Joint Ownership, Syndicates and Boat Share Schemes

The private syndicate

A private syndicate is a group of people who decide to share the cost of buying and owning a boat – and whether you want to view that as multiplying your buying power by the number of shareholders or dividing your outgoings by the same, the merits of the approach are clear. The extra financial clout of your communal purse buys you the chance to source a larger, more capable and more desirable yacht, with premium options that have the potential to improve the boating experience. And when the agreed ownership period comes to an end, the extra regularity of use and the additional time, money and effort lavished on her maintenance by a committed syndicate of owners will often mean that depreciation is kept to a minimum. After all, not only will she achieve a strong selling price but, as one of four, six or eight parties, any loss is divided between you and your fellow shareholders.

A private syndicate does, however, require great care and consideration from all involved. In the first instance, you need to find a group of financially secure and like-minded friends who share your attitude to boating and who will be happy to be swayed by the group consensus on the nature of the boat, the spec, the cruising grounds and the schedule of usage. You need to ensure that your partners are as fastidious as you are in relation to leaving the boat in perfect condition after a week away with their families. You need to have a mechanism for protecting the interests of someone who might lose their allotted week through unscheduled repairs. And you need to commit to a contractual Shared Ownership Agreement to clarify everybody’s responsibilities, to eradicate any doubt or animosity and to put a procedure in place in the event that a member decides to sell his share.

Even then, however positive your collective intentions might be, a syndicate can be a tough thing to maintain. After all, it leaves all the logistical responsibilities for boat ownership in the hands of you and your partners and it also puts the onus on you to take a proactive role in protecting everyone else’s interests, as well as your own. Little wonder then that the number of dedicated companies offering professionally operated fractional ownership schemes has soared in the last ten years…

The professional scheme

If you want to ease the financial burden, increase your buying power, rid yourself of logistical complication and bring your outgoings more closely into line with the realistic patterns of your likely annual usage, there are now plenty of commercially operated fractional ownership schemes available. The idea is that a dedicated agency takes charge of everything from purchase, service, maintenance and storage to cleaning and even training – and all you have to do is pay a fee. In some cases (usually with smaller boats), that fee can take the form of a simple monthly payment over a set period of years. In others, it can involve an initial lump sum to fund the purchase of the boat followed by a regular monthly (or annual) fee for ongoing support, facilities and upkeep.

While the number of owners is usually between four and eight, it is often possible for a single owner to buy multiple shares if he thinks his likely regularity of use justifies it. But in all cases, at the end of the agreed period of joint ownership (usually four years) the boat tends to be sold and the proceeds split between the members in accordance with the size of each member’s share. Again, the logistics of prepping, marketing and selling the boat can often be taken on by the organising agency rather than the owners – and once the boat is sold, each member is then free to reinvest his share in a fresh four-year ownership programme with a new boat.

The YachtQuarters programme

YachtQuarters is the shared ownership scheme operated by Princess Motor Yacht Sales. Like most fractional ownership programmes, it is designed to deliver all the joy of ownership with far less in the way of logistical complication and cost. Where it differs most notably is in the provision of a complete management and maintenance operation that includes everything from the bed linen and towels to a crew and concierge service. Overseen directly by Princess Motor Yacht Sales, it brings the outgoings of ownership under control with simple, transparent fees and it removes much of the stress of complicated and critical decisions relating to yacht ownership.

Each of the eight available shares on a boat entitles the owner to four weeks of use, spread evenly throughout the year. That leaves 20 weeks spare for essential upkeep and maintenance – and because your yacht is cared for by a dedicated team of Princess professionals, with all the industry contacts and technical expertise that a global operation brings, you get the pleasure of using an impeccably maintained yacht, alongside the reassurance that your financial stake is being properly safeguarded.

To find out more about YachtQuarters, our shared ownership scheme, visit our pages at www.princess.co.uk/yachtquarters.  If you would like to simply make an enquiry and see what’s available, contact us at info@yachtquarters.com, or call our team on +44 (0)1489 557755.