I am looking to buy a 44-50 foot cruising boat in the $150,000 - $300,000 range which I would use 8 weeks a year. I think it would make sense to have a like-minded partner to share expenses. Does this work? How do you find one?
Boat partnerships rarely work, even when they are life-long friends. This is mainly because one person tends to do all the work and maintenance, while the other does all the cruising, making a mess and leaving it for the other person to clean up. Essentially, someone is gonna get screwed! OUCH!
I've heard of plenty of people who say that it worked for them, and was a positive experience.
How do you go about it? I can't even begin to answer that.
I know myself. I know that there's no way I could tolerate a co-owner, let alone one that doesn't shoulder his share of the burden.
I'd rather "rule in hell, than serve in heaven" meaning, I'd rather own a smaller boat outright, than share with someone else in order to own a larger, newer vessel.
I have had one partnership and have shared a boat (someone else owned the boat, but I put in maintenance labor and sometimes some of the materials in exchange for the use of the boat) on many occasions in my life. I saw the boat sharing as being a form of partnership and approached it the same way. They have always been successful from my viewpoint. The key has the personalities of the people and spelling everything out in writing beforehand.
It is pretty much impossible to have a good partnership unless the partners are of a similar mindset. There is a high chance for failure if the deal involves a person (either you or the other person) who demands that everything be divided precisely according to the agreement. But if the parties are prepared to be a little flexible, and not tally every penny and hour spent, and build up resentments, in other words approach the deal with a bit of generosity of spirit, then its not hard to make a partnership work.
You need to go into the partnership knowing that no matter how each partner is intent on being fair and being a good partner in the deal, there will almost by necessity be inequities. If both partners go in understanding that, and being willing to live with that, then things are likely to work out well. The boat is bound to suffer the kinds of knocks and abuses that any boat takes, and if both partners understand that it could have been them who the current caught and pushed against the piling rather than the other guy, and is therefore willing to look past the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, then things are likely to work out. If one partner enjoys working on the boat, and does not mind that the other does not have the same time or inclination, and its okay, then things are likely to work out. If there is a good escape clause, then even if it does not work out with that partner, then it still make work out for the best.
Marry someone who is as interested in sailing as you are, and who earns enough to cover 50 % ;-)
I had a very successful boat partnership, but on a much less expensive boat. Unless $150,000 is pocket change for you, I'd be very careful entering a deal of that magnitude with a stranger. One thing you'd have to consider and plan for is, how you would handle the dissolution of the partnership when someone wants to sell their share. If you're not prepared to buy their share, you'd have to sell the boat, or find or accept another partner.
I bought my partners share when he wanted out, then when his kids were older, he ended up buying the boat back from me. But we were dealing with around $8,000 in cash per share, not $150,000.
I guess my point is that if partnerships in any venture were remotely successful, then why do 50 percent of all marriages fail in the US? Business partnerships have about the same failure rate, at least from what I was able to garner from Google. Therefore, what makes anyone believe that a high-dollar boat partnership is a good bet? I personally know of four in the marina where I'm that have failed, three of which were sailboats.
So dude, if your real name is Lebowski and that movie was about you and you've found a soul mate who never disappoints or upsets you, go for it.
On the other hand if you're not a top judge of people, if anyone ever borrowed your tools and kept them, or maybe borrowed your car and said "That's not my dent" or maybe just returned it filthy with no gas and burger wrappers on the floor...
You *know* for sure that you can find a perfect partner, and a good lawyer to limit your liabilities and provide for forced dissolution if the partner wants out?
Hey, go for it. But in that price range, you'd better be real good at picking partners.
If your partner T-bones a 150' yacht and runs up a couple million dollars in bills, guess what? You may be liable for half or all of it, since you're the partner. Little things that that may make you reconsider things.