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Owning a luxury yacht is easier than you think

Long considered the sole domain of the rich and famous, owning a luxury yacht or motor cruiser is now substantially easier thanks to an innovative ownership scheme called shareboats.

With price tags starting around R6.5million – that would buy you a new Princess V39 – traditional boat ownership can have high barriers to entry. Purchasing a share in boat makes a lot more sense, especially if you are among the vast majority of owners that only use their craft for about 28 days per year.

‘There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself when considering purchasing a luxury boat,’ says Rob Sharp, managing director of David Abromowitz and Associates. ‘These include; how much are you willing to invest on this luxury? Am I prepared for the care and maintenance of the vessel? How often will I use it? Do I have the time to deal with the ongoing management of the boat and crew? What happens if my life circumstances change and I need to sell?’

‘Vessels in excess of 40 feet, and that remain in the sea all the time, require meticulous maintenance and ongoing management. They can’t be left for months at a time unattended. Owners can’t just pitch up and expect to turn the engines over and head out for a day’s cruising. The reality is that crewed vessels are better maintained, have a longer life expectancy and generally hold their resale value better than uncrewed.’

The shareboats concept provides the part owner all the benefits of traditional sole ownership at a fraction of the cost. Each vessel is held in a company and shares are available for purchase – typically these range from five to 10 shares, depending on the value of the boat. Buying a percentage share of the boat secures you the equivalent shareholding in the company that owns the vessel.

Operating costs for the vessel are shared among the owners in the form of a levy and include mooring, insurance, skipper and crew (if applicable), and maintenance. In short, everything except the consumables. Fuel, food and beverages consumed while on your allotted days are for your own account.

Few people do not yearn for lifestyle a top-end yacht or cruiser offers. With the shareboat scheme that dream can become a reality sooner and with greater flexibility than waiting until you can afford the outright purchase of a vessel.

Rob Sharp and his team will be exhibiting at this year’s Cape Town International Boat Show from 14 to 16 October at the V&A Waterfront Marina. This is an ideal time to stop by and see how the shareboat scheme may bring you on-board sooner than you think.

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