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  #1  
Old 05-12-2006
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Sailtime - fractional yacht ownership

I am looking for feedback from members who have had first hand experience
with Sailtime - fractional yacht ownership.

It will be great to hear from Sailtime Yacht Owners and also Sailtime Base Operators.

Thanks in advance.
Nic
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2006
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No Weekends

I am neither a Sailtime owner or a franchise operator, but I can report one negative item, from an article starting on page 32 of the January 2006 issue of Practical Sailor. The Sailtime program is based on a person purchasing a new Hunter 33 or 36, and having seven other persons purchase what is in effect a time-share.

On page 33, the article describes how Sailtime divides up each day: there are two time slots - 10:30am to 6:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30am the next day. Each member gets seven time slots per month, with a maximum of two of the seven periods usable on weekends. The boat owner gets the same amount of time as the seven members. And members can borrow time from an adjacent month, meaning that it is possible to sign out the boat for a full week, every other month. However, enjoying the boat for a full weekend appears to be ruled out.

There is another such program, called Windpath, that utilizes primarily Catalina 350s and other Catalina boats. They have franchises in Annapolis, Sag Harbor, NY, San Francisco, Cape Cod, and Stamford, CT (where the company is based).
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Old 05-12-2006
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Hopefully someone from Sailtime can chime in here. Im here in NYC. Given the brevity of our sailing season I wonder if paying $500-$600 a month year round for a boat that probably has to be out of the water from Oct 15-May 15 (at least that is what my insurance stipulates) makes alot of sense. So thats 5 months times 7 segments a month = 35 segments a year. So at $10k that is $285 a segment or $342 a segment.So thats between $570-$684 per 24 hour period. Seems like alot but perhaps its worth the premium if, say, you just want to daysail and you can do it about twice a week and have none of the uncertain expenses of ownership.
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Old 05-12-2006
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Sailtime? NOT FOR ME !!!

I actually have been a member (not owner member) of Sailtime Tampa Bay last year. At the beginning I thought it is really a cool program; working for me as a busy (working) individual. I did everything they asked (especially financially) and started to enjoy my time on the boat. The only problem was, the difference between the glossy brochures with the big promises of the sailtime people, and the hard facts of reality.

The attitude of the base manager was : He is not a businessman caring and catering for his clients, but rather a referee who is trying to manage things between everybody involved and who has the only and absolute power. B.t.w.this is not my assesment but a quote of his own statement!!!


Example:On one occation I set up an appointment to get the introduction for the new boat I wanted to transfer to (mandentory 4 hour event) before I left for a 2 week businesstrip to Europe, that was actually scheduled around his strict time demands!

When I returned from this trip, I just got a notification by email, that he is cancelling the appointment, postponing to a not specified date. Instead of contacting me through my office and politly asking to re-schedule, he had choosen this way. If you think, not a big deal: I was already taken off the list of the boat I was on before and without having the orientation I couldn't sign any timeslots on the "new" boat .... and they are filling up fast!
His reasoning for the re-scheduling was not any emergency or any unforeseen issues ... the weather was bad the week before and he would rather do something else !!!!!!!!


On other occasions I had to call him on a Sunday morning, when I came to the boat and something with the electronic sign on didn' t work.A member is not allowed to take the boat with out signing in, and paper sign-in sheets have not been on the boat.... It was a very unpleasant experience, listening to his attitude because I called him over the weekend .... Before that experience I was under the impression, he understood, that managing a Sailtime base means every weekend is "high season". I never bothered him again on a weekend!

Sailtime also states, the boat will be detailed every month or so. During the 6 month I was member, the boat was detailed just once ....and you could hear him complaining about the cost( must have been the first time he had this done).They expect much more than just hosing down the boat and tidy up the cabin. He actually had explained, to use about 30 to 40 sheets of papertowel to wash all hatches and windows inside and out, rub down all the stainless steel parts, lifelines etc. Doing it his way would take more than an hour, at least. I don't have a problem to wash down the boat after using but he went a little bit overboard with his demands, most likely to stretch the time between professional cleanings to a maximum (avoiding of cost!)

If you sent him a check for your monthly dues, he charges a hefty "processing" fee. The only way he want the payments is by electronic billpay online.



Most of the time I was singlehanding and I explained this clearly ( and with witnesses on my side) before I joined. Of course they didn't see any problems with that .... Sign here on the dotted line and write a check for a couple thousend of dollars ..... I never had any problems singlehanding the boat nor did I harm or damage the boat in any way. The Sailtime instructor was very pleased with my boathandling and didn't have any complains or concerns ...

