Learning to Share - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Contributing Publishers > Practical Sailor
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 02-02-2007
Contributing Author
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 0
PracticalSailor is on a distinguished road
Learning to Share

Learning to Share

Sponsored by Practical Sailor Magazine

For avid sailors with flexible schedules, timeshare sailing can offer a cheaper alternative to sailing clubs or chartering.

Practical Sailor - SailTime

Sailtime’s base in Austin, Texas hopes to attract sailors looking for regular access tolocal waters, without the hassles ofownership.

Sailtime’s base in Austin, Texas hopes to attract sailors looking for regular access to local waters, without the hassles of ownership.

Hurricane Wilma splintered your hull. The condo crush absorbed your marina. Maintenance chores are putting blisters on your blisters. Whatever the reason, suppose you find yourself in the market for regular or semi-regular access to a keel boat in your local area with overnight cruising amenities—one that can be had without the full financial commitment of ownership What are your alternatives?

To answer this question, Practical Sailor compared the economics of chartering, chartering through membership in a sailing school or for-profit club, community access sailing clubs, and timesharing. For this comparison, we put ourselves in the shoes of a sailor in the San Francisco Bay Area who is seeking to take out guests on a 30- to 35-foot keelboat for trips of at least an overnight duration. Here are the options, and our outlook:

Timesharing
In a timeshare arrangement, a group of people share the use of a boat by dividing among themselves the right to use that property for specific time periods. This arrangement gives an individual access to a boat for a limited period at a cost much less than that of sole ownership.

SailTime is an Austin, Texas-based company that has been expanding over the past year its operations around North America, selling memberships that pertain to the use of its Hunter sailboats. Two other companies that arrived not long ago on the timeshare scene are Pinnacle Yachts and Windpath Sailing. As of this writing, Pinnacle had nine bases offering the use of its Jeanneau sailboats and Windpath had four bases with Catalina 350s available.

There are two kinds of timeshare arrangements: those that share title and those that do not. The former has given rise to the term “fractional ownership,” because title is indeed divided into eighths, or some other fraction thereof. In the latter, the title remains with a sole property owner, while other participants merely have a right to use the property. SailTime bills its services as “fractional sailing,” which is a convenient use of this phrase, because the structure of a SailTime agreement essentially means that only one in eight participants will have title to the boat.

SailTime’s business model depends on one person purchasing a new Hunter 33 or 36, and turning it over to SailTime to manage. SailTime, which currently has bases in 16 U.S. cities and Toronto, pays the vessel owner approximately $1,100 per month, which its representatives say is enough to cover any bank financing. (Actual payments may vary from franchise to franchise.) SailTime is also responsible for insurance, slip rental, fuel, cleaning and maintenance costs—at least for the first three years.

For each boat purchased, SailTime sells memberships to seven other individuals, who collectively share the use of that vessel with the owner. Each non-owning member in the vessel pays $425 monthly, on top of a one-time initiation fee of $1,000. (Again, actual payments may vary depending upon the franchise.) The non-owning member also puts up a $2,000 security deposit, which is refundable minus a $500 “remarketing fee” if the individual leaves the program prematurely. Non-owning members must commit to a full season. Some SailTime bases have an eight-month sailing season, while others are year-round. In either case, the non-owning member must pay 12 monthly installments.

Under the SailTime plan, the day is divided into two time slots: from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 a.m. the next day. Each member gets seven time slots per month, with a maximum of two of the seven periods usable on weekends. The owner gets the same amount of time as the seven members. And members can borrow time from an adjacent month, meaning that it’s possible to sign out the vessel for a full week, every other month.

However, enjoying the vessel for a full weekend appears to be ruled out. There is unlimited use of any time slot not reserved and confirmed prior to 24 hours in advance. All scheduling is conducted online, through a password-protected website. Like some resort timeshare companies, SailTime offers its members access to other locations in the company’s network. For a $100 fee, one can book a vessel at another SailTime location, but only when that vessel is not otherwise reserved, and not on weekends.

