Do you love the feeling of the smell of the sea enveloping you? Sun-kissed skin against the light breeze with splashes of water trickling down your face. If the answer is yes, well then, I’m guessing you are a sailing enthusiast who loves to take the occasional trip around the shore. Whether it is for a special occasion or just a moment to embrace the solace of the seas, cruising requires one thing: a boat. The nature and dynamics of sailing have changed over the years and nowadays one doesn’t need to own a boat to experience the joys of sailing. There are many alternatives to possessing a boat when it comes to being able to take pleasure in sailing. So don’t worry if you don’t have one, because the tips we have for you will help you sail in style and often without a boat.
1. Partial Ownership
The expenses of buying a boat and then maintaining it are exorbitant. Add on in-season storage and in-water docking costs and you’ll have yourself a hefty bill to deal with. Unless you have a lump sum of money lying around to invest in buying a boat, full ownership is probably not in your best interest. Partial or fractional ownership of boats is becoming a popular alternative to the sole proprietorship. Partial ownership cuts in half, thirds, or even quarters the costs of boat ownership. You can go about fractional ownership in two ways: informal sharing and contractual sharing.
In informal partial ownership, you draw up an unofficial agreement between the sharers, who are in most cases close friends or acquaintances that are all passionate about sailing. Such ownership requires a great deal of trust and coordination between the multiple owners. The key is to define the responsibilities and expectations of each owner beforehand. Who will handle maintenance for engines, boat prep, and repairs? Whose job is it to keep the boat clean and shiny? Who takes care of parking spots and seasonal storage? You’ll have to sort through all these questions before making any sort of agreement for partial boat ownership. There might be some disagreements when it comes to deciding who gets to use the boat when and how often. But if all is handled well, then sailing will become a much less expensive and much more enjoyable hobby for you.
If informal fractional ownership isn’t on the table for you, then you can always approach companies that provide the same services for a fee. In contractual partial ownership, the design of sharing remains the same, but the company helps you find partners and takes care of the logistics of maintenance. You along with the other partners still get to decide when each owner can use the boat. If you wish to sell your share of shares to other buyers, the company will assist you with that process.
2. Chartering Boats
Chartering a boat is a great way to revel in the benefits of owning a boat without incurring heavy charges. In chartering, you acquire a boat from a chartering company that will then lease it or rent it out to other people. If you live in a coastal city like Sydney, you’ll have plenty of chartering companies to reach out to. If you’re looking for a boat hire Sydney locals rely on, then look for a credible company online that will help you make the right choice. Along with covering maintenance costs, charter companies will give you a share of the profit they make by chartering out your boat in exchange for your partial access. This means that you won’t be able to use your boat whenever you want. Your boat will be commissioned for most of the chartering duration, but you’ll still be able to sail it a decent number of times. Some companies also let you use your allotted time to sail another boat leased by the company instead of your own at no cost. But do remember that when the contract ends, you might still be indebted to the boat you bought from them. So, strategize appropriately and see if chartering is the best approach for you.
3. Renting Services
The renting system, also known as the peer-to-peer system, works similarly to chartering. But instead of a company leasing your boat for most of the contract period, here you choose when to rent out your boat for the general public to use. The renting company helps you find renters and takes a cut of the profit made. It’s a win-win situation for both the boat owner and the renter. The boat owner is able to subsidize costs and renters are able to access boats at reasonable prices. You can lease a boat on both a short and long-term basis.
4. Sailing Programs and Clubs
If you want the whole experience of owning a boat without actually owning one, then joining a boat club or program is the perfect option for you. Sailing clubs are great because they let you experience being part of a sailing community. Most clubs have various subscription options like monthly, quarterly, or yearly plans. To participate, you need to meet certain educational requirements, but the great thing is that these clubs often provide training and other opportunities for beginners. You can sail a boat of your choosing anytime, anywhere, and with anyone you desire. The boats provided are relatively new and well-functioning. And all of this at an affordable price! Clubs are tailored to meet the needs of different communities of sailors so there’s a wide variety to choose from. You get to share your love for sailing with a larger group and that itself makes the experience much more worthwhile.