During the time of changing to the other boat (that was outfitted with an Autopilot) and with the problem of his re-scheduling without even asking, the base manager started really to "not liking" me. All the sudden he created a new rule : NO SINGLEHANDING WITH SAILTIME. Of course this was geared directly towards me and he pressured me into finally quitting the program. Do you think I got any of my prepaid fees and security payments back? Of course not. I tried to contact SAILTIMES headquater in Texas and it took them more than 6 month to finally respond to me requests. According to them, the local base manager has a lot of freedom and there would be nothing they could ( or want????) do ....

I my humble opinion SAILTIME doesn't care too much about their members. They want to build up a company as big as possible and they are using the paying members (and owner-members) to do so. They can't or won't give guidence to the local base managers if there are problems and they even keep all the money, if a client is really disappointed because of a base manager who is on a powertrip.There is no fairness or middleground!

I think, the idea of fractional ownership, if managed right, could be a big winner for everybody involved, if the people creating the system would have the right mindset and GREED would not be the only beacon on their chart.

There are other companies out there, offering similar programs and perhaps they are better than SAILTIME. I actually spoke with the people of PINNACLE who are now also in Florida, and they seem to have a different approach and understanding. I didn't like their way of pre-scheduling, so I passed.

After all this trouble and spending much more than $6000 for a couple month of "Sailtime" I bought my own boat and enjoy it almost every weekend. This 30 foot Hunter will do for now, and the big one (~40' Cat) is planned for my early retirement in 3 to 5 years. Until than I am contemplating right now to buy also a used 40' catamaran and to put it into charter. Who knows, with somebody else on the helm at SAILTIME I mostly likely would have become an owner-member with them, but, oh I forgot, no singlehanding!!!! LOL

Just my very own and personal $0.02

Volkhard
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2006
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SailTime - A great experience for me

I am not an owner-member but I have been a member of SailTime Annapolis for nearly two years. The program works very well for me: access to a new, well equipped sailboat for minimal financial commitment.

As a counter-point to the prior comment I find that I have ample time to schedule the boat... in fact if I had more time available to me I would likely be unable to use it due to other commitments. Also, in contrast to the prior comment, Todd and Paula, the base owners of SailTime Annapolis are very responsive and hands-on. I have seen that the boats are detailed and the bottoms cleaned on a regular basis.

I have considered pulling the trigger on becoming an owner-member but I don't think it is the right fit for me right now. That being the case, I think it is a great deal for someone who wants to buy a Hunter right now. No slip fees, no maintenance costs, no insurance payment and even a small stipend greater than your monthly mortgage payment is not a bad way to get into a sailboat.

I think it is important to feel comfortable with the people you are doing business with and I can confidently say that if I were planning to buy a Hunter right now I would be very comfortable working with Todd and Paula at SailTime Annapolis.

Peter
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Old 05-15-2006
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Very Happy Members in SailTime

EDIT NOTE: THIS POST WOULD NORMALLY BE DELETED AS ADVERTISING BUT IN LIGHT OF VOLHARD'S COMMENTS ABOVE I AM ALLOWING IT TO REMAIN IN FAIRNESS TO ALL....CAM

Dear All,

This is a message from SailTime Tampa Bay. We will let our members do the talking for us. Please see the following testimonials.

To see more testimonials for SailTime Tampa Bay please go to www.sailtampabay.com for a flash presentation.
____________________________
What our Members Have to Say

Read for yourself what our members have to say. The following testimonials are a reminder of how fun sailing can be once you take away the maintainance, up keep, and worry of an owned sailboat. Our members just turn up and sail. They leave the chores to us!
________________________

ATTN: Over 7 years ago we moved to the Tampa-St Petersburg area. One of the exciting things about our anticipated move was in most of my 55 years, I wanted to "learn how to sail". After a few years (learning to sail out at the Tampa Sailing Squadron in Apollo Beach) I just had to own my own sailboat. We bought a wonderful 1973 Ericson '29 & berthed her at the Harborage Marina. The highlights were great sailing ventures all over Tampa Bay & beyond...the less than exciting moments was when my beautiful wife refused to set foot on the boat again until I put in a new head (of which I did after 8 hours of grimy, dirty (yes cuts & scraps) where I had to do the job myself... This was just part of thousands of dollars in upkeep & upgrades EVERY YEAR... I had heard that a sailboat was a hole in the water that you throw $20 bills in...that's a lie...they are $100 bills. I added up the thrill of sailboat ownership (slip fees, utilities, insurance & the biggest number-upkeep) I said enough is enough, I'll just "put her on the market" & get what I paid for her & call it a day. It only took a little over 1 1/2 years that she finally sold (way below my original asking price & a lot of grief)...

Then I found Sailtime... Let's start with the basics, we pay LESS now for SailTime's sailboat than my original slip fee & insurance for a 31 year old sailboat... period. No maintaince, no fuel, no insurance, no upkeep, no upgrading & no grief...just keep her clean & sail. Did I mention we now sail a beautiful 2004 36' Hunter where EVERYTHING WORKS.