Members check in and out of a vessel through a personal digital assistant (PDA) carried on board the boat. The PDA communicates wirelessly with the SailTime boat manager, relaying the member’s check-in and check-out times, as well as fuel levels, and any cleaning or maintenance issues that might require attention. While SailTime touts this high-tech system as way to instill more “pride in ownership,” the $2,000 damage deposit and the electronic log tracking who used the vessel last, will likely provide the most incentive for keeping the boat in good condition.

Initiation
The first-year investment by a non-owning member amounts to $8,100 (including the $2,000 refundable security deposit). For this outlay, the non-owning member is allocated 84 hours per month. Based on those figures, the total cost works out to $12 per hour of access to the vessel for an eight-month sailing season, and $8 per hour for year-round sailing.

We don’t think it’s realistic that members will utilize all 84 hours each month. Perhaps 40 hours of actual time spent on board each month is a more reasonable figure. Say on average you use the boat for five weeknight cruises of three hours duration each, one weekend daysail for six hours, a weekend overnight of 14 hours, and an opportunistic five hours per month at times when the vessel is left unreserved; that level of usage still leaves the hourly cost at under $20/hour for the first year. Although this article pertains to options for those who don’t want to own a vessel, PS also examined the economics of SailTime from the point of view of the owning member. The price of a new Hunter 33 is approximately $155,000. To secure bank financing requires a 20% down payment, or $31,000. A loan of $124,000 at 6% interest amortized over 15 years produces a monthly payment of $1,046.

Practical Sailor - SailTime


At the end of five years, the owner will have paid $33,034 in interest, and $29,749 in principal, for a balance owing at the end of 60 months of $94,251. The monthly payments that SailTime makes to the owner would leave that person with a slightly positive cash flow. However, since the owner shares maintenance costs after the third year, that could put him slightly in red at the latter end of his five-year agreement. Standard depreciation calculations for sailing yachts (10 percent the first year, 6 percent the second and 4 percent for the last three years) would put the book value of the vessel after five years at approximately $116,000. With $94,000 owing on the loan after that period, it looks like the owner could be substantially ahead. However, the actual market value of a five-year old vessel, sailed by 8 people, 56 times per month might be quite a bit lower than the blue-book figure. Buyers typically expect a 10-15 percent discount for boats coming out of charter fleets. We recommend that owners accept the shortfall as the price for having a vessel maintained by a management company. If they come out ahead in the end, it will be a pleasant surprise.

Club Chartering
Around the U.S., it’s not uncommon for sailing schools to offer chartering opportunities as a means of gaining more revenue from their fleets. Some offer discounted charter rates to people who pay so-called ‘membership’ fees to join a sailing ‘club’ operating within the auspices of the school. Membership packages may include sailing lessons, but typically users must meet the school’s certification standards before they can take out a vessel on their own. In many cases you can either take a full course of instruction or challenge the school’s exam. PS found that, for members, discounts on charter rates can be in the range of 30 to 40 percent. Here are the details on three such sailing-school-cum-charter-companies that operate in the San Francisco Bay area: Club Nautique, OCSC Sailing, and Spinnaker-Sailing.

Club Nautique charges experienced sailors an initiation fee of $595 and monthly fees of $70, for an annual fixed cost of $1,435. The closest comparable vessel in the Club Nautique fleet to SailTime’s Hunter 33 is a Hunter 320. The half-day charter rate for members who wish to use this boat on a weekday is $205, which amounts to roughly a 1/3 discount on the non-member rate of $305. A weekend, full-day charter of the same vessel is $320 for members and $483 for non-members.

Membership fees and charter rates at OCSC Sailing (Olympic Circle Sailing Club) are: a $595 initiation fee and a $59 monthly fee, giving you access to a Catalina 320, among other vessels. For $205, members can have the boat on a weekday (half-day) and $325 secures the boat for a full weekend day (9:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.).

And Spinnaker-Sailing requires a $475 initiation fee and $40 monthly dues, which gives you access to, among others, a Hunter 310 for $202 for a half-day during the week, or $316 for a full weekend day. The monthly $40 fee can be applied to a charter fee, but only for that month.

