Why shared ownership really does add up - Welcome to the October 2019 issue of Yachting Monthly, on sale 10 October

Cruising sailors are a fiercely independent lot on the whole. Setting sail is our chance to get away from the strictures of shoreside bureaucracy and the demands of anyone but the sea itself. So how does the idea of sharing your boat strike you?

I’ve always dreamed of owning my own boat. I’m not quite sure why, but even sailing my parents’ boat didn’t quite hit the spot. Being solely responsible for my vessel and free to tinker as I wish is an oddly satisfying sensation now that there’s a boat registered in my name. Questions of whether I’m using the boat enough to justify the cost, or keeping up with the maintenance do crop up, however. While I love the boat being mine, the idea of splitting the maintenance and the costs is attractive. Equally, if I wanted more boat, I could buy a share in something larger, newer and significantly fancier for not a penny more.

Syndicates are as old as seafaring itself when it comes to owning a boat, but there’s something of the current zeitgeist for sharing and subscribing that has sparked new shared ownership ideas into life, driven by internet platforms and innovative minds.

Dozens of new ways of sharing, borrowing or renting your way onto the water are springing up all the time. Whether you buy a boat and let a charter company use it for a finite period, split the order of a brand new catamaran between four owners and leave the management to a company, or just go halves with the mate you normally sail with, it seems now is the time to give shared ownership a go.

Have a look at our in-depth analysis of all the options, perks and pitfalls, even boats to consider  on p44 onwards, and let us know what you think.