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My brother is looking at becoming a syndicate member of a gunboat in Sydney Australia, any ideas on pro’s and con’s of this method. Apparently there will be 10 members with approximately 34 days each. Thanks.

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20 hours ago, geeaah said:

My brother is looking at becoming a syndicate member of a gunboat in Sydney Australia, any ideas on pro’s and con’s of this method. Apparently there will be 10 members with approximately 34 days each. Thanks.

What boat is it .....?

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22 hours ago, geeaah said:

My brother is looking at becoming a syndicate member of a gunboat in Sydney Australia, any ideas on pro’s and con’s of this method. Apparently there will be 10 members with approximately 34 days each. Thanks.

I'm in one such setup, in Miami, and it's great. It all comes down to how well it's executed by whomever does the maintenance... 

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4 hours ago, Zonker said:

Follow the money. Who are you paying to manage the boat? Have you looked over the contract? Are you buying a share in the boat or just renting?

^^^^^ This more often than not you're subsidizing someone else's toy ^^^^^ 

You also need to get your head around AMSA requirements because if it is any way a commercial relationship then its a commercial boat and needs to be built to survey.

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7 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

I'm in one such setup, in Miami, and it's great. It all comes down to how well it's executed by whomever does the maintenance... 

There’s a gunboat in a setup like this in Miami? 

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2 hours ago, JoeyG said:

There’s a gunboat in a setup like this in Miami? 

No Gunboat and no racing boats. It's a number of Jeanneau boats from around 37 to 50ft, fully kitted for champagne sailing – generator, AC, in-mast furler. I race on small foilers (UFO, N15FCS), take the family out on the big boat for a long weekend (sometimes, towing a foiler).

In this Miami setup, the deal is pretty good. You get to sail the boat, split across 10 captains, for about as much as you'd pay for the marina berth. You're not owning anything, true, but all maintenance and repairs are covered... and as I said, you'd pay same monthly for marina. 

Because the owner is a good client of all local marine services , stuff gets fixed pronto. During Irma one of the boats sank, Jeanneau rep moved connections and a replacement boat was delivered in 3 weeks. Can't say enough good things about this operation. - PM me for details.

OTOH, it's not your boat, so you can't sail it for 3 months around the Caribbean. 

Miami champagne guzzling aside, this kind of setup can be made to work really well. It can also be a clusterf. Like many things worth doing, it's all down to details and execution. 

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Caveat emptor really applies here.

I’m working with a “shared service platform” business at the moment. The idea of a group of consumers grouping together to aggregate their usage or consumption of a resource to share fixed costs and reduce unused periods makes tremendous economic sense. I’m a huge fan. You can effectively get 100% of your target usage at 10% of the cost if you had owned it outright.

If the contractual arrangements are set up properly and genuinely in the interest of the “syndicate” it can be a great deal. A leading indicator is if all the involved parties have identical rights and obligations AND if there are clearly defined and equitable exit arrangements.

The fact that there is a whole industry that has grown up around helping people exit timeshare arrangements tells you how dangerous such an arrangement can be.

Look into the details open minded to the idea this can be a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a great boat that otherwise could be out of reach while also cynically reviewing the contractual terms with a skilled lawyer aware to the risk you may be entering painful and abusive bondage (which may not be your thing)

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I'm currently in a great boat partnership.

Like anything (e.g. jobs, spouses, acquaintances) there are good ones and bad ones.

And even if the legalese is sound, it's not illegal for people to be assholes, so it's important to check out the "culture" of the syndicate as well.

So in addition to what others have said, do reference checks to ensure that people are generally operating in good faith, and that there is a culture of cooperation and collaboration.

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14 minutes ago, gspot said:

I'm currently in a great boat partnership.

Like anything (e.g. jobs, spouses, acquaintances) there are good ones and bad ones.

And even if the legalese is sound, it's not illegal for people to be assholes, so it's important to check out the "culture" of the syndicate as well.

So in addition to what others have said, do reference checks to ensure that people are generally operating in good faith, and that there is a culture of cooperation and collaboration.

That is so important. Even it the "contractuals" are sound you never want to depend on the contractuals. There are so many smaller behavioural things that can make this a pleasure or a pain.

Like having roommates...can be the greatest of times...or a complete nightmare...with no change to the lease.

In fact people of goodwill can overcome bad contracts (but don't count on it) but good contracts can't make working with assholes a pleasant experience.

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42 minutes ago, KC375 said:

That is so important. Even it the "contractuals" are sound you never want to depend on the contractuals. There are so many smaller behavioural things that can make this a pleasure or a pain.

Like having roommates...can be the greatest of times...or a complete nightmare...with no change to the lease.

In fact people of goodwill can overcome bad contracts (but don't count on it) but good contracts can't make working with assholes a pleasant experience.

I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding of common law, at least around here, is that contract terms can be both written and implied, and the behaviours and written terms can bleed together over time.

