About Boat / Yacht Sharing

Click here to read the free Boat Share Factsheet, which provides further information and guidance about sharing a boat with others, also known as fractional ownership.

There are many reasons why someone may want to share a boat with others, but the main reasons are as follows:

  • Financial reasons – The purchase price and ongoing running costs can make owning a boat very expensive, so it makes sense to share the cost with others. The costs involved in keeping a boat include substantial mooring or storage costs, repairs and insurance, as well as equipment that needs to be purchased. By spreading the cost of boat ownership between them, the sharers are likely to be able to afford a bigger and better boat than they would each individually be able to buy.
  • Community and social reasons – Owning a boat by yourself may become lonely without friends or family members who will regularly accompany you. Sharing ownership of a boat with others means that when you can’t make use of the boat, someone else could and the boat will not be sitting around being a wasted investment. Also, sharers might sometimes decide to share trips on the boat together, or perhaps to race as a crew on the shared boat.
  • Limited commitment – By sharing a boat with others, less long-term commitment is required compared to purchasing a boat by yourself. It provides a good opportunity to assess how much use you will get out of the boat before deciding whether you really need your own. By properly regulating the number of sharers in the agreement most people will find that they get sufficient use out of a shared boat.

Case study:

Mr A was part of a boat share scheme that went wrong. They used an agreement recommended by a leading yachting organisation, but it turned out to be insufficient. When Mr A wanted to leave the scheme, he served notice on the other sharers as the agreement required, but they refused to sell the boat as the contract stated, and they also refused to buy his share in the boat. The contract did not make any provision for this situation, and Mr A ended up having to continue paying a share of the costs of the boat for a further two years before the boat was eventually sold. Throughout this time Mr A had not been getting any use out of the boat at all, and is still out of pocket by several hundred pounds today.

For people interested in sharing a boat, we provide two different agreements:

D1 Boat Share Agreement: Large Boat Model

  • For use when sharing a large boat generally with a main or auxillary engine and where the boat is berthed or moored in a marina (such as a keelboat, large powerboat, barge or similar with living accommodation)
  • All costs are split between the sharers

D2 Boat Share Agreement: Small Boat Model

  • For use when sharing a small boat generally without a main engine but may have an outboard (such as a sailing dinghy, kayak, small speed or motor boat) without living accommodation
  • All running costs are split between the sharers

To buy an agreement or to find out more about their content and application, click on the links above.