Shared Sailing: A Beginner’s Guide To Boat Syndicates

There are so many benefits to boating. Getting out on the open water is highly relaxing, being at one with the water and the clear skies, 

You can bond with family and friends, go fishing, swimming, scuba diving or just relax on deck with a cold drink in your hand. Unfortunately, the high-end and expensive boats like yachts, powerboats, and catamarans are out of reach for most people. But there is a solution.

By joining a boat syndication system, you can invest in these luxury vessels along with other like-minded sailors so you can all have a share of a high-end boat to use at different times of the year.

What is Boat Syndication?

Shared Sailing: A Beginner's Guide To Boat Syndicates

There are many names for this arrangement, including smart boating and shared investment. Essentially, it works the same way as timeshare accommodation. Instead of paying to own or rent a high-end boat, you join a group of people who all invest in the outright price. That means you all have ownership and will all have access to the yachts, powerboats, catamarans or whichever vessel you decide – it could be a fishing boat! 

Usually, there are 8-10 shares per syndicate which give you over a month every year to use the vessel. You also don’t have to worry about the maintenance and upkeep of the boat. You just pay a monthly fee, and all of that is taken care of. You simply walk up to the marina, and your boat will be ready to board and depart.

How do You Schedule The Use of The Boat in a Syndicate?

Shared Sailing: A Beginner's Guide To Boat Syndicates

In most cases, there is a digital calendar where every member can book time on the vessel. Every member of the syndicate usually gets 34 days, and of course, spring and summer are going to be the most popular months. All you need to do is look at the calendar, book out the time you want, and it will come out of your allocated days.

To avoid everyone trying to book out the summer weekends to themselves, there are usually systems in place where your allocated days are spread over summer and winter. Instead of days, many syndicates use a points system.

For example, a weekend or public holiday during the summer period may carry a maximum points value, while a weekday during winter would not require the use of many points at all. This helps stop individual members from blocking out the majority of the summer weekend sessions for themselves. Everyone gets a fair go.

Do I Need a Boating Licence to be in a Syndicate?

Shared Sailing: A Beginner's Guide To Boat Syndicates

Most vessels require a valid boat licence to operate. The good news is that training is usually provided by the managers of boat syndicates. They will help arrange all of the lessons you need to become adept on the water, and once you get your licence, you will be ready to go. Each state and territory has its own licencing regulations and requirements, so ensure you read up before committing to part ownership of a luxury vessel.

Do I Have The Option to Exit The Syndicate at any Time?

Shared Sailing: A Beginner's Guide To Boat Syndicates

Boats in syndication will not have a set term. Additionally, each owner has the right to leave the syndication at any time. Any time an owner sells a share, upgrades, or exits syndication, a commission-based fee will be charged. Once a replacement is found, the original owner can exit the syndication.

All of this information will be found in the terms and conditions and it is highly advised you go over them with a fine-tooth comb to ensure you are committing to a reputable syndicate management company.