What do you do when you want in on a boat, but maybe don't the time, funds or easy access to the coastline? You buy just a piece. A boat partnership, wherein several individuals (or families) own a share in a boat, is an attractive solution for many people.
Take the two newest owners of the Valiant 32, Haiku, currently awaiting launching at Maine Yacht Center in Portland. Brian Stevens is a financial software developer from New Hampshire. He wanted to do some sailing and also introduce his nine and 13-year-old kids to the joys of boating. But he doesn't have the time or inclination to take on an entire boat himself. So he answered an ad on Craigslist that was placed by the other owners of Haiku who were looking for a few more partners.
"I'm joining [the partnership] because I've been looking for a way to get my family int boating," Stevens said. "But I live in south central New Hampshire an hour away from salt water, so having access to a boat on the ocean is challenging."
Sharing a boat makes sense because of his schedule. "I have a family, so I'm busy and we're not going to spend every weekend on the boat." Plus, sharing means shared expenses and maintenance. "Sharing a boat seems like a good compromise."
Peter Feeney, the other new member of the ownership group, spends plenty of time on the water, but much of that is aboard big ships. Feeney is a chief engineer for the oil company Conoco Phillips and runs and maintains the machinery on oil tankers plying west coast waters. "I'm a merchant mariner," Feeney said. "So I'm gone half the time. Having a shared boat makes sense. I don't have to worry about it when I'm gone."
And the other partners get a boost from the new members, too. They get a smaller share of the expenses and added expertise. For example, when we talked Stevens was installing a new AC electrical panel and Feeney had removed, rebuilt and reinstalled the boat's planetary gear transmission.