Narrow down your search

How to use the search option on this site

It is suggested you open THIS PAGE and have it to refer to while you read these hints and tips.

If you look down to the bottom right on this page, or indeed any page on this web site, you will see a little "search" box. This search feature could help you pin down the share for you (and sadly that bottom right corner on each page is the only spot it will go!). Or you could try the little box below - but read the advice here first for best results.

Before you get searching there are a few things you should know. The adverts are all written in what is called a "Table" (or grid). The search option does NOT search for any words that are actually in a table...so not helpful. BUT what I have done is placed outside of the table some specific terms that are relevant to each share for sale.

Now, it is NOT possible to search within a search so you cannot look for say a school holiday share on a pet free boat. For this reason I suggest you have a pen and paper handy as each search you do will present a list and you want might to make a note of some boat names to look at later, the name will be against the search result somewhere.

The first question you have to ask yourself is how much time are you able to allow for boating each year? MOST shares you will find on here are for 12th shares which typically give between three and four weeks a year. Now if this is roughly what you are after then you have many shares to choose from. If you want LESS time boating then look for a fixed week scheme are there people are sometimes selling one or two week shares, or might split a larger holding.  If you want more time than just say three weeks then have a look for a boat shared between six or less owners, this will give you more weeks afloat. There is a code for this search in the page linked above (and here).

You can also look for a share in a boat in (say) France, on the Norfolk Broads or on the River Thames by popping in certain search options. Equally you can look for a boat sleeping 6 (or more) or a smaller boat, or a boat sleeping just 4 etc. All these options have different search terms. The full list of options is on the linked page.

Boatshare Booking Systems


You need to be a bit careful when you buy your share that the booking system suits what you want or expect.

There are basically THREE main systems employed.

BCBM (and former scheme Challenger, where BCBM now manage a lot of their old boats) generally offer a lottery system, one week drawn in each quarter. They say that owners can then exchange weeks between each other but your chances of getting two weeks together using this system is almost nil.

Ownashare (and the old OwnerShips boats) offer a system where by people can pick their weeks from what remains on a rotating list. The exact system OwnerShips used to use was fiendishly clever and entertaining to police (I know, I used to do it!) but it did mean owners could almost always get two weeks together if that is what they wanted. A lot of private boats are "Former OwnerShips'" boats and still use this system, some have varied it along the theme slightly and in some cases the vendor might not tell you the exact scheme employed as they never understood it in the first place. Don't hold that against them! If you want two weeks together then really this rotating scheme is probably the best for you. Carefree Cruising now own Ownashare

Then there are fixed weeks, or variations of fixed weeks - if that is possible! 

Carefree Cruising (and some private schemes that were managed in the past), offer a sort of fixed week scheme. I confess I have never really understood the Carefree system but you basically purchase weeks in a set part of the calendar and your weeks move around in that "zone", and of course fixed weeks are where you buy week 26 (by example) and this aligns with the "Timeshare Calendar" so you know roughly each year when your holiday will start. I would stress at this point you are NOT buying a Timeshare in the true sense of the word!

There are a few anomalies here, but all MANAGED boats work to a defined system on each boat but not the same across "The Fleet", on some private boats where there are not lots of owners then a booking secretary could well just juggle what the owners ask for and try and keep everyone happy!  

Please note that where say BCBM manage what is a former OwnerShips boat then they might well use the OwnerShips old system, and indeed on their newer boats may well have a rotating system now, so you do need to just check in each case and not make assumptions. 

PLEASE NOTE: Carefree Cruising acquired Ownashare in around 2018.


Some schemes have a booking system that has in it a system whereby owners can have a special priority system for school holidays. If you need such a system do the appropriate search from our search page. If you need school holiday weeks I strongly recommend you do NOT rely on a system where there is a draw and exchanges, as there is no way you are guaranteed to get them.


Whist the mooring location shown on the advert may be just perfect for you expect the "home base" to change from time to time. If it is important to you where you are picking your boat up from ask the vendor if there are any changes planned, but bear in mind they do not have a crystal ball. Mooring location is normally selected by a show of hands at the annual meeting of the owners, but if a boat has just gone to location A having been at location B it is unlikely to go back to location B for a few years at least. 


