Sharing is sparing (on costs)


There are lots of industry sceptics when it comes to yacht co-ownership. But brokerage, management and co-ownership specialists, Floating Life and SeaNet do not care. They are too busy dealing with prospective customers.

“Not only have we seen more enquiries about co-ownership over the past 18 months, but also requests for larger motor yachts over 40m and requests for different types of yachts, motor yachts, explorers or even large catamarans,” Raf Breuls, business development director, SeaNet tells Superyacht Investor (SYI).

Floating Life this week announced it is buying a new 137ft (42m) displacement yacht, Dream 42 from Italian shipyard Cerri Cantieri Navali (CCN). With building scheduled to start on Dream 42 in December 2022, the company has already sold four out of seven shares for the vessel.

“There is a lot of interest in fractional ownership, particularly from clients in the US and UK,” Manuel Maiano, manager of Yacht Sales, Floating Life tells SYI. “Risk is minimised. With Floating Life, you can pay as little as a one-seventh for the cost of ownership and the rest is handled by us as a management company.”

SeaNet is also planning orders. “We gather interest from various families and family offices and as soon as we have the constellation [of requirements] the owners are looking for, we go ahead and make an offer,” says Breuls. It has also approached current owners of pre-owned yachts and proposed fractional ownership as a way of sharing the costs and had existing owners come to them.

At the start of the year, owners are given a calendar that lists the vessel’s owners. “There is a calendar for each season that is pre-agreed before the start of the year,” says SeaNet’s Breuls. “We have a structure where there are four shares of the yacht, so each season is split into quarters. Each owner is guaranteed ownership onboard during each season.”

Floating Life has a similar strategy. “This eliminates disputes between owners about who gets to use the yacht in the summer season,” adds Maiano. Yachts typically winter in the Caribbean.

Owners can also make yachts available for charter. “They are owners in their own right,” says Maiano. “Chartering your yacht during that time is a great way of cutting your maintenance costs.”

Maiano says a huge appeal of fractional ownership is the genuine experience of owning a yacht. “When chartering, clients have to warm up to the crew for a few days before things feel comfortable,” he says. “When you own a vessel, from the moment you step on board, it’s your crew. It’s your captain and your chef.

“For fractional owners, it is far easier than solely owning a vessel because we also manage it. The owner doesn’t have to worry about maintenance, invoices, crew, or insurance,” he adds. “We have that all covered.”

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