Join Date: Nov 2009
Thanked 20 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Boat Partnership
Although I think that you are looking for a very difficult relationship to maintain, I am in a similar relationship other than the ownership of the asset. We find ourselves fortunate that it works for us, and even then we have disagreements that have not broken the relationship.
I owned the boat for 10 years, and because my wife could no longer sail with me, my kids either had no interest or time to sail, and friends always wanted to go for an hour....I decided to sell the boat. I had never met the new owner but agreed to help him at his first spring launch and sail with him a few times to familiarize him with the boat. I sailed with him a dozen times that summer and helped pull the boat that fall to complete the cycle of help somewhat because it still kept me in the game. The second spring I again helped launch and sailed with the new owner, but was having sellers remorse and wanted another boat. I was offered use of his boat when he was not available to sail with me (he lives in Texas and the boat is in Michigan), but that did not seem right to me. I wanted a boat that if it broke was mine to deal with. It did not seem fair to me to use the boat and not participate in the expenses of the boat.
I started looking and discussed with him what I was looking for and why. Over that two years he found that like many of us his wife was not enthralled with sailing, his kids had little to no interest, and it was not easy to get others to commit the time to just go sailing let alone weekend or longer. He suggested that we work something out as we got along very well, we sailed with each other 15-20 days a year, he could use help maintaining the boat, and it would be a shame for both of us to own a boat that each of us used half as much as we currently were.
We agreed that he would own the asset but we would split expenses down the middle. Annual slip rental, maintenance expenses, launch, pull, and storage expense, etc. Normal wear and tear items like lines, batteries, bottom paint, wax are also split. He owns the asset and I help keep the boat clean when he is gone, I arrange most of the maintenance contractors, cover the boat in the fall, shake snow off in the winter, pull the cover in the spring, and try to take care of the boat as if it were mine. We still follow the same procedures I did when I owned the boat as it seemed to work for both of us. I store half of the "boat stuff" and he stores half. This has worked fairly well for both of us because we have become good friends and we both love the boat and want it to look and perform as it should. It costs both of us half as much as having our own boat and now only one of us has the depreciating asset. We still sail more with each other than without and I find myself every year sailing more days than I ever did when I owned the boat.
When we have problems they are totally contrary to what most would expect. I believe that we should split all costs including things like new sails, any major fiberglass work, etc. He believes that it is his asset and he should be totally responsible for those types of items. In this case he is over valuing my time working on the boat which certainly does not cover the costs of new sails, etc..At a minimum I should at least share in a pro-rated depreciation of those sails each year the the partnership is in force. We are still disagreeing on these items and I am confident we will come to a resolution. We both agree that we are fortunate that the relationship continues to work and that neither of us has financial issues that have impacted it. I want to pay more and he does not want me to. Tough problem!
I do wish you well in your search for a way to make something work. When I sold the boat I had rationalized that it was time to sell, but I was very surprised when I found out that I had to have another sailboat. The boat is on Lake Michigan and I live on a large inland lake. At home I have a power boat, SeaDoo's, sailfish, fishing boat, but that did not cut it for me. If you do decide to cut the cord try very hard to keep in the game.