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Old 11-24-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Pondering a Trawler Partnership

After ten years of adventures, I recently sold my converted wooden fishing trawler and am now pondering my next boat purchase. Meanwhile, to keep my boatin' blues away, we bought a share of a 47-foot sailing catamaran in the Caribbean. This partnership seems to be working out okay. (We spent four months cruising the Eastern Caribbean last winter!) I also once owned a share in an aircraft partnership.

Since I plan to spend my summers in the Pacific Northwest and my winters down south, the thought has occurred to me that it might make sense to form a NW partnership and buy a larger trawler than I'd otherwise be inclined to purchase by myself. (There are some very attractive boats on the market these days -- at very tempting prices!)

I wonder if there's anyone out there who has considered a similar arrangement? Have you gazed wistfully at those $300,000-plus passage makers, thinking you could never actually afford one? Well, if you had a couple of partners, you could!

Of course, this requires a much less possessive attitude toward one's boat. However, if the boat were large enough, say a 48-foot Krogen Whaleback, one could also make long, comfortable voyages with several (if not all) of the partners aboard at once! You need someone else to stand watch, after all. Plus, it's always nice to split the fuel bills. Not a bad arrangement -- if you can get along with your partners, of course.

So, what do you think? Are you into sharing your toys, kids?
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Major Martin;
So, what do you think? Are you into sharing your toys, kids?
No. Taking all one's stuff on and off the boat, quibbling over who's responsible for what, arguing over what maintenance to perform and pay for and what to defer, not being able to use the boat whenever we want, sharing the boat with a potentially poor operator---- don't need the aggrievation, the hassle, or the extra work.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:54 PM   #3
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I explored that possibility early on and discovered that it is far more popular with the sail crowd than with power boaters. Both equity and non equity partnerships are readily available almost anywhere sailboats congregate.

Not exactly sure why but finally settled on the theory that sailing is a far more cooperative/social venture by nature. Most small sail boats can be single handed but it's far more fun to have friends on board to help with the rig. As no extra physical help is required to operate a power boat the owners tend to wish to keep things more private and less likely to share ownership.

Marin makes a good point about personal items. My observation has been power boat owners keep far more gear aboard than sailors. There are obvious exceptions to that observation but overall I find it holds true. The partnerships we have looked into have had all maintenance scenarios spelled out in advance and are very straight forward.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #4
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It would take most of the fun out of owning a larger boat if I couldn't at any moment walk up, and set sail for anywhere my heart desires.

When I go out on a voyage, short or long, or never leave the dock for that matter all I bring are some groceries, and except for fresh vegies I don't even have to do that.

I cannot imagine the fun of sharing that with anyone.

Personally I'd just have a smaller boat, given the choices the OP presented.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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Personal junk

Yep, you certainly have to keep your stuff under control in a partnership.

On the other hand, in a big boat, you can have your own dedicated cabin.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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It would take most of the fun out of owning a larger boat if I couldn't at any moment walk up, and set sail for anywhere my heart desires.

When I go out on a voyage, short or long, or never leave the dock for that matter all I bring are some groceries, and except for fresh vegies I don't even have to do that.
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here, here!! Agreed and I will drink to that one.

Larry B,
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:15 AM   #7
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Hell, no! For more reasons than I care to list. You'd be better off bareboat chartering.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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So, what do you think? Are you into sharing your toys, kids?
No way, Jose, for the reasons others have said.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:52 AM   #9
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It has worked for me when I was half owner of a vessel in charter, so the hire co looked after all maintenance and servicing and the cleaning, hiring etc, so we were effectively using it as one does a bareboat charter, but we could book in advance when we wanted it, and had the say regarding however long it was for, and we didn't have to pay for the week, other than fuel used. It was also a good legit tax off-set, as all running costs were deductible, and recognised the relatively little time both owners had to use it. However, as I freed up more time, I did miss not being able to just mess about on it and do my own maintenance, and yes, not being able to keep personal item so on her was also a nuisance.
Another quite a popular way of owning here in Oz for those who can afford a part share of a large new vessel, but are time poor, is to buy into a managed boatshare arrangement which is managed by the share company, but in this case not for hire, so no tax off-set benefit. This suits the suits - literally - those who just want a nice flash boat when they want it and like to say they own it, but don't want to have to look after it, or don't have time to, and like the walk on walk off aspect. These are usually large powerful fast new boats, (eg Riviera, Maritimo, Princess, etc), and not the sort of so-called trawler style we are usually talking about.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:19 AM   #10
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"$300,000-plus passage makers, thinking you could never actually afford one?"