For example, if the terms on paper say one thing, but everybody ignores or fails to enforce one or more of them for a period of time, those terms may turn out to be unenforceable in a court of law.

That is, the courts might say "Nobody enforced this clause for the last ten years, and the actions of all parties implies acceptance of this practice, therefore this clause is no longer part of the de-facto agreement and therefore not enforceable now."

So it's important that the written contract terms are upheld and defended by all parties from the outset, so the culture and behaviours are in effect more important than the written contract.

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I think it’s a horrible decision. A Gunboat will eat huge amounts of time and money at the yard. There’ll be a lot of maintenance downtime...certainly more than expected. You’d need good full-time crew who are empowered to say “no” to the whims of the 10 owners. 

The only thing worse than one person who can’t afford their boat is 10 people who can’t afford their boat. 
 

Rent, rent, rent. There are several GBs that charter, and their chartering is a fig leaf to justify expensing ownership costs. Translated, that means there’s no need for profitability in the charter business model, so charter rates are well below the amortized cost for a week aboard. 

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21 minutes ago, soma said:

Rent, rent, rent. There are several GBs that charter, and their chartering is a fig leaf to justify expensing ownership costs. Translated, that means there’s no need for profitability in the charter business model, so charter rates are well below the amortized cost for a week aboard. 

Yeah that a great piece of advise.

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3 hours ago, soma said:

I think it’s a horrible decision. A Gunboat will eat huge amounts of time and money at the yard. There’ll be a lot of maintenance downtime...certainly more than expected.

Soma,

You are kind of the resident expert on this, but what is the annual maintenance on a GB 60 look like?  I figure $200k or so but would be curious to hear?  I know the hardware is big bucks and most get painted pretty regularly and maybe a sail or 2 every year....  but what does it add up to.  Is it substantially more than say a TS5 or Outremer 5x?

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…the brother here….  Apologies for delay, but it took a couple of days to be approved to join the forum.
So… the boat is a Lagoon ~40, with a few years left to run on its original 5 year syndicate.
The usual syndicate ownership period is five years and the boat is sold at end of period.  Sale price is then split ten ways and goes evenly to owners less a very small sale fee.
Initial buy in is some $$$’s, plus monthly fee.  
One share guarantees minimum 34 days usage per year, plus access to standby days if the boat is not booked.  Rules cover maximum weekend vs weekdays in both winter and summer to assure evenly shared usage.
Owners do not need to know one another, as all services are provided by the syndicate trustees.
Monthly fee covers marina berth, insurance, registration, cleaning, bed linen, tea towels, etc, crockery/pans/cutlery, assistance to get on/off marina if required (just call a mobile phone # while out on the water)
This boat is based in Sydney, Oz, but goes to the Whitsundays every second winter for 3 months, giving each owner up to one week of usage up north.
Boat can be used in Sydney waters or anywhere up/down coast that you can get to/from in 7-10 days.
There are rules covering all aspects of the usage, but wording is clear to minimise any confusion.
This firm currently has ~30 boats in syndicates and had to buy additional boats during covid dues to Australian border international travel restrictions… people who would normally have 1 or 2 overseas trips each year are having to holiday at home… hence usage has skyrocketed..
We have friends in a monohull sailboat syndicate with the same firm (trustees).  They are 3 years in and VERY happy with the service.  One has a legal background is very happy with the owners contract.
If I owned a Lagoon (which I could not afford new :-) ), I’d probably be lucky to get 50 days usage per year, then have all associated costs/upkeep, etc…
These boats get properly cleaned 2-4 times per week, every week, something that most boat owners would never consider.
Total cost of ownership for me will be very much under control and achievable.
Went for a 2hr test sail this week and it suits our needs very well.

Edited by Chaleyer
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41 minutes ago, Kenny Dumas said:

I did one a lot like that in Tortolla. Great experience for all. Most re-upped for a second five years. Make sure to understand your downside exposure if the market tanks. 

I hear that at least some of these syndicates do vote to extend at the five year mark, and are then just up for a bit of a boat refresh to carry them through another 3-4 years..... new sails and other similar worn hardware.

Glad to hear that your experience was good.

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On 2/12/2021 at 4:23 AM, soma said:

I think it’s a horrible decision. A Gunboat will eat huge amounts of time and money at the yard. There’ll be a lot of maintenance downtime...certainly more than expected. You’d need good full-time crew who are empowered to say “no” to the whims of the 10 owners. 

The only thing worse than one person who can’t afford their boat is 10 people who can’t afford their boat. 
 

Rent, rent, rent. There are several GBs that charter, and their chartering is a fig leaf to justify expensing ownership costs. Translated, that means there’s no need for profitability in the charter business model, so charter rates are well below the amortized cost for a week aboard. 

Mate can you a PM me a contact for a gunboat charter, I’d love to do that

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