Getting into boating

The Motor Boats Monthly guide to buying your first boat - plus berthing, budgeting and other essential information

What are the options?

Ownership
Yearly boat running costs ÷ boat use = true boating value. This is a sum that most boatowners only do when they are buying or selling a boat but these days there are many alternatives to outright purchase.  

Boat membership
Similar to a gym membership, you pay a joining fee then a fixed monthly sum to use a boat. The current trend is to offer six or seven memberships per boat and one owner member. This equates to about seven slots of usage per member a month consisting of times at a weekend, week and evening booked ahead using an online calendar.

Terms differ but RIBs cost about £300 per month, a 30ft sportscruiser will set you back about £750 per mouth and £1000 per month for a 40ft cruiser. All you pay for is fuel, so if you only want occasional use this could be for you.

Boat share
Fractional or syndicate ownership divides the cost of purchase, ownership and maintenance between part owners. The system makes arranging whole weekends or weeks away a lot easier and is usually managed by an online calendar.

Charter
Chartering is a very simple option but quite often proof of competence is required.

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