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ekhar 01-15-2002 12:49 PM

Sharing a boat
Anyone can advise on problems that may arrise in co-owning a boat? (Aside from agreeing on sailing schedule) Anyone has lived thru it?

Lahr 01-15-2002 02:13 PM

Sharing a boat
I''ve owned five sailboats over 30 years with a co-owner. It can work extremely well but you need a co-owner that is every bit as responsible and flexible as you with comparable experience and sailing interests. Among the zillion subtle point are the notion that green eyeshade accounting is not productive, that "rounding off" is the byword whereby major expenses are shared and minor ones less an issue. You''ll use the boat 80% of the time you want for %50 of the cost.Always leave the boat in "charter quality" condition for your co-owner and vice versa. A terrific situation with the right person. Jack

R33 01-15-2002 03:02 PM

Sharing a boat
I owned my current boat with a partner. He lost his job after the first season, just as his wife became pregnant with thier second child. ALL of the work and expense associated with owning a boat became mine. I could never have expected help from him in any way due to his circumstances. He eventually "gave" us his share of the boat in exchange I paid his note after the second season. He NEVER used the boat. It worked out well for me but obviously was a disaster for him.Things happen that are hard to anticipate which can be very adverse to the partnership. Try to spell as much out in a written agreement as possible including circumstances as above.

Jeff_H 01-15-2002 05:40 PM

Sharing a boat
I have a minor partner in my current boat but we have not had it long enough to really tell yet how it will work in the long run. I have known my partner for close to 10 years and been in a variety of deals with him. I have looked at the deal as one in which I will be using the boat more than my partner and plan to do most of the work on the boat. It is somewhat understood that at some point I will probably end up buying my partner out and that he will use the boat on a fairly limited basis. On the other hand he has reasonably liberal use of the boat for about the annual price of a week long charter of a 38 footer on the Chesapeake Bay.


halyardz 01-15-2002 10:15 PM

Sharing a boat
Jeff,I wish you luck on that partnership. But few I''ve heard of actually run smoothly. I knew my former business partner for years before we joined forces. It wasn''t the 100 times the partnership worked smoothly that caused us to part ways, it was the three times it didn''t.

Jeff_H 01-16-2002 01:36 AM

Sharing a boat
I thought pretty hard about doing this partnership. I decided a few things were required to make it work. First of all, from being in several previous partnerships, I know that the only way that a partnership works is if you have two people who really don't care whether they or their partners are getting more than or giving less than their fair share.

The second piece of this is that from my perspective, as the significantly majority owner and planning to own the boat for a long time, I fully planned to upgrade and restore the boat over time in a way that makes sense for my long term plans. I discussed this with my partner before hand and it was agreed that I can proceed with these improvements and my percentage of equity would increase in proportion to each of my capital expenditures in the boat.

We also came up a simple formula to address operating expenses and as part of our agreement and accounted for in this formula for dividing operating expenses, I am doing the labor for all normal maintenance that I have the ability to normally perform, which does not bother me since the boat is stored at my house and I would have wanted to do the maintenance on the boat if I owned the boat outright anyway.

Lastly, we have a clear agreement that covers pretty much any conceivable contingency including a fair ''buy/sell'' clause.

Another component of this decision is that I am also restoring a house on the water and so really can't use the boat as much as I would like in the next couple years. Having a partner has greatly reduced my loan costs.

I am quite optimistic. We shall see.


aasault 01-16-2002 07:26 AM

Sharing a boat
If the boat is anything substantial, I would spend the money and hire an attorney to specify almost every financial/legal nuance. I would think such a document would have the effect of reinforcing the seriousness of each parties responsibilities.
I briefly considered a couple of partnership offers, but a handshake doesn''t do it for me. People change real quick when the checkbook comes out! Especially friends and family!


Lahr 01-16-2002 01:22 PM

Sharing a boat
All things being equal, a newer boat raises fewer unexpected maintenance/expense problems than an older boat, so this may be an attractive issue for the prospective partners to consider.

Jeff_H 01-16-2002 01:41 PM

Sharing a boat
That is very good advice about a clear and well defined agreement. I started out with an agreement that had been written by a lawyer who was also in a boat partnership. After editting it, I had a friend who is a lawyer and who I had helped find a boat take a look at it as a favor to me. He had caught some boneheaded language that would have been very confusing if we had to actually rely on it.



Lahr 01-18-2002 06:34 AM

Sharing a boat
Jeff--could you post your agreement, duly edited? Potential partnerships might benefit. As you can tell from my postings, I''m a True Believer in such partnerships but the partners have to the the Right Temperment,Similiar Experience, Goals, Sense of Responsibility, and as you suggested, "not overly concerned" about precise measurement of this 50-50 relationship. In my partnerships, I primarily dealt with all the maintenance, but that was no problem because I enjoyed it. Jack

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