Friday, February 27, 2009

Fractionals, an interesting concept in Yachts!

Here is a recent article submitted for publishing:

Just about any tangible asset has the possibility of being held in a partneship or LLC for the purposes of rights to usage, offering the opportunity to distribute the total cost of ownership via the shareholders.
Fractionalizing a Multi-Hull is one of those assets that works. In that a growing number of individuals do not have the time or resources to maintain a yacht independantly, sharing makes perfect sense.
Let’s, first, define, the fractional alternative. We all look forward to the opportunity to go sailing, dropping the hook in that perfect anchorage, enjoying the sea and sand with good friends and family. One can do this by owning a yacht, chartering a yacht, possibly club membership in a yacht group, or in this case owning a share with other shareholders for that same opportunity. A fractional allows for pride of ownership, with the initial capital cost/operational costs of ownership defrayed by the percentage of ownership that one has in any yacht, but, know up front what you are getting into.
Why this alternative? There will always be that group of yachtsmen who will own yachts privately and commercially for their own personal/corporate satisfaction. I applaud them and look forward to working with those individuals in finding the right yacht to meet their specific needs!! What we are finding though, is that the cost of ownership continues to spiral as marina properties turn toward real estate developers, insurance costs continue to increase in attempts to cover losses due to over active hurricane seasons and potential owners find that they have less and less time available to manage the requirements of yacht ownership and still have the time for owner usage.

This is not a new concept. I have watched a number of attempts come and go over the years and here is a few comments you might be interested in knowing. Jet fractionals are much easier in that really one is buying space to meet the objective of getting from one place to another where conventional airlines just do not meet the needs or at least not within the parameters of the fractional owners. Typically, in yachts, the offerings are too difficult to narrow to meet any one group of owners interests, multiple manufactures, multiple lay-outs, equipment options and location of operation. This has made the execution of completed fractionals a bit challenging. Here is a few tips.
Involve those you know with common interests, it is far easier to work with a group of people or shareholders that you already know or come from an area of common interests. Family, work, the community and club affiliations are great places to establish the basis of shareholders who will work together in a partnership. This is not absolutely necessary in that there are many others who have the common interest of sailing and yacht ownership, even if you can bring another party or two that you know to the “party” it does make it a bit more simple to put the packages together. Location, Location, Location, choosing the base of operation a clearly great place that offers qualified services, and a great itinerary for sailing/usage is a key to success.
There are a few key points that need to be reviewed as you consider the different offerings:

1. COSTS Generally each fractional program consists of Capital Cost, monthly maintenance and management as well as potential variable costs typically related to usage, i.e. fuel, transient dockage, provisioning, possibly the Captain depending on the yacht and size. Ownership is generally in shares of an LLC and usually has an end of term date where the vessel is sold and residual returns are distributed back to the shareholders. Each program identifies the number of shares per the LLC agreement, this can vary from typically (4) to as many as (10) based on yacht size.
Lets use the Lagoon 500...So, lets do an example of costs, given a Lagoon 500 where the complete price delivered say to the Caribbean complete with dinghy/outboard and the linens in place currently will cost approximately 1,100,000 USD. A 1/5th share equals 220,000 USD. The operating costs are as follows:


Fixed Monthly Expenses annualized:
Management Fee $18,000
Dockage: $11,400
Dock Water $288
Dock Electricity $1,800
Annual Expenses:
Parts & Maintenance$38,582

Annual Expenses:

Haul & Bottom Job and Hull Wax$3,750
Insurance $24,252
Licenses and Permits Fixed $900
Total Operating Expenses, $98,972

Fractional Cost per Share holders 1/5th Ownership Annualized$19,794.40

Please be aware that there are normally usage turnaround fees attached to your usage.

Where the shareholders elect a limited charter option, each shareholder will have the opportunity to place weeks of usage into the LLC's charter pool of weeks. This can range as each sees fit relative to their intended usage from one year to the next. Depending on the number of weeks chartered each shareholder shall be credited back against their account by the percentage of weeks chartered.

