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Timeshare on Narrow Boats

What is Timeshare and how is it different from Shared Ownership?

Let’s start by reminding ourselves how Shared Ownership works. This is where a group of people come together to purchase part of a boat. Shared Ownership is typically ownership of an 8% share of a boat giving 4 weeks use. The boat is owned by the Owners in proportion to their shareholding and they are totally responsible for all the costs of running the boat and can make decisions as a group regarding the boat and how it operates. There are various schemes which although following the same principles can have slightly different arrangements. There is normally a syndicate agreement which sets or the benefits, obligations and rules of how everything operates . Some boats are managed on behalf of the owners by a management company, and others self manage themselves, but as it is their boat the Syndicate of owners can decide. 


So what is Timeshare and how does this differ?

Timeshare is where someone purchases the right to use a week or more of a boat or property and becomes an Owner. The Owner does not directly own the boat which is normally held in Trust by a Trust Company on their behalf to ensure the boat is available for them to occupy. Most Timeshares are set up as Clubs with a set of rules and are totally managed on behalf of the owners. The owners normally have little or no input to the way the club or boat is operated and the Trustees oversee the rules are worked to on their behalf.


The owners pay an annual management fee which is used to maintain, operate and replace the boats in accordance with the rules of the club. The owners do not pay specifically for the cost of operating a particular boat but an average to cover the operations of all the boats in the club. Some rules do allow for a levy to be made in certain circumstances if the annual fees are unable to cover specific costs in a particular year (i.e. something expensive needed changing or upgrading on every boat) although in practice this does not very often happen.

Most Timeshare Clubs are affiliated to an Exchange Organisation. The two well known ones are RCI  and II . This means that if the owner is a member of the exchange organisation they can bank their week on a boat with them and exchange to another type of holiday. This is effectively a mechanism of swapping your boating holiday for one in the sun or something else that someone has banked on years you fancy a change.

The Timeshare year is divided up into three seasons which will vary by country, normal weather and type of property to reflect the popularity of usage during that time of the year. “Red time” is the most popular time and for boating in the UK this is normally the boat cruising season and the Christmas / New Year periods. “White time” is the shoulder periods just off of “Red Time”, and “Blue Time” is the least popular time of the year. The amount paid for a Timeshare Week is normally determined by the coloured period of the year which the right to occupy applies to. 

Timeshare is essentially a good product and suits many people who like just a week or so on a boat they feel they own with the option to go somewhere else some years by exchanging this for a different holiday. Timeshare got a bad name by the way it was initially sold mainly in places like Tenerife and as a result there is a lot less new Timeshare being sold. You can though pick up some good value second-hand weeks but you need to take care regarding any companies offering to  sell you a week of timeshare are genuine and able to transact change of ownership correctly. 


For more information about timeshare on Narrow Boats, and to see if it is for you please go to . If you feel it is correct please ask for Edward Helps when you contact them, and mention when you do. You will find him especially helpful (great pun) and as he wrote the article about, can be sure he knows his stuff!




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