Three Yorkshiremen, Ian Chapman, Tom Harrison and Geoff Sumner had never heard of each other until autumn 2007, but six months later, they bought a Fairline Targa 40 together for £155,000.
The boat, called Agua Con Gas, was built in 2002 and originally sold for about £380,000. It is packed with extras and will be moored permanently in Santa Ponsa, Mallorca.
The three men met through yours2share, a website that brings together people who want to share any valuable asset. Both Tom and Ian placed ads: Geoff replied to Ian’s ad and then Ian replied to Tom’s ad. A convenient motorway service station was the venue for their first meeting: they got on well, found that their requirements were compatible and thought the idea worth pursuing.
Several meetings later at the end of March 2008, all three men and their wives travelled to Mallorca, to see a boat that Ian had found. Ian owns a house in Mallorca and knew people at the marina. This made it easier for them to find the right boat and a good company to maintain it.
The boat was bought with all three names on the title documents and an agreement to sell the boat in three years – unless they all agree to continue ownership. Time is allocated on a rotating “every third week” basis and then weeks are swapped as required. As a result, they’ve already agreed a timetable for several months ahead that suits them all perfectly. The boat will be maintained by a local company, but they will each clean the boat at the end of their stay. Alternatively each can pay one of the many local companies to clean it for them. All these decisions are laid down formally in a contract between the three men.
Ian: “I’ve owned boats before, but not a boat share; in fact I’ve never shared anything before. If it wasn’t for my wife and for yours2share, this wouldn’t have happened. My wife loves surfing the web, found the yours2share website and persuaded me to place an ad. I had enough replies to set up several boat shares, but Tom and Geoff were the best fit.”
Ian: “Everything hinges on finding like-minded partners. You are not looking for a best friend, just someone that has a compatible requirement and that you trust.”
Ian: “The cost of running a boat is so high that even people who can afford it think twice about justifying it, particularly if, like us, they don’t want to charter their boat. I think many people would consider sharing if only they knew it could work for them. I believe yours2share will really take off.
Tom: “yours2share has saved me a considerable amount of money. I looked at the options with various fractional ownership operators or buying outright and these would not have given me nearly such a large share or such a high quality boat for this level of investment.”
Geoff: “The key for me is that we all get on so well and intend to stay in touch. We’ll have a log on the boat to record where we’ve been and what we’ve done, with recommendations and views, and notes about anything that has happened to the boat. Then we all know exactly what the boat has experienced.”
Ian: “Our boat was purchased through Leisure Marine at Club Nautico in Santa Ponsa. Janet Cain of Leisure Marine was really helpful with both the purchase of the boat and in particular, in finding a berth for the boat.