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Fractional Sailboat Membership
Old 04-29-2021, 09:54 PM   #1
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Fractional Sailboat Membership

Does anyone have experience with being a member of a fractional sailboat program? We are looking at one that allows us to pay a flat monthly fee with a one year commitment to have scheduled access to a sailboat.

The program guarantees 3.5 days per month, consisting of one weekend and several weekdays. You can book up to a year in advance. The program also allows you to book unlimited access to the boat if you schedule within 36 hours and there is an open slot. From what we can see the boats are almost never used on weekdays because most of the members still work. We donít care that much about weekend access since we are both retired.

Prices start at $895/month for a 30 foot Beneteau and go up to $2,395 per month for a 51 foot Beneteau. They allow you to join with one other couple and split the costs and we do have one set of friends who are interest in joining with us.

Is this a good way for us to give sailing a try and see how much we like it? We can cancel after one year if we decide itís not for us. DH is an experienced sailor. I just sit in the back and enjoy the view.

Here is a link to the program:

https://www.sailtimenewportbeach.com/
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:56 PM   #2
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It's the same as a time share as far as I'm concerned.

No way I'd get into such a deal. I'm a firm believer in paying cash for my toys--like our fifth wheel rv, 24' tritoon and Waverunner.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:38 PM   #3
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Does anyone have experience with being a member of a fractional sailboat program? We are looking at one that allows us to pay a flat monthly fee with a one year commitment to have scheduled access to a sailboat.

The program guarantees 3.5 days per month, consisting of one weekend and several weekdays. You can book up to a year in advance. The program also allows you to book unlimited access to the boat if you schedule within 36 hours and there is an open slot. From what we can see the boats are almost never used on weekdays because most of the members still work. We donít care that much about weekend access since we are both retired.

Prices start at $895/month for a 30 foot Beneteau and go up to $2,395 per month for a 51 foot Beneteau. They allow you to join with one other couple and split the costs and we do have one set of friends who are interest in joining with us.

Is this a good way for us to give sailing a try and see how much we like it? We can cancel after one year if we decide itís not for us. DH is an experienced sailor. I just sit in the back and enjoy the view.

Here is a link to the program:

https://www.sailtimenewportbeach.com/
Looks pretty interesting. $895 is a decent price to get a boat available in convenient moorage.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:03 PM   #4
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It's the same as a time share as far as I'm concerned.
.
That would be my concern, but from the site, it seems more like a car lease:

"An important consideration is that fractional sailing is not ďtimeshareĒ for boats. While sharing a nice asset is similar, three key differentiators are: (1.) SailTime does not require a major upfront equity investment, (2.) members do not have to pay per usage fees or assessments, and (3.) members do not have to worry about selling their share when they wish to exit the program. At the end of the lease, SailTime members can just walk away or renew; it is their choice."

So as long as the paperwork is like a lease that ends, I think it's a great way to try out sailing.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:08 PM   #5
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It's basically making use of privately owned boats, that are shared with Sailtime members.
Gives the boat owner some income, as the money is split 50/50 with SailTime.

I'd wonder about the quality/age/condition of the boats.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:30 PM   #6
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Looks to be a uniform fleet of late model beneataus. Same boats = ease of operation, whichever one is available.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:32 AM   #7
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Compared to sole ownership of a boat it’s not a bad program. But $10,740 to $28,740 is a lot of money 4 days per month “to give sailing a try and see how much we like it.” You’re only getting 1 weekend day and 3 week days per month, the rest is night blocks.

Unless your husband is ASA 101, 103 & 104 certified already, you will have some training expenses according to Sailing Lessons What to Expect.

And maybe I’m not reading it right but you don’t necessarily get much choice of days if you’re competing with 2 owners and 6 members for each boat - their typical example. The owners get 1 full week per month each and the 6 members are vying for the other day and night blocks. You say the boats sit idle a lot on weekdays, that seems hard to believe owners and members are paying that much and not using the boat. If I was a paying member I’d at least schedule all my time even if I didn’t use it after all so I’d be blocking other members on good days. Will they show you the actual schedule for the boat so you can see what access really looks like?

I don’t know what the wind is like in Newport Beach, but if there’s no wind, too much wind, or storms on your scheduled days - I assume that’s too bad? You’re guaranteed blocks, but not guaranteed good weather with it. Weather is a big part of sailing, you can’t schedule good sailing days, ask any sailor.

There are MUCH cheaper ways to find out if you like sailing. The management company is taking a nice profit…
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:53 AM   #8
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I suggest looking into bare boat charters.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:09 AM   #9
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Compared to sole ownership of a boat itís not a bad program. But $10,740 to $28,740 is a lot of money 4 days per month ďto give sailing a try and see how much we like it.Ē Youíre only getting 1 weekend day and 3 week days per month, the rest is night blocks.
Well, Ready also said that they can also go on any unbooked days if they're still unbooked 36 hours or less beforehand, and most weekdays are unbooked (although that could change), so to my untrained, un-nautical eye this seems like a good test run, especially if you can do it for just a few months at a time. Like people say about renting an RV before buying. I wonder what the minimum lease is, although even a year's worth might be a good test run rather than buying, as it sounds like it's a full year at time, Ready? You can probably rent one for a week or two to start, if the year feels like a big commitment, although as I implied I know nothing about boats.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:19 AM   #10
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Well, Ready also said that they can also go on any unbooked days if they're still unbooked 36 hours or less beforehand, and most weekdays are unbooked (although that could change), so to my untrained, un-nautical eye this seems like a good test run, especially if you can do it for just a few months at a time. Like people say about renting an RV before buying. I wonder what the minimum lease is, although even a year's worth might be a good test run rather than buying, as it sounds like it's a full year at time, Ready? You can probably rent one for a week or two to start, if the year feels like a big commitment, although as I implied I know nothing about boats.
Only if owners and members aren’t using the time they paid for, that’s why I asked if the management would let them see an actual schedule. Disregarding night blocks, with 2 owners x 7 days and 6 members x 4 days - that’s 45 days per month, so oversold and you’re forced to use some night blocks to get your full time? You’re assuming owners and members leave lots of time unused after paying $10-28K per year. And some days will be lost to weather in most locations, I don’t know Newport Beach, always good wind? If I was a member, I’d book all my time every month whether I could use it or not. Just because the boat is sitting there doesn’t mean it isn’t scheduled to someone? There are way cheaper ways to find out if you like sailing…