THE RUNNING COSTS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR (and money matters in general)

This is an interesting and very grey area! You need to make sure when you are buying a share what your liability will be in the year you are buying the boat.

First of all what are the running costs? Well, rather like buying a car buy it is one thing and paying for the up keep is something else, boats are the same and they have to be paid for and paid for by the owners, together. I think most schemes work on a monthly standing order. In a private scheme with no management company 100% of the money you pay each month goes toward the boating overheads.

In a managed scheme you also have to pay the management company for their services, where they handle all the running of the funds, the bookings, owners' meetings (disputes?!) etc. Say your boat costs are £100 per month in a private scheme, then your management would be about another £30/£40 extra in a managed scheme. 

Now comes the interesting and grey area.!

Some owners offer their share up for sale and say "All costs included for current year" meaning the cost of buying the share is all you have to pay until the year end (I think ALL boats budget January to December). Some in their advert say (or infer) that you will be asked to take over the running costs from the next month, and some say nothing at all!

On the face of it the first of these looks the best value, and it probably is, but maybe the vendor has inflated his price to cover it, or maybe the share has no pre-booked weeks coming with it so why should you pay?

The second option is probably the fairest, after all, when you buy a car you are responsible for it from the day you own it (you can no longer actually transfer the road tax with a car!). And I guess those saying nothing fall in to the bracket of those who will ask for you to take over the payments from the day you buy the boat. 

Now you might be asked to take over the payments on a boat in say August where the vendor has no pre-booked weeks remaining. This is where you negotiate with the vendor what you think is fair, and remember what is FAIR is what is important. 

Make sure when you "shake on a deal" you know

1) What price you are paying for the share
2) What your responsibilities are for the running costs for the remainder of the year
3) What time (or not) on the boat you have pre-booked
4) What is the likelihood of you actually managing to "snaffle" a spare week (important if you inherit no booked weeks)

and finally...and this is a good one....

5) Is there a "reserve fund" in the bank account....(see below)

Boat share fund management

Here goes.....

Some (certainly not all) groups ask owners to contribute to a "reserve fund" or "engine fund" or "painting fund" each year a sum of money, for ease lets say each owner is asked ot pay £10 per month, so on a 12 owner boat that is £120 per owner or gross £1,440 per year. This money is "hived off" and kept in a kitty for the day when as a group they need some major expenditure on their craft and if there is not enough in there then it does at least soften the blow when it comes to paying for it. 

If there IS a reserve fund, and it has been built up over say 5 years at £120 per owner per year and not touched then £600 of that does, in simple terms, transfer over to the new incoming owner, so it is like getting that off the cost of your share! 

Personally I am not a fan of reserve funds as often an owner pays in to it for years and on selling gets nothing back and so just loses their money if effect, but they do exist so it is worth asking.


Do bear in mind that if you buy in to a boat where the owner has paid all their fees to the year end in say August and in October the engine goes bang (or another calamity) then YOU as the owner of that share will be asked to pay for your contribution for that engine notwithstanding your agreement with the vendor. It truth this is a worst care scenario but it can happen so you need to just be aware of that.


You need to think what you want to get out of not only your boat (share) but your involvement. If you like the idea of you and three owners together deciding to have a "working week" on the boat and varnishing the bathroom (say) then maybe a twelve share managed scheme is not for you. If you don't mind taking a turn at handling the bookings for a while, or the money etc. then maybe a private scheme would suit. Ask the vendor if it is a private scheme how "hands on" the group is. I am sure in most private boat schemes there is an owner who has been treasurer for years and all goes very well, but maybe you are buying his share....so that might have to change!

If you like the idea of just keeping yourself to yourself, going boating and handing all aspects of running your boat over to somebody else (and don't mind the extra expense) then maybe you should take a share in a managed boat, if you don't mind "being involved" and want to feel like a member of an "exclusive club" then maybe a private scheme is for you, a private scheme will certainly be cheaper, but there maybe the odd bump along the way, but boating is a contact sport after all!!

A very simple rule is to take the cost of the share and multiply it by the number of owners and decide if you think the boat is worth that. You are unlikely to get "ripped off" buying any share off this web site, everything is vetted by me, so you can have a degree of confidence, but at the end of the day I am only the messenger. 

Caveat emptor as the saying goes. Just make sure you know what you are getting for your money...... 

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