While the San Francisco Bay Area seems to have a high concentration of such businesses (the Modern Sailing Academy and Tradewinds Sailing are two others in the area), similar businesses can be found elsewhere in the U.S. Boston Harbor Sailing, for instance, follows the same business model, in which annual membership fees buy the right to discounted charter rates on keelboats with overnight amenities.

Community Sailing
Another alternative to boat ownership is joining a nonprofit community sailing center. Our imaginary sailor in San Francisco could join the Cal Sailing Club of Berkeley, where for membership fees of $200 annually, he would have essentially unlimited access to sailboats from 14 to 26 feet in length. However, the daysailing keelboats at the Cal Sailing Club don’t meet the parameters of our comparison. Similar community sailing centers exist around the U.S. Two others we’re aware of are the Community Sailing Center in Burlington, VT, and the Downtown Sailing Center in Baltimore, MD; the latter has cruising keelboats up to 30 feet in its fleet.

Chartering
Instead of opting for the long-term financial commitment of a timeshare or the relatively shorter one for charter club, sailors can simply charter a vessel from a conventional chartering business and sail when and as often as they please (or their budgets will allow). The sailing school-charter clubs also offer boats to the general public, at different rates. And, we found other conventional chartering companies in the bay area with similar sized boats that are chartered for similar rates ($350 to $450 for a weekday or weekend day aboard a keelboat in the mid 30-foot range).

Of course there are a plethora of charter companies doing business in alluring destinations in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and elsewhere, but these don’t meet our need for a local boat.

Conclusions
The cost of becoming a member of a chartering club has an inherent break-even point, at which time the money you have saved off regular charter rates equals the costs of joining the chartering club.

Practical Sailor - SailTime


Just where the break-even point lies is impossible to pinpoint, since the actual dollars saved on each charter will vary according to the length and timing of the charter—either half- or full day, weekday or weekend. In rough terms, though, joining a charter club should pay back after approximately nine to 10 half-day charters during the week, or after six full weekend charters. However, since chartering clubs operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, the costs will begin to go up steadily after you pass the break-even point. To get the same number of hours, in the same weekday and weekend proportions, through a chartering club as one would paying a flat rate at SailTime requires nearly double the investment. And buying the same amount of time on the open chartering market will cost nearly triple.

On the other hand, adhering to the SailTime sailing schedule may be difficult for some. So, those sailors might opt to join a chartering club and use the boat for one full weekend each month—an option that is not available under the SailTime rules. At the end of an eight-month season, those sailors would spend about the same amount as a SailTime member ($6,100), albeit for fewer hours on the water, but they’d be establishing a sailing schedule that might better fit their lifestyle.

Certainly SailTime and similar timeshare arrangements like Pinnacle Yachts and Windpath Sailing offer individuals a viable alternative to outright ownership. And the actual owner of the vessel can get others to help with the bank payments, in exchange for sharing use of the property with up to seven strangers. But the owner has full title to a depreciating asset, and so may be faced with owing more money at the end of the loan’s term than the boat can fetch. However, for the non-owning participants, a timeshare is without a doubt a lower cost way to get time on the water under sail. The non-owning participants in a system such as SailTime’s pay a flat rate, so the actual value depends on how much they take advantage of their allotted time per month. For others with fewer hours to devote to sailing, it may make more sense economically to join a chartering club and pay-to-sail on a schedule of ones own devising.

Sponsored by Practical Sailor Magazine


Last edited by administrator; 02-07-2007 at 11:11 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 02-07-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
ken99 is on a distinguished road
I think that it is great that there are alternatives to owning a boat. I've always been dismayed by the huge number of boats that are left in slips for what seems like perfect sailing days....over 90% I'd think.

I belong to a community sailing group in Marina del Rey, California, called Fairwind Yacht Club, that has been in existence for over 40 years. Fairwind has about 200 members, and about 25 boats available for use. There are two that would meet the criteria of the article: A Catalina 38, and a Catalina 400.
For those who are checked out on that size boat, the monthly cost is about $90, with an initiation of $200 (which includes the first three months dues), and a bond for that level boat of $1,000--the insurance deductible, which is refundable upon termination of membership. (and don't hit anything!)

