-term membership; and if I did not enjoy it, I would regret beinglocked into a long-term membership!

So for me, the optimum program would provide the following:

1.  A duration of one or two seasons.  At that point you either want out or up.

2.  I don't need multiple boat types and locations. 

3.  Shared owners either need a set "package" of accessories (tubes, skis, ropes, electronics) or they need a secure storage facility at the marina where they can keep their own stuff.  It also would help if there was a staff to pre-load the boat with the owner's stuff.

Lastly, a shared boat program needs to educate people on the true cost of boat ownership.  As a new boat owner, I'm just getting used to the concept of spending $4,000+ per year on storage, maintenance and repair.  Winterizing is not optional, and if you are not a do-it-yourselfer, you will pay a lot.  This is a benefit of a shared boat program that is undervalued and not well marketed.  It still would not have changed my decision, because I enjoy doing stuff myself.  But these memberships all look expensive if you are not fully considering the year-round ownership cost.

Edited by CrownMine on 10 October 2005 at 9:45am
Pesce Piccolo
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Twin 5.0MPI, Bravo III
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 2:25am | IP Logged

Well I'm seriously considering purchase of a vessel that would be put into a "shared ownership" type of program. The program is called YachtLease and is located here in Seattle. The operation has been around since the early to mid 90's and appears to be functioning well.

The program works like this: Owner sets up a LLC and purchases the boat for charter (this saves WA State taxes), he then contracts the charter company to manage the chartering and maintenance of the boat. Others contract for set fees at differing levels for that specific boat. Each of the different levels allow different number of reserved days per year with no more than a set amount allowed to be taken in any one quarter. The management firm handles the damage deposit, training charges, and makes certain that things are kept in top operating shape. They get about 40% of the fees to do this.

I've only had conversations with one owner that participates in the program (he was happy) but expect to talk directly to at least two others to get the inside scoop. If I believed the sales agents I would be able to "break even" on the particular boat I'm looking at. That's including all major costs, moorage, insurance and maintenance. Sounds a little too good to be true so I'm looking for a little real world confirmation. I'll post back after I've contacted the other owners that are participating.

Of course I welcome input from anyone who does have expierence in this program as either an owner or "member"

Sorry for the long winded post.

RB Cooper
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 11:00am | IP Logged
There are folks that do the same with planes....I've
probably rented one that was in that agreement.

Please do let us know what you find out.


'99 Carver 350 Mariner
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 12:47pm | IP Logged

     I've often talked to people pushing the concept at boat shows, but when I was a kid, my father had a similar arrangement with Airplanes that scared me off.

     Dad's Organization had 3 Airplanes, a Mooney, a Cessna 172B and a Piper TriPacer.   My Father and other members spent months, over a year in the complete restoration of the Piper.  Then one day soon after recertification,a fellow member that did not log a single hour of time on the restoration of this plane, checked it out  before Dad had a chance to fly her.

    The pilot lost track of time and did not make it back to the Akron NY airfield before closing that night.  Not having the good sense or fuel remaining to attempt a landing at another airfield that was lit after dark, he attempted a landing in Akron in the dark, with no lights or electronic assistance.  The Piper with less then 10 hours since overhaul touched down in the airplane parking area.  The Piper and numerous parked aircraft were totaled, and many others sustained damage.  My father, who learned to fly in a crop duster as a kid, long before he had a Drivers License, never few again.  To this day I remember how heart broken he was. I'm not interested.


Edited by Terri Parrow on 13 October 2005 at 1:29pm
That was fun... lets do it again
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 1:35pm | IP Logged
what about insurance costs?  I would think they would be much higher if you are chartering you boat.
Terri Parrow
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 1:36pm | IP Logged
OneHappyCpl, I fixed/edited your posting so your photo would show up.  For some reason it doesn't like the www in front of my.boatus.

If you want it to show up in your signature, then click Settngs on the top of the page, then click profile information.  Then put with after it.

If you need more help, just email me directly:

Terri Parrow Botsford
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 1:38pm | IP Logged

That demonstrates how important it is to not go into that kind of arrangement if you allow yourself to become attached to the boat/airplane/etc.

When my son first got his private pilots license, he took one of the club's planes up.  It was October and the weather was unpredicatble so his dad had told him not to go flying.  Of course, at 17 he knew better and snuck off to the airfield.  Sure enough a cold front moved in and he couldn't return to the airport.  Some one finally talked him into a crop dusting airport with a better ceiling.  He had to spend the night in the cold plane and fly back the next day.....after calling in where he was and why.  The flying club almost expelled him.  After that he realized he didn't know much after all.  20 yrs later he a commercial, chief pilot flying out of Nome, Alaska.

Vessel Flutterby
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Posted: 13 October 2005 at 4:43pm | IP Logged
There is a Freedom Boat Club here in the Boston area.  I would be interested if anyone has information or experience with the club including what they charge.  Thanks!
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Posted: 21 October 2005 at 12:16pm | IP Logged

I have been looking into an Australian based company called The Cruising Club ( that just opened recently here in the Dallas, Texas Area (Pier 121 Marina on Lake Lewisville).  I love the whole idea of Fractional Boat Ownership and most interested in looking into one of their franchises that will be offered here in America soon.  Has anyone else heard of this company?  Dealt with them?

Their first boat on Lake Lewisville is a Chris Craft and my wife and I will be taking a closer look at their operation and this boat this weekend. 


