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)