There is no limit on how often a boat can be taken out, with no additional cost other than fuel, and one can take the boats on a cruise for up to 10 days. Fairwind is an ASA School, and provides free volunteer instruction to the members, with 25 certified instructors, with the option of certification at most levels, including instructor and USCG Captain's licenses. There are organized cruises, sanctioned races, community sailing programs for at-risk youth, and various group activities.

This is a great deal, and in a very short time, is the cost effective alternative.

The downside of a community sailing program is that the participants need to provide significant volunteer effort to make the program work. A certain amount of convenience is sacrificed for a lot of financial savings. "Sweat Equity" is substituted for monitary equity.

However, one also becomes part of a dedicated community of diverse backgrounds, tied together by a love of sailing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 02-08-2007
mstern's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 719
Thanks: 17
Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 13
mstern is on a distinguished road
About 13 years ago, my wife and I belonged to a "sailing club" run by a local Catalina dealer. For $1000, you received seven scheduled days of use of a Catalina 22. The days were supposedly assigned in a drawing, and based on the ranked preferences of all of the other "members". I remember asking for seven Saturdays, and getting them all, so I am guessing that there weren't that many other members that year. You could take the boat out all day if you wanted, and if no one had it reserved the next day, overnight as well. You could also take the boat on any other day it was unreserved for an additional $20. Included in the fee were enough lessons to make the dealer comfortable that you could solo. Also, if you bought a boat from the dealer during that season, he deducted the $1000 from the purchase price. What a deal! Just show up, and the boat was ready to go: fuel in the tank, porta potti charged, cockpit wiped down. Upon docking, all they asked was that you loosely flake the main and let them know you were back. My wife became pregnant with our first that summer, so we didn't buy a boat and didn't sign up the next year either. A few years later, I tried calling the dealer to see if the Club was still offered, and it seems that he had lost his dealership and gone into pure used boat brokering. Oh well. I wonder now if that type of arrangement is still financially feasible for a dealer to offer. That Catalina 22 was an older boat, so I think the main cost for the dealer would be the insurance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 02-08-2007
Brezzin's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 379
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
Brezzin is on a distinguished road
Quote:
I've always been dismayed by the huge number of boats that are left in slips for what seems like perfect sailing days....over 90% I'd think.
I thought the same thing..... until I had kids. Now I know that these boat owners are busy playing taxi driver to soccer games, birthday parties, cheerleading practice, ..................
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 02-08-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
lanekthomas is on a distinguished road
Sailing Clubs....

In Texas, a viable option is to hunt down a desirable boat that seems to never go out. Absentee owners are often glad to grant sailing priviledges if you go on a "check out" cruise with them, and agree to pay slip fees, or a portion thereof.

It has worked for me for many years.


Lane
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 03-08-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, TOO FAR FROM SHORE
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
JoJoRocks is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to JoJoRocks
Community Sailing

This is a great idea...Does anyone know of a community sailing club Savannah, GA charleston SC or Jacksonville, FL...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 03-11-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
ken99 is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

JoJo, I recommend that you make use of Google, and do some searching.

for example, you'll find this community sailing program in Savannah:

http://www.savannahsailingcenter.org/2006SSCBrochure.pdf

But I'm sure you'll find others.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 03-13-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, TOO FAR FROM SHORE
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
JoJoRocks is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to JoJoRocks
Thanks Ken 99

I've been looking around and have some places in mind.
I was just wondering what other have done or where others have had good experiences
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 05-26-2008
KnightsDream's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Corpus Christi TX
Posts: 31
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
KnightsDream is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via Skype™ to KnightsDream
I found the article and comments very interesting and helpful. Thank you for all of the information.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 07-27-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: chesapeake bay
Posts: 1,942
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
scottyt is on a distinguished road
there is one of these in baltimore, its called getaway sailing, they are also an asa101 school. they have a 35 bent i think
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:02 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.