วันเสาร์ที่ 14 สิงหาคม พ.ศ. 2553

Boat Timeshares or Fractional Yacht Ownership

Another option for sharing a boat is using a professional boat share program. Boat timeshares or fractional yacht ownership companies can be used to handle the ins and outs of sharing a vessel while removing the personal issues, and they can be a good option. These businesses offer watercraft from little fishing boats up to huge sailing mega yachts. Some of these fractional boat ownership programs sell actual 'shares' in the vessels, and other timeshares sell 'memberships,' where the dues you pay provide you access to the boats, but no actual equity ownership. It is very important when using these types of companies to be absolutely clear about what you will and won't get for your money, and to confirm that they have clear, written rules that are enforced. Don't let that beautiful boat lull you - do the same research as you would with any major purchase, and check out the company you plan to use as well.

Whether settling on a boat timeshare or a fractional yacht ownership, make sure you get firm prices in writing on not only initial payments and annual costs, but any other costs which might be incurred. Other questions that need to be answered include things like scheduling: How much time do you get on the boat? When can you get your time on the boat, and how far in advance do you generally need to plan? What about major vacation times - everybody wants the boat during holidays and at the height of vacation season, how are these dates negotiated? Then there's ownership: What happens if a partner sells or dies? Can you sell or transfer your share? What happens to your money if you do not receive ownership deeds as part of the deal and the holding company folds? And how about responsibility: How is the boat maintained, and what assurances do you have that it will be kept in good condition? Who cleans and preps the boat? What if the boat breaks down? What happens if you come for your two weeks and the boat is a mess?

Do your research, and get everything in writing. The timeshare/fractional boat company surely won't trust your word without a check, and you shouldn't trust theirs without a clearly written contract.

Sharing a Boat with Friends

Buying a boat with friends can be a great way to get on the water for cheap, but it can also ruin friendships. What might seem like a fun and easy way to share a boat can quickly become a complicated mess, where feelings and pocketbooks take the punch. When planning to share a boat with friends, make sure you talk out all the logistics, and there are a lot of them. Don't think that it will all work out, because it probably won't, and if it's difficult to discuss before you get the boat, it will be much more difficult to discuss afterward.

To start, how will you determine who gets what dates? Does everyone understand the costs for not only buying the boat, but also the maintenance, taxes, registration, insurance, fuel, repairs, and improvements that will be needed over the years? What about labor? If one person thinks just rinsing her down once a month is enough, and one person thinks polishing every weekend is a must, this can be a real problem! Talk about how to deal with conflicts and resolutions, including how to let (or force) one owner out of his/her share. Set up a clear plan of how to get out before you ever get in!

Finally, draw up a firm written contract which you all sign. If you're talking about an expensive boat, having a lawyer look things over would also be a very good idea. If after all this you find that your passion for sharing a boat with friends has cooled a bit, count yourself lucky that you realized it before you lost the money or the friends. Many such partnerships work out well for decades, and sometimes it's the best of both worlds - like having your own boat every other weekend and finding that the maintenance fairy has come and fixed things while you were gone! Other times, it's like reliving your worst roommate experiences at many times the cost. Be careful!

Chartering a Boat

Many people prefer to experience boating by renting or chartering instead of owning their own vessel. After all, many boaters only use their watercraft for a few weekends every year, and the apparently high cost of chartering a yacht is tiny when compared to owning and maintaining one year round. Plus, you can go sailing or boating in different locations around the world if you'd like, or not - many families choose to charter the same yacht every year so that they return to a boat which starts to feel like theirs (even as far as plastering their walls with photos of it!).

The other side of this coin is to charter out your own boat. This helps defer costs and maintenance, and can be the perfect solution for those who like to cruise in the off season. Some choose to go through a charter company, and others charter out their boats on their own. Obviously, make sure that you're covered by insurance and that everything is above board whichever way you decide to go, as you don't want to get the bill for damages after some newbie uses your pride and joy to wipe out a whole dock full of mega yachts.

British Marine Federation Statistics Highlight Value of Boat Insurance

The British Marine Federation released their Spring 2010 Industry Trend Results last week in a report that will come as a welcome relief to industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. The research suggests that the marine and boating industry has managed to stay above water during the worst of the economic downturn, and is now progressing forward at what is being described as a ‘steady’ pace. But with the statistics suggesting that more crafts are due to return to Britain’s coasts and waterways, boat insurance specialists ‘Insure My Boat’ are highlighting the necessity of effective cover.

36% of the businesses consulted said that marine activity had increased over the last 6 months, as opposed to the 26% who disagreed. While this may seem negligible, it does result in a net balance of +10% which experts are citing as a good indication for continued growth during the second half of the year and into 2011. But while most would agree that the recent figures should be welcomed, it’s feared that an influx of sailors of all kinds could lead to a boost in collisions and organised crime.

David Quick, Director of Insure My Boat welcomed the return of increased opportunities for all in the marine sector, but urged caution in the face of these predictions. He said:

‘This report really does vindicate those industry professionals and enthusiasts who have stood by and supported the marine sector during the difficulties of the past few years. It would therefore be a terrible shame to see those sailors who return excitedly to the water suffer at the hands of marine craft theft or collisions of any kind. That’s why the Insure My Boat team feel that boat insurance is so essential.’

It’s clear that, should crime statistics begin to rise, the commercial marine sector will do everything it can to safeguard the crafts and possessions of private boat owners. The British Marine Federation report denotes an admirable optimism amongst those involved in the sector. As many as 40% of those surveyed viewed the coming six months as having good or excellent prospects, suggesting that criminals face a confident and united industry.

However experts are reminding commercial and private boat owners that only they have the power to truly protect their investments by sourcing effective boat insurance from a provider like Insure My Boat. The recession has reminded many sailors of the importance of protecting what equity they have, regardless of the commodity to which it is tied.

Boat Sharing

When you add up the cost of buying a boat, insurance, and marina fees, not to mention the unavoidable maintenance costs, the thought of owning a yacht (or even a small boat) may be enough to scare you right out of the water. This is particularly true in today's tough and uncertain economy, when the last thing many of us want to do is add another set of monthly bills to our financial burdens. There may be options, however, that will help you spend time on the water without spending all your hard-earned cash in the process, and you might find one is the perfect solution for you.

If you're just interested in a short vacation on a yacht, chartering a boat might work for you, as the cost is usually not much more than a stay in a nice waterfront hotel. For those wanting more time on the water, sharing a boat among other owners is a popular option, allowing you to own a yacht while distributing the costs and responsibilities. Then there are boat clubs, a good way to try out many different sailboats and power boats, and to get a feel for one that might be right for you.