Shimmering Steel private boat share syndicate on the River Thames

Private boat share syndicate on the River Thames

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Each owner has title to a 12.5% share of Shimmering Steel and becomes a member of the management syndicate. Shimmering Steel was originally managed by a commercial boat share company, but has been managed privately by the eight owners since 2008. This works very well, and represents a significant cost saving by avoiding unnecessary fees of over £3000 each year.

Regular maintenance is contracted out to a marine engineer based near the marina. Other work is carried out either by the owners or other professionals as necessary. There is an AGM each November where the owners get together to discuss plans for the next year and to agree on any additional maintenance or upgrades.

There are eight shares, with each owner being entitled to four weeks use per year between March and October. Weeks are allocated on a rota system with the starting position being rotated each year, and each owner having one week in every eight. For instance the owner having the first week in this season would have weeks 1, 9, 17, 25 and next year would have weeks 2, 10, 18, 26.

The advantages of this system are that everyone knows years in advance when their weeks are, and over time every owner gets to have the use of each of the 32 weeks in the season. Owners are free to swap weeks by negotiation, generally at the AGM. For instance it is often possible to arrange to take two weeks together rather than having them all spaced out at seven week intervals.

Changeover days are Fridays, and owners are expected to leave the boat thoroughly cleaned inside and out. Most use a cleaning company based at the marina for this rather than do it themselves, but this is optional.