The charter option could generate as sufficient return annually to cover the annual operating expenses. Of course this is completely a function as to your usage of allocated weeks available to you and what you have committed to the charter pool.

2. USAGE This will vary depending on the number of shares, downtime for maintenance and delivery time if to be operated out of multiple locations, usually established in the offerings. Usage in some arrangements may be sold for income where a charter opportunity exists within the program.

3. LOCATIONS Typically pre-defined for booking purposes by the owners.

4. YACHT TYPE Typically new yachts, though there are the possibilities of a used yacht where there is an agreed upon Fractional opportunity to present.. There is a wide spectrum of choices from luxury yachts as mentioned via the Lagoon 500 to a great opportunity in a Performance Cruising Gemini 105 for as little as 40,000 USD as an initial capital cost and 500 USD per month as an operating expense, given 1/5th ownership, plus turn-around fees located in great locations such as the Chesapeake or the Florida Keys.

These are the basics. Each offering needs to be considered in detail in that very few are operated in the same fashion. There are potential finance options, there is the potential of tax advantages. Each must be taken into consideration separately and legal and tax advise is recommended in any case prior to proceeding to any purchase. Be sure that agreements include clauses as to terminations and re-sells as well as how an owners default is handled within the Partnership or LLC. End of term agreements as to extensions and how the asset will be liquidated just adds to the comfort level of knowing what happens from the beginning to the end. In that the trick is to fill a complete yacht by the parameters of the offering, most offerings are presented without an ordered or pre-purchased yacht, therefore refundable deposits, time dated are often taken be sure that these terms are understood and what the requirements are once a complete group of shareholders have been assembled.

Fractional Yacht Ownership is a very valid alternative to conventional yacht ownership. Having the right team on your side to put together the packages that will create a positive experience is paramount.
As Always, you can find me most anytime at

Monday, February 23, 2009

Built in America!! An interesting Story..Gemini Catamarans for Sale!

In 1977, I purchased an Alberg 35 lying Washington DC, had this fine vessel delivered to Annapolis, Maryland and had her put on the hard at Jabins Yacht Yard on Back Creek. With bills to be paid I would do business with Bert in a trailer at his original yard a little piece of turf just up the creek from now the the Jabins Yard This vessel was packed and shipped to The Great Lakes, Lake Erie and was enjoyed for a number of years sailing and enjoying a short but wonderful sailing season on the Lakes..

In 1982, this vessel was prepared for a trip heading through the Lakes, the 1000 Islands, through the Erie Barge Canal, down the Hudson and out into the Ocean heading to the warm sunny South!! The intention was to end up in Annapolis to meet with friends for the fall show and while in the anchorage off of Back Creek ran into a lovely French guy, Patrick and his family enjoying the cruising life. All went our way, after a year or so, enjoying the cruising , and bit too early to retire (being in the early 30's) this crew and yacht headed back to Annapolis...

Anchored again in Back Creek, the news of a huge catamaran being built in a shed up on Back Creek headed through the yachties of Annapolis.. It was Patrick! And in Jabins old yard.. This was a custom composite and large for anyone thinking of yachts in the 80's. With a bit of work Patrick launched and sailed this lovely yacht out of town and off to the Caribbean. I was fortunate to see this craft with out a stick head out the creek and was awed by her size and presence. Probably about 1983.84..

Bert sold this property to Tony Smith. and Tony took this piece of land and turned it once again, into another multi-hull experience via the Gemini and Performance Cruising

Pride, when all said and done Built in America and in a place that has a multi-hull history.. I would be happy to find Patrick, his where abouts and his family.

As always you can find me most any time at

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 2009 News From Lagoon!

The Lagoon 620 will be a wonderful addition to the upper end of the Lagoon Line!

