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Boat Buying

4: Shared ownership

Sharing a boat helps stretch a budget and also means that maintenance and other responsibilities can be divided. For instance, the price of two new Lasers will buy a Laser 4000, or a group of four or five people could chip in £5-6,000 each to buy a Sigma 33 or similar for an offshore racing campaign.

Sharing a boat is more common than many people realise, and is very successful in the vast majority of cases. However, anyone who goes down this route should make certain they do so on a formal basis, especially if large sums of money or responsibility are involved. RYA members can download a sample contract for shared ownership from the Association’s website. One important benefit of this is that it clearly defines the ground rules by which all parties must abide, which reduces the chances of misunderstandings and disagreements at a later date.

A more unusual option is offered by Lagoon Watersports in Brighton, which claims to be the first operation in the UK to have offered a gymstyle membership. For around £40 per month you can have dinghies and windsurfers based on Hove Lagoon, and Stratos Keels from Brighton Marina, including twice-weekly racing clinics.

SailTime’s concept of fractional ownership has proved popular and the company is continuing to expand rapidly. Each yacht is ‘shared’ by seven members and one owner member, who each are guaranteed a minimum of three and a half days’ sailing every month for a fixed fee. Although the boats are available for specific events such as the Round the Island Race, to date SailTime has no race-specification vessels in its fleet.

Previous page:3 Finance and surveys

A trial sail will tell you whether the running rigging and deck gear works well

Next page:5 Legal matters

Firstly, does the person selling the vessel actually own it completely?

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