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post #1 of 9 Old 10-18-2002 Thread Starter
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Fractional Yacht Ownership

I thought I would pass this by for some input and opinion.

I was thinking about making a business investment in a firm I was introduced to in Annapolis who will be at one point in the future, be making the largest single quantity yacht purchase from one boat manufacturer in history.

The business concept is quarter share ownershhip of a performance/cruising yacht in the 35 to 47 foot range.

For a fraction of the cost of purchasing the entire boat, you are a boat owner having a fraction of the boat in your name and also guaranteed utilization of the boat or an exact twin so many days/weekends a month/per year

There is a monthy management fee that covers 100% of all maintenance, dockage, winterization and so forth. There are no headaches that would normally be associated with owing the whole boat. It''s all taken care of. The owner uses the boat and takes all of the other advantages that are associated with yacht ownership.

The management office schedules all the owners when they would like to use "their" boat. The company will have several stock boats to fill-in should there be more sailors than boats. They also will provide special catering and so forth.

Kind of sounds like a time share but better (I think). Several loctions on the east coast would mean I could sail "my boat" in Maryland, Flordia or the Islands. All I have to do is get there. I call an 800 number to let em''know when I''ll be coming.

I don''t know, sounds interestinbg. It was explained to me that the exact model of this business is NetJets, or fractional business jet ownership which is a very powerful force in the corporate jet ownership industry.

The Yacht owners name would appear on the title of the boat along with the other quarter share owners whom you might not ever really meet unless you wanted to. You might not ever sail your boat, but it will look and be eqquiped exactly the same with all the modern day instrumentation radar/chartplotter and electronics. Probably more than I could adfford if I was buying my own boat.

It goes on and on but that seems to be the bulk of the plan. The fleet will turn every 4 or 5 years. (sounds like a very well financed operation I would guess).
I got to thinking about it and have somewhat of a positive reaction to "the plan".

Might work well with corporate Jets but don''t know about boats. On the otherhand, Why not? Could take the industry by storm who knows?

Capt''n Steve
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-18-2002
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You''re right, the idea does initially sound intriguing. And yes, share ownership in a variety of aircraft (especially jets because of the huge purchase but also operating costs) has been successful. Since it sounds like you''re asking for a critique of the concept, I''ll offer you some initial questios to chew on, altho'' my first thought is ''wouldn''t it be great if there was a track record to answer these questions!?''

1. Is there a contract between you joint owners and the operator? What does it obligate you to...and allow you the freedom to do on your own? (I''ll bet all shares can only be subsequently sold thru the operators. Bet they also retain decision making authority to repair/replace marginal equipment despite you funding it. How does that feel to you?)
2. Is the concept as appealing if it takes off in your area (e.g. Annapolis, with its seasonal climate) but not in Florida (where you may hope to vacation in winter)? If your answer is ''yes'', why wouldn''t a conventional partnership be worth considering, allowing you to retain lots more control in a variety of areas. If your answer is ''no'', what guarantees or back-out clause applies?
3. Biz Jets are about status, preferred treatment for time sensitive execs, reduced (tho'' still egregious) cost and absence of all admin hassles. These aren''t relevant to boat ownership for most of us; are they prime drivers for you?
4. You''ve described a ''closed system'' in which each owner is highly effected by all the others but between whom there is no affiliation, allegiance or emotional investment. How ''they'' run ''your'' boat''s engine or handle ''your'' boat''s sails, e.g. doesn''t seem to be influenced at all by your preferences and their respect of them. In the extreme, you could describe this system as inviting ''Ride it hard, put it away wet'' behavior, as the abuse Owner 1 causes only effects his/her pocketbook by 1/4th. (Note how this is very different from the business model with the jets, where FAA regs mandate how the jet is maintained and operator-employed pilots actually put ''use'' on the plane).

These thoughts surfaced in the first 10 mins; I''m sure many more lurk in the dirty details. Will it take off? Don''t know. Does it suit you? Only you can say. But in times of economic struggle with an uncertain future, would you invest in shares in this untried business model in the absence of a track record? If not, why would you fund it via another method?

Sorry this turned out sounding more negative than I''d expected as I began writing it. Hate to squash innovation, but I see lots of uncertainty here along with a biz model funded not by the biz owners but by the ''investors'' (aka: boat owners).