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Posted: 03 April 2007 at 8:04pm | IP Logged

Hi All,,

I was in a version of time sharing on a 43' Carver at Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle.  You paid $500 a month and could take the boat for 8 days each quarter, total 32 days a year.  Good deal, but we like Florida/Bahamas in the winter, so we looked for a boat in Florida. 

We now have a 1/4 share of a 40' Mainship.  Paid $45K and 1/4 of the expenses.  My partners live in Tampa, so does the boat.  Since they only use it in the summer, and we only use it in winter, it's a great setup.  My partners are great guys!  Met them on the internet.  We have taken it to Key West and the Bahamas for 30-45 days each winter, and we love it. 

I am now looking for another boat in Miami, so it's not a 3 day trip to the Bahamas each way!  If anyone knows of a boat share for sale, please let me know.  Randy Smith,

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Posted: 04 April 2007 at 10:07am | IP Logged
I had a 35' trawler in charter service. I was surprised at the way the folks who used her treated her...with care and respect. I came out in the black despite problems with the charter management side.
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Posted: 31 January 2008 at 6:53pm | IP Logged

I have started researching this area again.  I am interested in any new reactions.  In particular, I am interested in people who have:

1.  Joined a fractional sailing program.

2.  Joined a seasonal lease program - fixed fee, you get so many days per year.

3.  Shared boat ownership with other people but without a company involved - e.g. shared ownership.

My major interest is in sailing charters.  I am also trying to get a feel of the length vs. dollar equation.  How big a boat for how many months for how much per year.

Thanks in advance


Sailboat Reboot
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Posted: 26 October 2008 at 6:23pm | IP Logged

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Posted: 26 October 2008 at 6:28pm | IP Logged
I am setting up a fractional program for a Jeanneau 52.2 sail yacht based in the BVI

Reef Song program l

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As we just launched an all new Website and added powerboats to our fleet I thought I would chime in here.


To answer your initial questions Terri:


1.       The main difference between true fractional ownership (we don’t offer this) and “timeshare” is in who owns the equity of the boat, and who makes decisions regarding everything from the slip location to the color of the sheets. My experience with multiple equity owners has been that it is difficult if not impossible to get everyone to agree. In a “timeshare” model the single boat owner makes these decisions, and “members” of the boat can decide if they want to participate or not based on the owners decisions.

2.       Obviously I’m biased, but WindPath Fractional Yachting is the best thing in boating since fiberglass. That being said there are more and more options out there for fractional yachting now.

3.       All these things are very important and if not handled professionally can quickly set partners against each other. Use a proven agreement, have great insurance, make sure all your partners are competent boaters, clearly define how scheduling works, clearly define maintenance and cleaning, what about fuel costs, and the list goes on…

4.       Absolutely!


Visit for more information on Fractional Yachting.

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I have set up a fractional ownership program for performance boat enthusiasts.  Check out



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Posted: 31 December 2009 at 1:39pm | IP Logged

I wanted to find possible partners to co-own a boat here in Honolulu, then found a great deal on my current, older wooden sloop. I'm considering the co-ownership arrangement with this boat, because I'd like others to share the maintenance and to have reliable sailing buddies to go with.

I think this last point is reason enough, because I've always seen underused boats and often those owners bemoan the difficulty of getting people to show up when they want to go sailing. I've had my problems with people who balk when you say "we'll go Saturday morning if the winds cooperate", then when you call and say you're on your way to the marina, they say they've gotten involved in something so they'll have to pass. An owner is more likely to go because they've self-selected as an interested sailor.

Keith Brilhart, Honolulu

Wade Smith
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I am also looking for others to share ownership of a Moorings Leopard 40 - basically, I love the boat, and the program, have the money. I do not have the time to charter 10 weeks a year, so I am interested in splitting the purchase with 3 others - that way the value of the charter weeks makes the deal attractive, and lower's everyone's cost

I searched for 12 hours this weekend, and pasted every URL related into an excel file - happy to share this if you ask - send your e-mail address to

And if anyone is interested in pre-purchasing at 1/2 price, 2 weeks of Moorings charter time with a 5 year committment, drop me a note as well.
ketchum kid
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Posted: 11 April 2011 at 10:14pm | IP Logged
A business partner and his family co-owned a 35' cruiser
with us for a couple of years. We alternated weekends on
the boat, split all the costs right down the middle. It
was great for two years, although my family used the boat
more than his. If one of us was not going to use the boat
the coming weekend, we offered it to the other family. 2
years later it was totaled in a tornado, and we got our
investment plus all our expenses back out, but he opted
to not buy another until his kids, 3 and 6 at the time,
were older.
My family bought another cruiser the next month, and
still use it almost every week.
We are still great friends to this day, but it worked
because we respected the arrangement and treated each
other fairly.
So my take is as usual on deals like this, it depends on
the individuals.
"If the course is hard, still steer."
Cobalt 272
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Posted: 25 May 2011 at 10:01pm | IP Logged
I would like to set up a fractional ownership of a vessel equal to a Leopard
47 in the Washington State area. I need 3 other partners for this region. I
am a scuba diver, but that is not a requirement for the other owners in this
type of arrangement. I'm at if you have any
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Posted: 24 June 2011 at 4:50pm | IP Logged
This is an update on our fractional share ownership plan for Reef Song, a Jeanneau 52.2 home ported at Virign Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.  There are now 6 partners.  The partnership works very well and all partners are very happy with the arrangement as well as the location of Reef Song.

Here is our web site.

Take a look and see if this is something you might be interested in.

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