by Dom Wiseman

Owning a boat can be an expensive exercise and when you consider the times you can’t use the boat at all such as when other commitments clash with your boating plans or the weather makes it either uncomfortable or impossible to spend time aboard. When you consider that over the course of an average year, you may only use your boat once or twice a month, you would not be alone in thinking there has to be a better way of owning a boat to use without the costs of outright ownership. If you are prepared to share, then boat sharing is a viable and cost effective option.


There are many paths to boating and boat share comes in many shapes and sizes ranging from syndicate ownership to points based. Both are ideal for families that don’t have the luxury of time to spend every waking hour on the sea. They are also a great way of gauging whether down the track you will get full use out of an outright purchase yourself.


Some companies, such as Pacific Boating employ a points system whereby member fees are turned into points to use over the course of a 12 month period. Points are then allocated depending on the demand of the days you wish to use the boat. Depending on the boat membership package you buy, you are also able to utilise other boats in the fleet for a premium on their points in the case of a bigger boat, or a saving if the chosen vessel is smaller than the one allocated on their member package. Celebrities such as Grant Denyer find boat share a peaceful path to boat ownership and the beauty of this model is that they are a walk on, walk off experience. All fees or charges generally include maintenance, cleaning and ongoing repairs so all you have to do is work with the team on allocating yourself some days across the year and turn up. They will have the boat ready for you.


Syndicated ownership is another way to lessen the cost. Unlike boat share, syndicated ownership means you have a financial responsibility in the chosen vessel. Seawind, Australia’s largest catamaran manufacturer has been offering these ownership models for 8 years and has developed a very sound model which allows for a group of owners to come together and take responsibility for a given vessel. There is a firm set of laws which each member of the syndicate must sign up to with a limit of six interests in any one boat. At the end of 5 years, the boat is sold on the open market unless there is a unanimous decision to keep it among the owners.


For those looking to holiday on boats all over the world, syndicated ownership would allow you to buy a share in a boat in the US, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand if you like without have to outright own a boat in each port.


All boat share options from reputable companies will come with full training and competency tests to ensure that you and every other user are capable of looking after the boat and keeping it safe with the hardest part being how to work out which days you are likely to want to be on the water.