If this accurate, I wouldn’t want to sail there most days, must be a lot of light air days.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:33 AM   #11
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Only if owners and members arenít using the time they paid for, thatís why I asked if the management would let them see an actual schedule. Disregarding night blocks, with 2 owners x 7 days and 6 members x 4 days - thatís 45 days per month, so oversold and youíre forced to use some night blocks to get your full time? Youíre assuming owners and members leave lots of time unused after paying $10-28K per year. And some days will be lost to weather in most locations, I donít know Newport Beach, always good wind? If I was a member, Iíd book all my time every month whether I could use it or not. Just because the boat is sitting there doesnít mean it isnít scheduled to someone? There are way cheaper ways to find out if you like sailingÖ
Good points Midpack. We will definitely look at the calendar to see how booked up it is. Winds in Newport Beach are generally around 12-14mph in the afternoons.

The commitment is for a full year. After one year we can walk if we donít like it. We just recently joined a yacht club in a slightly further location where we commit to paying a minimum of $20/month for membership privileges. A small 22 foot sailboat is $75 for four hours or $100 for a full day. Larger boats go for $200-$400 per day for 30-40 foot boats. So if we use the boats around 4 days per month it becomes cheaper to use the fractional program. And the boats in the fractional program are nicer and only a couple of years old. The yacht club boats are older and not as well equipped.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:53 AM   #12
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You can rent the boats and if you really do end up using them 4 days a month then switch to the other with a one year commitment.

Seems like that is a good way to try out and see what your usage is likely to be.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:18 AM   #13
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You can rent the boats and if you really do end up using them 4 days a month then switch to the other with a one year commitment.

Seems like that is a good way to try out and see what your usage is likely to be.
Yes, that is what we are currently doing and will probably do for at least a few more months before we make a decision. My only concern is if we are going to switch to the fractional program I want to have it available for the summer season. While you can sail year round here, it gets pretty cold in the winter months so we likely will not be sailing most of the winter season.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:25 AM   #14
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Boat.... a hole in the water you try to fill in with money....
I do love sailing... and cant wait to get ours fixed up and back in the water...
We have had 5 different sailboats over the years, largest was a 25ft Roberts with an inboard diesel... dont believe we had $5K tied up in all of them...
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:30 AM   #15
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We had a lovely older 26ft C&C sailboat that we pretty much only paid $4000 for, enjoyed for years, and eventually sold for about the same amount. It was in a slip at a marina, so always ready to go.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:23 AM   #16
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OP, I like the program. I've sailed on older boats and the idea of a fresh well kept boat at my disposal sounds nice. The short reservations being free just sealed the deal iMO.
You could really be marina bums for a year. Either you'll go all-in after that, or look back fondly and say "been there, done that".
I vote go for it, with your money.
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:54 AM   #17
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OP, I like the program. I've sailed on older boats and the idea of a fresh well kept boat at my disposal sounds nice. The short reservations being free just sealed the deal iMO.
You could really be marina bums for a year. Either you'll go all-in after that, or look back fondly and say "been there, done that".
I vote go for it, with your money.
+1

One of the joys of FI is being able to spend "seed" money to see if you like something before making a bigger commitment. If you decide to go beyond it, great. If you choose not to, you can walk away, you still have the experience, and being FI you really will not miss the money.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:02 PM   #18
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Lifetime, 5th generation sailor here.

I think the idea is a good one if you're not really, really committed to sailing/boating. We have two acquaintances who do this and they swear by it.

For us, we spend about 4 days a week on the boat all summer either sailing or just lounging (a lot of lounging lately) so the limited availability doesn't work; we also entertain a lot on the boat which sometimes includes an overnight.

Personally, I also don't like the idea of taking 'someone else's boat' out; makes me a bit overly cautious which would spoil the day but that's just me. We also like the idea of leaving our 'stuff' (booze, bathing suits, food, extra clothes) on board without having to lug it on/off at day's end.

What have you got to lose? Try it for the year and see.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:41 PM   #19
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One of the things about renting that is a sure problem, is when the weather is good the boat will be booked solid. At least with this fractional situation you'll have a couple times a year we'll have the boat on a beautiful day. Then there are those times when you are Marina bums, someone cancels, and you head out for an epic adventure for free.
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:05 AM   #20
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I think the program itself sounds decent. From your posts, it sounds as though youíre already familiar with sailing in So CA?

DH and I got ASA certified in the British Virgin Islands years ago. When we came home to So CA, we considered a similar program but decided against it. I grew up sailing on the Gulf of Mexico and to me, sailing is about wearing a bathing suit, sunning, and being out on the water, maybe even jumping in from time to time. Even in the summertime in So CA, the ocean breeze is pretty chilly so when weíve been out sailing here, itís in jeans and sweaters. Just not the same. Now we save our sailing for trips to the islands and hire a crew since we donít do it often enough to be really good at it.
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