Fractional Yacht Ownership - A World of Opportunities

A yacht buyer's alternative to full ownership

Fractional yacht ownership is much like a timeshare arrangement for boats. By definition, an individual takes part ownership of a yacht and shares the expenditures with a number of other owners. This can certainly be an attractive alternative to buying a boat of your own for a number of reasons.

Statistics continually show that the average boat owner uses their boat somewhere between three and six weeks out of a year. Not very many have the luxury of being able to devote 365 days a year to their on-the-water passions. This statistic reveals why some potential owners are comparing the cost of financing, maintenance, repair, cleaning, storage fees and crew for a solely owned yacht to a more feasible approach such as fractional ownership. Another alluring benefit is the opportunity to be able to afford an exponentially larger yacht while staying within your original budget.

These days, the economic climate is prompting many people to re-evaluate the ways in which they are spending their money, especially on luxury items. Yacht brokers and boat dealers are acutely aware of the changing trends and many have begun offering fractional yacht ownership opportunities - creating a win-win situation for the yacht industry worldwide. The ability to communicate among yacht brokers, owners and potential buyers through online properties, such as MarineSource.com, has opened a vast inventory of available ownership opportunities to any boater who may be interested in exploring the alternative.

In the past some boaters shied away from this form of ownership merely because they disliked the idea of using other people's property. Management companies have taken this well into consideration and now provide a service that will prepare the yacht with your personal items upon request.

Now that we have covered the very basics of fractional yacht ownership and the reasons behind it's rising popularity, let's explore the details of the process.

In a typical arrangement, the ownership of the yacht is divided into shares among two to ten owners. An owner may purchase more than one share if the option is available and he or she anticipates more than one share of usage throughout the year. Payments will include a monthly or annual maintenance fee in addition to the initial share purchase. The maintenance fee is calculated by taking into consideration the yacht's operating expenses for the year (or month) and dividing the total amount equally among the owners. Some programs even allow owners to swap weeks with other owners to accommodate unanticipated scheduling changes.

When shopping for fractional ownership be sure to confirm whether or not the maintenance fee includes services such as administration and scheduling, insurance, yacht maintenance, docking or slip fees, crew and emergency assistance. You will likely have to pay additionally for fuel, customs/port fees and provisioning.

The availability of fractional ownership opportunities internationally may be an ideal option for an owner who wishes to explore far from home. For instance, if you reside in the United States and would like to boat in Europe or Australia, you can purchase shares in a yacht in that country. This eliminates the hassle and expense of transporting your yacht to your desired destination, and also ensures that the yacht will be professionally managed and overseen in your absence. Ownership structure may vary slightly from country to country, so be sure to get detailed information if you are exploring yacht ownership options outside of your country of residence.

Fractional ownership is available for a wide variety of yacht sizes. Smaller yachts are usually offered to be enjoyed in a specific geographic area. Larger yachts often offer more range and can even include trans-oceanic opportunities. The money you may be considering to invest for sole ownership of a smaller yacht could be used to purchase a share in a larger, more luxurious yacht that can take you places you only dreamed of visiting before.