Ocean  B
I'm thinking of getting into a partnership and trying to get my ducks in a row. Looking for some sample rules and wording for a boat sharing agreement. We will have 4 to as many as 6 people and are looking at a small power boat.
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John D
Are you thinking of creating a formal legal partnership (corporation) that would own the boat or more like sharing time on a boat that one or all of your own - e.g., there would be no formal/legal partnership or company, just a group who are sharing costs and use equally?
Ocean  B
I'm pretty new to the concept so bear with me - We are really just a group of guys trying to get a boat partnership going. I'm not sure if we should set up a formal partnership/company or just get a good solid agreement in place that protects all of us and sets some expectations.
John D
As I'm not here providing legal advice, I'm going to try to approach this from the standpoint of just trying to provide some useful guidance not definitive answers. However, based on what you've said, my suggestion would be to set up some kind of syndicate agreement between you and your friends.

A syndicate agreement can be tailored pretty much to your needs - formal, informal, what have you. They are really guidelines as to how you want to share responsibilities - legal, financial, etc when engaging in a joint purchase or joint enterprise and are a good way to form a simple, effective and easily understandable agreement to structure a relationship.

As I said, I'm not here providing legal advice and would strongly encourage you to run your final draft by an attorney, however here are some things to think about in forming such an agreement:

- How much money will each person contribute to the down payment or outright purchase?

- What will each person's ongoing contribution be for future costs (upkeep, repairs, dock fees, gas, insurance, equipment, etc) Ongoing costs can sometimes mount up and become painful, so getting the shares down on paper in the beginning is important to avoid surprises.

- Will the boat be in a single persons name or everyone's name? If one of the partners has less than stellar credit, it might make more sense to leave him off the title, but include him in the agreement.

- What happens if one of you wants out? Would that person get back any of their down payment or other money they have contributed? If they do get some of their money back, perhaps based on their percentage paid in, would it be based on the current value of the boat, or based on what they actually paid in?

- If you ultimately sell the boat, how will you divide the proceeds or, if the mortgage is underwater, how will you make up the difference?

- Who's going to be the manager/captain? There always seems to be one person who takes on the management role (purchasing supplies, doing or managing the upkeep, arraigning payment for dock, insurance, etc - but this role may get old after a bit. Figure out who this person is going to be initially and perhaps think about rotating the role between the partners.

- What happens is someone isn't holding up their end (e.g. they aren't or can't pay their share, are not taking care of the boat, etc)? Do
they get thrown out? How does the work from a legal standpoint? Majority, super majority? With 4 to 6 people, the possible of having at least one who doesn't hold up his end is at least possible if not likely. So figuring this out how to get rid of a bad apple in the beginning will be important.

- Determining how you will all share time on the boat is important as well - does each person have a set time or times when they can use the boat? I would obviously suggest using Nautical Monkey as your scheduling platform - but as long as you have a solid calendar which allows you to share time fairly and equally you should be fine.
John D
Also see the recent post in boat sharing - What type of entity should I use for my boat share?  for some good info about choosing an entity.
jim S
Originally Posted by: Ocean B 

I'm thinking of getting into a partnership and trying to get my ducks in a row. large pots for fruit trees  Looking for some sample rules and wording for a boat sharing agreement. We will have 4 to as many as 6 people and are looking at a small power boat.

Anyone who has shared, or thought of sharing, a boat has had to face the question of how much to charge partners. In a shared ownership or syndicate scenario the question gets a little easier, i.e., split all costs according to percentage of ownership for each owner. When you want maintain ownership but share your boat with other people however, the question is a bit more complex.

John D
There are two sample agreements on the Nautical Monkey site - once you log in, they are on the upper right.

You might also take a look at this blog post - it discusses some of the issues you should consider when entering into a boat sharing partnership.