Not many real offshore boats at $300K
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:56 AM   #11
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Not having the money to buy a good running trawler a lot of people I know buy "Investment" trawlers. Two guys go in on a non running hull and start to rebuild it. It never fails that they butt heads and sell it off with not much progress. The guys I know that have the money look at the boat as a reflection of themselves. The boat is meticulously maintained, canvass are replaced almost as much as the oil and they are not going to share the pride of ownership with anyone. Not much middle ground.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:35 AM   #12
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Swampu X2

Two financially strapped partners does not make for a happy marriage. Best to do as Marin cites - charter. Since you live on Pender Island, why not get a smaller low cost to own/purchase fast trailer boat that allows you to enjoy the nice days and forget about the crummy ones? You could be in Desolation Sound in 2-4 hours and all points in between. We have some BC friends with a Fountain who do exactly that.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Hi Neighbor

Since being involved with this site I've found there are several Penderites posting-- small world...... Why would one want a large gas/diesel guzzling boat that can get to desolation sound in two hours?????? For me the process of boating ----- whales/birds/fresh air /phosphorescence etc.etc. -- is what it's all about....my philosophy is find a good quality boat that fits ones budget and go forth and enjoy the Salish Sea and beyond..... Thieves Bay has loads of BIG boats that never leave the dock--not that there's anything wrong with that BUT what a waste of $$$$$$$ -- wouldn't cost a dime to borrow a comfy chair and go sit by the water at Port Wash...... A friend on Whidby Island shared a boat with his ex-friend...ended up in court haggling over who was to pay for the broken prop....life is too short...relax and smell the roses or kelp or salt air or ................ john
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:49 PM   #14
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The Devil's Advocate is Back!

Hmmm...lots of posts while I slept.

Keith: Bare-boat chartering is not cost-effective for long cruises. Going that route down in the Caribbean last winter would have cost us almost what we paid for our share in the boat!

Peter B.: I always knew you guys from downunder were a reasonable bunch!

FF: You'd be surprised what you can get these days for $300K. The market is soft.

Sunchaser: You don't understand my proposal. It's not that the prospective partners are cash-strapped. It just might make sense to team up, for many reasons.

Lucy 11: Howdy, neighbor! I kept my boat at Otter Bay because it was too big for Thieves Bay. I used it frequently, rain or shine.

I used to visit the Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle looking at colossal yachts that never left the dock. I often wondered why the owners bought those boats. Maybe they're an elaborate tax dodge or possibly they just come down with business friends to have a drink on board. Or maybe they're owned by one-percenters who just couldn't think of anything else to do with their excess cash. Puzzling....

It just seems to me there might be a middle-ground between those who must always possess their boats and those who have a more flexible, cooperative outlook. One needn't be a Buddhist monk or a former submariner to make this work; just a mature attitude and the ability to follow a few common-sense rules.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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I understand your proposal completely. You don't have the money to own your "big" boat 100% and are looking for a like minded qualified person. Good luck in this quest. If you had the money, you'd buy the "big" boat yourself. Do like the rest of us, set your sights on a less costly "smaller" boat.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #16
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I've been in a number of very successful business partnerships but I've not had a successful toy/recreational property partnership. I believe looking back that the reason the businesss partnerships succeeded was that there was little pride of ownership and a strong focus on profits. Boat and recreational property ownership are just the opposite. There is a large focus on pride of ownership and very little return on investment if any.

I can't speak to the sailboat sharing as being a good thing as I've had bad luck there. I attribute that failure to having the wrong partner. He was also a negative as a business associate.

The ability to use my boat when I want, go where I want, drill holes in the boat where I want is the reason I own a boat rather than charter one. I can't imagine having any fun sharing a boat as I would have none of the advantages and still probably over half the costs.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:23 PM   #17
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The Devil's Dictionary:

"Advice" N - Asking for someone's approval for a course of action you've already decided upon.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #18
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As my ex wife was often heard to say : "I don`t share".
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:05 PM   #19
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MM

I understand your proposal completely. You don't have the money to own your "big" boat 100% and are looking for a like minded qualified person. Good luck in this quest. If you had the money, you'd buy the "big" boat yourself. Do like the rest of us, set your sights on a less costly "smaller" boat.
Actually, I could buy a big boat by myself. What I'm questioning is whether this would be an intelligent use of resources, given that such boats spend the bulk of their time in one place, collecting bills and barnacles.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #20
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Actually, I could buy a big boat by myself. What I'm questioning is whether this would be an intelligent use of resources, given that such boats spend the bulk of their time in one place, collecting bills and barnacles.
Mr. Martin, My only advice would be to find someone other than a life long friend to join you on your endeavor because this one item seems more than any other to make giant rifts in friendships and relationships. The rules are simple.
Rule #1: Your significant other must be onboard completely.
Rule #2: Don't have a significant other
Rule #3: Don't partner up with someone who is not a significant other who is not completely on board.
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