Nick Harvey of Lagoon America reports:

The Lagoon 620 received her deck last Monday, February 16, in Bordeaux. Of
course, we were on site to see this impressive operation!
The 3.1 ton coachroof and the 4 ton deck, fitted perfectly on the hull. All
were impressed by the astounding living space with a flybridge of 153sq
foot flybridge and 234 sq ft salon!
The Lagoon 400 had her deck fitted today Friday, February 20, at the
Belleville sur Vie factory in Vendée.
Plumbing and electrics are already in place on both boats, as well as the
bulkheads and furniture, which already gives a good idea of the volume and
comfort of both boats.
First boats are planned to be in the water in April (Lagoon 400) and June
(Lagoon 620).

And Miami Show results:

The Miami Boat Show ended last Monday night and here are a few numbers and
- 4 New Lagoon catamarans were exhibited in the water
- 10 Dealers participated (Ontario, Connecticut, Maryland, Florida,
Texas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Colombia)
- All dealers present saw some good level of visitors from their
respective areas
- 3 New scale models were unveiled during the show: L400, L421 and L620
- Good press feedback on the new models
- 1 Press Sea trial took place with Southern Boating Magazine on a Lagoon
-Confirmed Lagoon 400 sales during the show

- Lagoon had the biggest and nicest booth of all catamarans
- 24 new catamarans were exhibited + approx 10 brokerage boats: A
good turn out from other cat builders:
- Cruising catamarans represented more than half of the show floorplan
- 31 Lagoon owners came to register in the owner's club and collect
their gift

As always you can find me most anytime via

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Miami Show 2009 Summary

This year one could clearly tell that Catamarans have made their statement in the choices offered to today's yachtsmen! Close to 50% of the the show was dominated by Sailing Catamarans.

I do want to take a moment to thank all of those who did stop by the show this year, and hope that all who attended enjoyed the show.

The Lagoon/Catamaran Company display covered an entire dock at the show with the Lagoon line to include the 500,440,420 and 380 all available to view as well as a wide selection of previously owned Yachts. Lagoon further had some great models of up-coming releases to include the new 400, due to splash this summer in Europe and on display this fall at the Annapolis Show. Followed by the up-dating of the 420 to the new 421, with a new hull design as well as a re-configuration of the hard top. Finally the 620, again a yacht in it's final phases of completion in Bordeaux and available to be viewed here stateside at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show this fall.

Builders from around the world were there showing new models and current thoughts in design. Of note, on the larger side included both SUNREEF and MATRIX having absolutely the most well appointed yachts for either private and or charter applications. If you happen to have further interest in these lovely luxury Catamarans please do let me know as we do represent both of the builders. On the other side of size, Performance Cruising had the GEMINI and TELSTAR Trimaran both landmarks in small multi-hull sailing and we are proud to announce that we can now offer these fine yachts to our customers going forward.

For those interested in our FRACTIONAL offerings, I do have to say that at this show I did find that I continue to find sincere interest and have a growing number of individuals who are looking to proceed forward given select makes and models with a strong interest in not just our BVI location but the addition of a Florida based opportunity. If you are considering owning a share please do let me know and I will up-date as to the specifics.

In conclusion, the attendance was up, the weather was great and a good time was had by all. We do have some inventory available in both new and used, as well as a select number of brokerage yachts here in Fort Lauderdale so please do inquire as to availability. If you did not make the show and have plans to be in the area please let me know and we can arrange an appointment to view these great offerings. The prices are right and there is no better time than NOW to get a great deal on a great Cat!
As always, you can find me at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Where Abouts of "Lazzarone"

I sold "Lazzarone", a Lagoon 440 a year or so ago to a great couple, Steve and Susan. I ran across them recently at the Miami Show and they were happy that I might want to post a bit of their story and thought all might find it fun and interesting.

Steve contacted me a while back and was ready to buy his "Dream" Catamaran and go sailing!! He also had the idea that given the right boat that he and Susan might take the opportunity to make some money for fun and profit offering her up for charter. It turns out that from past yachting adventures Steve and Susan had years of experience enjoying the Bahamas making for an opportunity for them to take folks sailing and sharing some of their experiences with others. After a bit of a search we found "Lazzarone" available at the right price located in all places Panama. Steve being an adventurist agreed that this just might be the right boat and off to Panama we went. Great Experience! Nice place, and can recommend Shelter Bay Marina for any one considering a stop before the canal on the Caribbean side.

