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Boat Co-Ownership

Old 10-21-2020, 06:49 AM
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Default Boat Co-Ownership

Greetings THT crew. I was advised to consider boat co-ownership to reduce the carrying costs. Curious if anyone has experience with such a venture or if anyone might be interested in partaking. I'm in the NY/NJ/Hudson area Liberty Harbor, Liberty Landing, Alpine Marina and Shipyard Marina are in my area. Of course, no financing, we'd buy the boat in cash, find a mutually agreeable marina, agree to all maintenance items including detailing upfront and lastly put everything in writing and notarized. Please share your thoughts.

p.s. I posted about buying in boat in August and haven't pulled the trigger waiting for off season deals. I would like to save more cash toward the boat and in the meantime continue to rent, join a boat club or co-own.
Old 10-21-2020, 06:53 AM
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Lots of threads on this so I would recommend the search function but the over all is that it is a quick way to lose a friend or family member as it almost never goes well. Operating agreements need to be detailed and cover about anything and everything and even then, it is a bad idea. Very few have posted positive experiences about it.
Old 10-21-2020, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinasboater View Post
Greetings THT crew. I was advised to consider boat co-ownership to reduce the carrying costs. Curious if anyone has experience with such a venture or if anyone might be interested in partaking. I'm in the NY/NJ/Hudson area Liberty Harbor, Liberty Landing, Alpine Marina and Shipyard Marina are in my area. Of course, no financing, we'd buy the boat in cash, find a mutually agreeable marina, agree to all maintenance items including detailing upfront and lastly put everything in writing and notarized. Please share your thoughts.

p.s. I posted about buying in boat in August and haven't pulled the trigger waiting for off season deals. I would like to save more cash toward the boat and in the meantime continue to rent, join a boat club or co-own.
I would not want to be a partner with someone. If you want to offset the cost of owning and operating you can look into fractional share ownership. This is run by a company and you "buy in" for the right to use one of their boats.
Old 10-21-2020, 07:08 AM
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Other than screwing his wife its the fastest way to losing the friendship.....
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:22 AM
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I suppose it depends on the type of boat your considering and how much you plan to use it, but shared ownership with someone you trust could make sense. IMHO, the more money involved - the more I'd want to be the sole owner. I keep my boat in Haverstraw just north of the Tapanzee and it's relatively cheap and nice yet still very accessible if you're on the west side of the Hudson.
Old 10-21-2020, 07:35 AM
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I dont think youre going to see a cheap time to buy a boat in the next 3 years. Boat partner is a nightmare.
Old 10-21-2020, 07:43 AM
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Hey, someone's getting married. Looking for a future expartner. Best sign a prenup.
Old 10-21-2020, 08:04 AM
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I never said the partnership was with a friend, but I believe you can still offer co-ownership to like minded individuals who are not friends.
Old 10-21-2020, 08:05 AM
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It worked out great for me the one time I tried it. It wasn't perfect but overall a good experience. We were friends and former roommates. We also had opposing work schedules which was huge.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
I dont think youre going to see a cheap time to buy a boat in the next 3 years. Boat partner is a nightmare.
I think we would need to see a return to pre Covid activities (beach vacations, cruises, kids summer camps, concerts, etc...) and new boat stock returning to normal volumes. Brunswick reported lower inventory until 2022 I believe.
Old 10-21-2020, 08:16 AM
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Life is too short to wait. If you want a boat go get one you can afford and use it. You'll never remember or care that perhaps you paid more than maybe you should have.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:29 AM
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I co-own with immediate family, but the understanding is that I do almost 100% of the grunt work like cleaning, waxing and buffing, flushing the motor, etc. Dad helps make the payment and goes fishing (and will lend a hand, if I ask - don't want y'all to get the wrong idea), but because I like to do cleaning and maintenance my way, I like to do it myself.

If it wasn't family, I would not co-own. I would honestly prefer to be the sole-owner of the current boat, but the current arrangement works for us. There has definitely been no shortage of arguments though.
Old 10-21-2020, 08:33 AM
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You'd be better off joining a boat club.

It will quickly turn into - Who's responsible when one or the other breaks something expensive. And it will happen when the other has plans w/ family or friends. That trip gets ruined, tempers flare from the wife who thought you had it all handled....
Old 10-21-2020, 08:39 AM
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It can work, however if your potential boat partner blinks at the thought of any expense or does not hold the same devotion to maintenance or commitment to keep the boat in top operating condition; the partnership is destined to fail.

Last edited by Shin-Dig; 10-21-2020 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:18 AM
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I'm doing it successfully with a very long time friend, but I believe (as do others above) that it is a low probability undertaking. I would NEVER do it with someone that I didn't have a very solid friendship with, or in a situation where both parties couldn't walk away from the money without worry.
Old 10-21-2020, 09:22 AM
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"Share a boat, lose a friend"
Old 10-21-2020, 09:24 AM
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I bet the person that advised this is not a boat owner and has never co-owned a boat.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:38 AM
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Knock on wood, but I have owned 7 or so boats with partners (all friends) over a period of 20+ years. No partnership agreements. All have gone or are going fine, with a brief exception concerning friends that did not want to maintain a rig so it was quickly sold -- and we are all still friends.

If you would not hand your wallet to someone with 100% confidence that they will return it to you just the way you handed it to them, then you have no business owning a boat with them regardless of what a piece of paper says.
Old 10-21-2020, 09:42 AM
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I did that, we alternated weekends, went to pick up the boat one Saturday, boat was gone...it's hard on relationships....sold boat....still friends....
Old 10-21-2020, 09:42 AM
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I've co-owned a lake house with my sister and her husband who is my best friend. We've always been like minded on most things. But there are times I want to do something and they do not or vise versa. 99 times out of 100 it works very well and its well worth it. As for boats, I always owned the boat we "shared" out right for the time they didn't have one. We split the costs on slip, maintenance and fuel but that was it. They could use the boat but had no say in how I rigged, etc. The other thing.... There can only be one captain on a boat. It worked OK but now they have their boat and I have mine. I will have two boats soon and my brother in law will use the boat I am restoring for fishing if he's down and I am not.

A) I trust him. He's boated as long as I have and is honest.
B) They are financially capable. What happens if they are not? I don't have any expenses I couldn't afford on my own.
C) I am the captain on my boat. If I go on their boat, he's the captain. One person needs to be the voice to eliminate possible issues or to make commands if the poopy hits the fan.
D) We can all co-exist if we all go at the same time. We do have a system for scheduling exclusive if the wife and I take guests or they want to entertain. It needs to be mutually agreed on well in advance. It's the exception to the rule. But you need to make sure you can work together on scheduling.


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