Boating is not a low-cost hobby by any stretch of the imagination. As a former boat owner and captain, I can tell you that you’ll be sinking money monthly into a vessel, so you need to be prepared. Remember, the monthly upkeep and fees are in addition to the upfront cost of buying the boat. One way to lessen the burden is to consider fractional boat ownership. Here is the definition and if it is worth it. 

What Is Fractional Boat Ownership

To make it simple, owning a boat fractionally means splitting the ownership among multiple people. reFractional ownership allows you to share the cost of owning a vessel. 

Importantly, the decisions as far as upgrades, maintenance, and more must be made among a group versus a single person. There are substantial amounts of pros and cons to fractional ownership. 

Pros Of Fractional Boat Ownership

At one point in my life, I decided to share ownership of my boat, but it was over a very short period of time. To be precise, the joint ownership lasted for less than a month. Despite the bad taste in my mouth, there are many benefits to sharing ownership of a vessel. 

You Can Get Yourself Into A Boat Or Buy A Bigger Boat

Without question, one of the biggest benefits of owning a boat among a group of people is either getting yourself into your first vessel or upgrading. 

Another benefit is upgrading from a smaller vessel to a larger vessel, including yachts. In the event you want to go bigger or are short on funds to buy a recreational vessel, joint ownership is a great option. 

The Month To Month Expenses Are Shared

Undoubtedly, forking out cash to buy a boat isn’t helpful for the bank account. However, the monthly expenses are often overlooked. 

Some of the most common monthly fees boat owners incur are dockage, repair, and standard maintenance. While yes fuel costs are high, they are not shared. Instead, the person driving the boat is responsible for fueling up at the end of the trip. 

First, boats are subject to mechanical issues. Secondly, vessels are either need to be docked or stored. Lastly, routine maintenance is necessary to keep the boat in excellent working condition. 

Understand that you will pay less for all of the fees noted above if you elect to go with a joint ownership. 

Cons Of Fractional Boat Ownership

I tend to lean more toward the cons of joint ownership versus fractional vessel ownership. Here are the most notable drawbacks to fractional ownership of a boat. 

Dividing Time Between Joint Owners

Without a doubt, dividing time between owners is one of the most challenging aspects to sharing a boat amount multiple owners. 

Importantly, holidays are in high demand especially with those who are working a full time career. In the event that you want to use a boat when you want, co ownership is not the best right decision for you. 

Disagreements On Maintenance And Repairs

No doubt about it, boats are require routine maintenance and are prone to malfunctions that require repair. 

Owners within a group have different mindsets on how often maintenance should be completed and what and what does not require repair. Despite having signed paperrwork in place, be aware that not everyone will comply with whats needed to keep the boat in tip top shape because its expensive. 

Avoid getting into joint ownership groups of vessels if you’re willing to pay top dollar for maintenance and repairs to keep the boat looking and running as best as possible. 

Backing Out Of Vessel Co-Ownership

Yes, joint owners back out of joint ownership in the event they are not using the boat or the expenses exceed the budget. 

That being said, co-owners walk out on boat ownership deals despite being under contract for a defined number of years. 

In the event you’re unsure if you can swing the cost or want the responsibility of owning a boat as a group, avoid the situation all together. Want until you can afford a boat outright. 

Fractional Boat Ownership Isn’t Worth It

The lists are endless as to why you should or should not own a boat as a group. Overall, the cons outweigh the pros, no matter the size of the vessel. Avoid contract disputes, scheduling nightmares, and maintenance disagreements by owning independently. Again, I tried to incorporate a part owner into my boat. However, it failed miserably over a short period of time. Make wise financial decisions about buying a boat. Lastly, others are potentially joining a boat club which has its perks.