Are you keen to buy a boat but don’t have the funds right now? Or perhaps you don’t want to take on all the work of maintaining and servicing a boat by yourself?

Buying a boat together with friends or family can be a great way around these challenges as long as you’re careful. To make sure your purchase is all smooth sailing we’ve put together a quick guide to buying a boat with others.

What are the benefits?

Buying a boat with one or more other people obviously makes it more affordable. Instead of paying the entire price you might pay half, a third or even less. This might also allow you to buy a larger, more expensive boat that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.

What’s more, you’ll usually also share all the costs and the duties associated with owning, maintaining and servicing the boat, which could save you thousands of dollars and hours of time. All these perks are well worth it if you manage the shared purchase and ownership carefully.

How does the purchase work?

When you buy a boat with other people it’s important that everyone’s happy with the choice. That means before you start visiting yards and enquiring about different vessels, you should all sit down together and agree on which boat is right for you.

After you’ve decided you should nominate one person to be the group representative and handle the negotiation, purchase, construction and pick-up of the vessel. Before that person purchases anything or makes decisions about the boat’s fitout they should always run the details past the entire group.

Having one representative makes the purchase and build process easier, giving the company you’re buying from one point of contact to deal with.

Do I need a shared ownership agreement?

If you’re not careful sharing ownership can be stressful and difficult. There might be disagreements over whose responsibility it is to maintain the vessel or when each party has access to the boat, for example.

Creating a comprehensive shared ownership agreement is the best way to ensure that everyone gets along and does their part. There are businesses that can do this for you, but you can just as easily create your own, making sure that you answer the following key questions:

  1. Who is responsible for cleaning the boat?
  2. Who is responsible for boat maintenance?
  3. Who is responsible for arranging insurance?
  4. Where will the boat be stored during the offseason?
  5. What happens if one party damages the boat?
  6. How are costs for storage, fuel maintenance and cleaning split up?
  7. How do you decide when each owner uses the boat? Will you draw up a schedule?
  8. How will you account for one party using the boat more than another?
  9. What happens if one party wants to sell their share?
  10. How will disputes be resolved and what happens if the shared ownership doesn’t work out?

Reckon you’re ready to buy a boat with a friend or family member? For a hand working out the details and choosing the right boat drop into the Rayglass showroom in Mt Wellington for a chat today.

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