It's so easy today to go online, point, click & sail. We sail more today than when we owned our own sailboat. We greatly appreciate the way the SailTime Tampa Bay Team have handled our Sailtime experience. We love walking onto a very clean, brand new boat which we treat her as our own. We have already signed up to go through the American Sailing Association's certification classes at great rates thru SailTime. In our opinion, there is absolutely NO comparison between SailTime & our "owning our own" experience.
Thanks,Ben
_______________________

When I married my husband, he owned a 30' Hunter Sailboat. It was his refuge. Not being much of a boater myself, I decided it was best to learn to love it, or it could become ‘the other woman’ in our relationship.

The biggest hurdle to loving it was the work I discovered that was involved in owning a boat. I am not against work, mind you. Just, for so much leisure, there should not be so much work! But work we did, as any and all boat owners know. Scrubbing, repairing, scrubbing, repairing. Oh, and then there was scrubbing and repairing. The best part of it was that we live in Orlando and the boat was in Cocoa Beach, so, we would travel for an hour and a half so that we could scrub and repair and scrub and repair. There was sailing done, but a lot of scrubbing and repairing.

Then, the hurricanes of 2004 came. Yes, it took more than one hurricane to claim our Hunter, but claim the boat, they did. But that, as they say, is another story.

My husband was at a loss. He had done all the right things to protect her and yet she was gone. He said he did not want another boat. He claimed that they were too much work (Duh) and that he was over it. He would save himself the hassle and heartache, the money on slip fees, insurance, boat payments, repairs and all the rest that equaled boat ownership and be happier for it. Right.

A year later, he was still saying the same things but his words were hollow. Everyone knew he needed to own a sailboat. Everyone knew he needed to go sailing. (Lord, Please, Send Him Sailing!) That is when I saw an ad for a company called Sail Time. It addressed every issue he complained about owning a boat. Slip fees, Maintenance, Insurance, Lease Payments (did I mention Maintenance?) all that he was concerned about!

I researched the company online and asked around and then showed him the ad. He had a few immediate questions that I was able to answer and then I showed him the website. He said he’d think about it. That is where it ended. A friend had told me when I was asking around that my husband may not be interested because he could not accept the idea that someone else was on his boat. But I took a shot. I guess our friend was right because he did not mention Sail Time to me again.

Fast forward three months. We received a post card from Hunter announcing a boat show in St. Petersburg. I convinced my husband to go look at the big boats just for fun. Reluctantly, he agreed and we went on the weekend and walked the docks and toured the boats. He got that gleam in his eye that he used to have when he spoke of his boat. I was excited for him. I knew he missed it.

When we had finished touring one of the big boats we were walking down the pier and there was a kiosk for Sail Time. It was Providence! My husband spoke with them at length. They were the most personable, professional, courteous and considerate business people I could have hoped for. They answered every question we had. They were straightforward and even gave me a generic copy of the member and the owner-member contracts to take with me and have reviewed before we fully committed!

To sum up, Sail Time is everything and more than what their advertisements claim. We purchased our 36 foot Hunter through Sail Time Tampa and received it February 2006. What is truly amazing is they have made my husband happy to be a boat owner again! And, may I say on a personal level, they have made me happy not to be scrubbing and repairing, scrubbing and repairing, scrubbing and repairing.

Thanks Sail Time. I know it’s corny, but your motto is really true; “Sail Time, when all you want to do is Sail”

________________

We want to let you know how much we enjoy the SAILTIME program and your management of the program and the sailboats: Delos, Andros, Syros...

Gary and I joined SAILTIME because we had been power boaters for over 30 years but thought we would enjoy sailing and hope to do some extended cruising in the future. We wanted to learn how to operate a sailboat as well as determine if sailing was something we would enjoy doing for months at a time. We had been struggling with how to accomplish our goals for over a year. Purchasing a sailboat without knowing whether or not we would enjoy sailing is a very expensive proposition and we already own two powerboats. We didn’t need a third boat! We received a postcard in the mail about SAILTIME and this program looked like it was our answer!

We’ve been members and have been sailing Delos and Andros for almost two years now. We love it! Scheduling the sailboats on the internet has been very easy.

We also appreciate the way you always keep the boats in top condition and are adding new features. You work to take care of issues as quickly as possible without impacting anyone’s sailing schedule. The day we docked Delos with a dead battery, you met us and immediately ran off to purchase a new battery so the person sailing during the next time slot was not delayed. After owning several boats, we really appreciate the convenience of having someone else deal with the maintenance issues quickly when they come up.

Most of all, we like the sailing. It is so convenient and easy to jump on Andros and take friends out for a short, fun day-sail. Taking the boat for overnight anchoring at nearby gunk holes, or just staying on the boat at the dock has been even more fun. We really enjoy our sailing times and look forward to many more on Andros. The SAILTIME program is perfect for us!