Steve and Susan bought this fine yacht and have since brought her back to the states having a great time living aboard, sailing and day and weekend chartering her out of West Palm Beach. Seeing that they were so willing to accept the post I thought I would give them a plug. Both are characters, but if you wish a great trip sailing or are considering a Cat and want to get a feel for the concept please feel free to contact them at
For me? You can always find me at Have a great day and if you have interest in other subjects to post please do let me know!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Catamaran Friendly Boat Yards

Anyone who owns or is considering the ownership of a Catamaran has to take into consideration the concept of width. Being a bit wider than mono-hulls, knowing where to dock and where to service such a craft becomes and important issue. In this post I would like to identify a few choices here in Florida as to service yards that do have the capacity and interest in Catamarans and would like to think that those interested in commenting could bring other choices to the table. Folks in the business that would like to post their facility and or comment are more than welcome!

Here are few facilities that I am familar with that I can recommend, Lauderdale Marine Center is our local facility and is quite capable of handling Cats over 30' wide. There is very capable service specialists at the facility to handle just about anything one might need. They can be found at The downside is this is a mega-yacht facility in a mega priced town where one does have to deal with the New River to get there. Lots of bridges on a very busy river.

Another facility that I have been aware of and recently visited is St. Augustine Marine. This facility has always had a great rail that has the capacity to haul larger Catamarans. The ownership has plans to increase their capacity to over 30' with a new well and lift. Great place great people and easy to get to from the ocean.

Finally, I love this place and the people, definitely Catamaran friendly with a rail that can haul up to 40'. I have sent customers to this facility a number of times. Little off the path in South West Florida, but worth a visit if you are in the area. The "Ragged Ass Saloon is across the street.
You can find them via Each of these Facilities offer a different experience where all of the services are professional and worth consideration. If you have a favorite place to recommend in your area, and remember this has global readership please feel free to comment!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Miami Boat Show 2009

For those attending I would be happy to discuss your yachting interests, need any assistance while in the area, let me know. I will be on the Lagoon 380 Strictly Sail Bayside Center Lagoon/CATCO Display. Lats and Atts party is Saturday Nite! Show Dates February 12th-16th.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yacht Surveyor's

If you own a yacht and or are considering the purchase of a yacht you are going to have to deal with getting her surveyed. Even for those who think they can handle it themselves, you will find that you will be hard pressed to arrange financing as well as insurance without a survey by an accredited surveyor. Most of these guys and gals are truly conditional hull and systems surveyors they are not schooled in motors and other speciality systems that more and more yachts have on board. As well as, though required, they generally are not strong as value appraisers. You can find real estate appraisers, for that purpose, but not as a licensed function relative to yachts.

There are two professional societies one and the other is Your broker or local knowledge generally will have references but please do remember you are hiring this party to provide you with a third party opinion that you will have to live with going forward so researching the possibilities of choices is worth your time.

I invite comments, experiences and the trade!! I am always happy to throw in my ideas!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yacht Delivery,, Having another Party move your Treasure!

There often can be that time where while purchasing or owning a yacht that you will consider or have had a yacht transported from point A to point B. With a catamaran that generally means hiring a crew and having her sailed to a destination or having her transported as cargo via commercial shipping. I have been there and done that, along with many of my customers and Yachties from around the world. This post is for a place to open this topic and hope that if you have an interesting story or questions realtive to the subject that you might pariticipate. I am always willing to add my thoughts!

Please feel free to comments, questions, experiences? maybe a post from a skipper himself?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Yacht on Land!!

As mentioned my pet project: Not a catamaran, but would enjoy discussing things like commumications, finally found a cell phone booster and have the blackberry working now I sure would like to see if I can run a laptop... Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I have established this blog with the intent of offering a place to discuss catamarans, yachting, and just about anything related to the subject. I have a pet project as an example via a cabin that is always under construction and prefered to stay off grid, a land yacht... Always interested in ideas and products related to off grid systems often the same as on a yacht.. Hopefully this will get us all started!