Defraying cost when buying a yacht isn’t a new idea; shared ownership with friends and family has always been one option, and some boaters simply choose to charter instead of making a purchase. Another option that’s gathered steam in the past few years is fractional ownership.
Fractional ownership is exactly what it sounds like—you buy a piece of the yacht, instead of owning it from stem to stern. But don’t mistake this arrangement for a time-share. With a time-share you only purchase the rights of property usage for a certain amount of time. When the time is over, so is your investment. But with fractional ownership you legally own the asset, and can transfer or sell it. Just what portion of the yacht you own can vary, in some case from a mere 10-percent to over 50-percent. But, there are a lot of plusses and minuses to consider. Here are a few of the big ones that you should take into account before deciding if fractional ownership is right for you.
Here on YachtWorld, we actually have fractional, shared or co-ownership listings available. All you need to do is head over to our advanced search feature, and search using the keywords: “fractional,” “share,” or “co-ownership.”
PLUS: Not only does fractional ownership cut costs, it also cuts down on your time investment. Most fractional arrangements include the yacht’s management, so you don’t have to worry about lining up contractors or dealing with maintenance when the boat is in the yard, or at a distant port.
MINUS: Many fractional ownership arrangements, especially those for larger yachts, require crew. If you like captaining your boat and your friends and family enjoy being the crew, you may lose this aspect of yachting to some degree.
PLUS: Fractional yachts can often be cruised to and from different ports. Different contracts work in different ways, but it’s not uncommon for fractionals to be cruised to new locations when the majority of the owners agree they’d like it.
MINUS: The yacht may move somewhere you don’t particularly want to go. And if the rest of the owners are in agreement, you’re out of luck.
PLUS: You can sell your share of ownership at any time. Since fractional yachts are well-maintained and serviced, the value of your share may not devalue as rapidly as an average yacht’s value.
MINUS: Your boat could be sold out from under you. Again, different agreements have different stipulations. But in most cases if the majority of the owners want out, the yacht gets sold and the proceeds get divided among them.
PLUS: Maintenance costs are significantly reduced, since they get split among the owners.
MINUS: Maintenance issues can eat into your allotted time aboard. (Of course, maintenance issues can eat into any yacht owner’s sea time). Be sure you agree with the contingency plans set in case some of an owner’s scheduled time is interrupted by mechanical failures and repair times.
PLUS: You may be able to use a different yacht, to enjoy a different location or make up for time lost to maintenance or weather issues. Some fractional ownership companies maintain fleets, and allow owners to use different yachts of the same approximate value.
MINUS: Your time aboard is pre-scheduled. That means those spur-of-the-moment boat rides at sunset may be a thing of the past. Again, however, read the fine print. Some fractional agreements allow first come-first served availability of the yacht during unscheduled “flex” time, if maintenance is not required.
PLUS: Some fractional ownership organizations allow you to test the waters. Instead of buying in right from the start, you can start with a “club” style membership and find out if fractional ownership is right for you.
MINUS: You can’t personalize your yacht. In fact, you probably won’t have a say in the décor, outfitting, or any of the other customized aspects of the yacht.
So would fractional yacht ownership be a good option? That’s a call only you can make. Just be sure that when you make it, you know all the plusses and minuses of the decision.
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What Are The Benefits of a Yacht Share?“Many people do not understand the benefits of Fractional Yacht Ownership yet,” said Andrea Zecevic, CEO of Saveene. “Yachts make sense owning if they can be monetized and used daily, not sitting still in a marina. Fractional yacht ownership works because your yacht is always in motion, creating revenue and reducing your capital expenditure.” Co-owners with Saveene have the option of purchasing anywhere from 10% up to 90% per fraction and get their own title and certificate of ownership. A variety of on-the-water activities are included with ownership - from water toys and watersports, to learning to sail and dock with your own private boat captain. International cruises to the Bahamas and Mexico are available as route options and owners get full access to all of the marina’s facilities. Further benefits include a discount on gas, concierge service, linen and towel cleaning service, private club house, tax write-off, hurricane plans, cleaning and more.
How Much Does Boat Co-Ownership Cost?As an example, Saveene charges $149,950 for co-ownership of a 64 foot Aicon Flybridge yacht. That price includes a crew of three to operate the vessel, with accomodations for up to eight guests on a motor yacht that is perfectly suited for taking longer trips to the Bahamas or through the Florida intercoastal waterways (ICW). The company also has smaller fully-equipped yachts available for less, including a 34-foot Sea Ray Sundancer and a 37-foot Carver Mariner. So, if you thought yacht ownership was out of your reach, you may want to reconsider and take a closer look at fractional yacht ownership as a viable, reasonable and lower-cost alternative to purchasing a yacht on your own./>
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