For what it's worth, below is an excerpt from an article I did for a local sailing mag on partnerships. We had a very successful partnership running 2 boats, a 40 racer/cruiser and a 24' raceboat, that lasted around 15 years (longer than many marriages!) It was dissolved only because a career change forced a relocation.
Apologies in advance for its length, but perhaps there are some helpful insights for you.
A partnership can be the ideal avenue to
enjoyable boating, or an unmitigated disaster,
and it’s difficult to know for sure until
you’ve tried it.
Logically, it makes perfect sense. Few coastal
cruisers use their boat enough to justify
their expense.What with two jobs, minor
hockey, soccer, home chores and the gym
all competing for precious time there’s often
little time left for on-water recreation. Sharing
a boat can certainly help to justify the
investment.Time-share schedules can be
made up in advance. Maintenance tasks go
faster with more hands on the job. Finally, a
good partnership can give access to a bigger,
better boat that neither party could afford
on their own.
Of course, the most difficult part is finding
the right partner(s). Advertising in the
paper is probably the worst tactic.How can
you make such an important decision after
one or two meetings? We’d been sailing with
our partners, Chuck and Joni, for several
years after they’d been recruited as race
crew on our Viking 28
good friends socially and our children were
friends as well (and still are).
I believe there are some key ingredients that
go into a successful partnership:
• You should know your partners well
before entering into any agreement.
• You should both have a similar outlook
(for example, racing vs. cruising).
• A similar ability (and desire) to pay is also
important.The same applies when it comes
to decisions regarding what to purchase,
and what projects to undertake.
• Communication is vitally important for any
• It’s best to have a written agreement in
advance regarding how the arrangement
will eventually be dissolved. Few partnerships
• Lastly, everyone must be prepared to "pull
their weight," particularly with the more
mundane tasks that go with owning a boat.
extremely fortunate in our
partnership—now nearly 10 years running.
We budget monthly maintenance payments
into a joint account, and each party receives
bills (insurance, moorage and such) for one
of the boats.The monies paid out are
worked into the monthly payments.There’s
usually enough in the account each year for
a special project—new dodger, a new tender,
or minor upgrades here and there.One
year, a major exterior refit took up most of
the summer months and required a cash
injection. But again, each party only needed
to come up with half.
Our boating partnership has allowed us to
enjoy a much more substantial cruising vessel
than either family could afford alone. It
has also enabled us to keep a second smaller
boat—something that would never have
been remotely possible otherwise. For the
right people, in the right frame of mind, a
boating partnership arrangement can be
enjoyable and successful.
Good Luck in your endeavours!