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Old 12-28-2012
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Re: Boat Share Ideas Please

We were involved in a boating partnership that ran over 15 years. With the right group of people it can be an ideal situation. The difficulty is finding that person/those people.

In our case we had sailed with our partner couple (on our own boat) for a number of years before entering into any kind of formalized agreement. It started as a three member syndicate running 2 boats, one (28') kept in Squamish, the other a Mtn 242 that we kept at Thunderbird and raced on English Bay. One partner sold his portion to another friend and the situation continued. Shortly thereafter we got 12 footitis, but the newest partner wasn't ready. He bought out the 28 footer and we carried on with a new-to-us 40 footer and the Mtn 242. This situation lasted another 12 years.

Advantages are multifold... half the bills, half the work, shared maintenance, access to a larger boat than might otherwise be possible, and on and on.

It's important, though, that both parties are on the same wavelength in terms of priorities, disposable income, types of usage and desirable upgrades. It's a pretty big bill to fill by advertising or random hookups.

We knew from the outset there would be no issues with personalities because we were well familiar with our 'new' partners. Tough to be so sure with new acquaintances or contacts. (Although sometimes you don't really 'know' someone until there's money and assets at stake, so perhaps we were just very lucky)

In any event the partnership dissolved on the basis of a career change and a relocation that made continuing it impractical.. we are still friends, have each gone out and bought smaller, similar boats and continue to cruise together.

One unusual aspect of our arrangement is that we almost always sailed together as a group, rarely did any one half want to take the boat out for more than a couple of days here or there. Most more business-like partnerships usually involve a timeshare kind of scheduling that could possibly raise some conflicts and issues, esp in 'prime time'.

We did buy the larger (registered) boat jointly, with each couple individually holding a 16/64 share.. this mostly for estate and survivor issues. We did have a semiformal procedure for dissolution drawn up and agreed to, and in the end it worked out, we sold the boat to another pair of partnership couples. That one didn't have the harmony of ours even from day one...

If you can find the right match, it makes a ton of sense. No boat gets utilized as much as it could/should be, and it would benefit from the 'extra lovin' that could result!
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