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-18-2002
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Fractional Yacht Ownership

nice answer
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-19-2002
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Additional thoughts: the arrangement could be enhanced by a "no commercial charter" requirement; and what''s so troubling about a requirement that the added partners must me acceptable to the existing partners? JLL
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-19-2002 Thread Starter
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RE: Partnership...

The Quarter Share customer owns a fraction or at least 25% of the or "a boat". The 4 partners in a specific boat might not sail the boat with their name on it but be guaranteed availability X amount of days per month on an identical yacht based upon the %fraction of the boat they own. All you do is call, say "I want to sail from the 11th to the 15th" and just show up. The boat will be clean and mechanically perfect each time you use it.

Management will completely clean each boat when it comes in preparation for the next trip. Should a boat be down for mechanical, a "stock twin" will be used by the next owner.

RE: Commercial charter, revenues over X% will be shared among the owners as well. The charter revenues will be used to off set the monthly management fee. The management fee will be very attractive; about the cost of financing maybe a little bit more but will cover absolutely everything.

If you can sail when you want up to on a boat you "own", it is in perfect condition each time you use it, you only paid 25% of the entire cost of the yacht, you get what ever tax advantages you are entitled to, all the advantages of ownership without the headaches, why not? I am still thinking about it. Sounds like a great idea to me.

It is certainly not for everyone... That is a given... we know that. But let''s say you could only afford a 28 foot boat. You are in love with the 35 boat conditions in your live prohibit ownership of such a boat, more money down more expensive maintenance, more expensive dockage, higher monthly payments, and so forth.... Now, for the less than the operational cost of that 28, you can get into a brand new 35+ foot boat and use it almost as many times annually as you would if you owned the 28 foot boat out-right. Should an owner exceed his or her time allocation, there would be a pro-rated charge per day.

That''s all I have on it for now. They are sending me a package I will have more comment when I review it.

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-20-2007
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Hi Folks,
I recommend you explore the operations of Sailtime. In Sailtime, instead of fractional ownership) you have a single owner and six other "members." The members pay a fixed amount per month which covers all operating costs, incl. maintenance and slip fees, and the loan. The owner-member fronts the loan (makes the down-payment) and pays nothing monthly. The boat is the owner's. The members have no ownership interest and can bail-out at a perscribed notice of exit.

The use of the boat is computer schedulted. Every owner/member is guaranteed a number of periods of use. (A period in Newport Beach, CA is 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs, and 1600 hrs to 1000 hrs - each member/owner gets 5 per month). The periods can be swaped or "banked'. You can schedule in advance and un-requested periods are available to all members on a first-come-first-served basis on a given boat regardless of your quota.

Sailtime locations are "sold" on a licensing agreement basis (read franchise) and require Hunter boats less than five years old. Sailtime is expanding into major yachting markets and opportunities are available.

Sailtime members and owners are trained and certified by a ASA school captain so no-one should be so incomptetent to trash their "own" boat. Yes, you will be on your own boat, it is not a club.

Because I am typically not a weekend sailor, this arrangement has worked well for me.

Member Rio Newport Beach, CA
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-20-2007
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I would highly recommend that you not revive dead threads. It is considered somewhat impolite as net etiquette goes. As this is your first post, and you are so highly advocating Sailtime, this post and your motives are somewhat suspect. You sound like an advertisement for Sailtime, and excepting the typos... it reads like PR copy.


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post #8 of 9 Old 06-20-2007
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Fractional Sailing I hope is the thing of the future..I just purchased a WindPath franchise for the Great Lakes....
I would be glad to answer any questions based on my investigations of Fractional Sailing but don't want to turn this into a commercial. Read the contract carefully, how do you get out if your name is on the title, first thing that pops into my head is liability...
It is the future I hope for allot of folks who just don't have the time or the skills to maintain a yacht..may not be able to afford $150,000 for a new boat but still want to sail..

Good Luck
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-22-2007
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See what you started??!! Being somewhat familiar with Sailtime (two of the four boats in the Annapolis franchise were docked a few slips down from my boat and I got to know the franchise owner very well one day after he criticized the way I was docking my boat and threatened to tell the guy who owns the marina--what a wuss!!), I agree about the post looking like PR copy.

Last edited by SailinJay; 06-22-2007 at 10:09 AM.
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