Thanks again for all your hard work, enthusiasm and support!!! Janet and Gary

_____________________

Just a quick note to thank you and SailTime for an excellent alternative to boat ownership. As you may remember, when we signed up for SailTime it was in lieu of buying a used Hunter 37.

The way I had it figured, the initiation fee and deposit were about the cost of hauling the 37 and getting a professional survey completed. The cost of docking and insurance would have been more than our monthly fee through Sailtime. While I wanted my own boat, I was not sure how much my wife would enjoy using a sailboat so Sailtime seemed a logical "toe in the water" first step.

Still, I wanted my own boat, I recall asking you if we could keep some personal effects on the boat. When you asked me what I wanted on the boat, I listed; mask & flippers, binoculars, and a grill... all the items you already had aboard. It sounds weird, but that cinched it!

We enjoy using Delos, especially on Friday night! After a good meal in town, we would board her, do a quick check on, open a bottle of wine and then retire to her air conditioned cabin. A great nights sleep, some terrific deep water sailing the next morning and then back to the dock. I thought we would mind cleaning her at the end of our sail, but we would do that on our own boat anyway and the satisfaction of leaving a clean boat actually makes the experience more like owning. Jeff
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Old 03-03-2007
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Hi Jay,
I am SailTime base owner at the Channel Islands Harbor in Ventura California. The online scheduler does let you reserve an entire weekend. If that is the way you want to use your time you can do that every other month. For cruisers, they can reserve an entire week 4x per year. This in addition to picking up "free" time inside 24 hours on unreserved time and crewing with other members. I'm sorry to hear of the troubles the gent had in Florida, but please understand every base is run by an independent operator and folks should not base an opinion of the entire organization on one operation. We find that bases pretty much match the personalities of the base manager. We as well do not allow singlehanded sailing. Our waters are quite challenging here as well as the fact that coming and going from slips can be problematic with no one to fend or tie off, etc.

Fractional sailing membership and ownership is not for everybody. But for those who it does fit, the program provides a great way to sail a quality new yacht for one flat rate.
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Old 03-04-2007
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Interesting thread !
For your info , I have start a thread in Chartering "charter versus shares/partnership" that might interest you
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Old 08-04-2008
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Love Sailtime

I am a member of sailtime tampabay. I joined January 2007. I will temporarily end my membership in August of 2008 to spend some time exploring the purchase of a sailboat.

I cannot say enough good things about Sailtime Tampa Bay.
The Base owner Marty was generous and a great party host the whole time.
He organized racing and social events with the members.
He worked with us on everything.

Bob Vance, is a great instructor. He is so patient. My husband and I use the techniques he taught us all the time.

The boats are in great condition.

My favorite parts about sailing in tampa are:

1) Watching fireworks off the St. Pete Pier -
2) Watching Airshows off the downtown airport, and swimming while I watch.
3) Trips to Egmont Key - We swam with manatees there.
4) Trips to Sarasota Marina Jacks
5) Staying overnight in the vinoy basin and kayaking to dinner at Frescos
6) Watching the NOODS
7) the Manatee River
8) sailing under the Skyway
9) overnight at pinellas point
10) Just sitting on the deck late at night at the marina

If our attempts to own a boat do not work out, we will be back at Sailtime.



If you are thinking about joining give it a shot. You can always cancel after 90 days. If you like sailing you probably will stay in the Sailtime a while.

Happy sails,

Steph
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Old 08-04-2008
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I was a Saitime in NJ member. Like all programs there is good and bad. If you don't want the hassles of boat ownership it is a good program. Actually a great program. However, there are bad base managers. I have spoken to George, Sailtime president and CEO of Sailtime about the Bad base owners. He is working on it. He knows who they are. Call him. He will tell you which ones they are. The ones that are run well, it is a great program. If you can sail especially during the week and weekend nights you can have unlimited sailing experiences above what you are allotted with the 24 hour rule. Trust me on this one. I think I hold the record on this.
The good.. Great boats especially for single handling.. Easy to sail and manage. Great boats to have guest on. The scheduler is great. Easy to use. Unlimited 24 hour rule when no one uses it. Only Sailtime has this rule I believe.
The Bad. Boats broke and not getting fix in a timely manner. Boats never clean. This was a pet pee of mine. George admitted to me that most base owners don't wash and wax the boat according the contract. Scheduling during the weekend when you want it. Members who don't know how to sail or manage this size boat and break the boat all the time.
With this, all said and done. for what you get it is a great program. I know the Calif base is a good base. The NJ base is OK.. Miami base is good. I am next to a Sailtime boat now. It is never being used. Charleston base is to be watch for.
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