Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pacific Nor'West Boating Magazine - Gateway Article

Special thanks to Author Chuck Gould:


Almost everyone would love to be involved with boating. Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to indulge our passion for being on the water fully appreciate how life is enhanced, transformed, and in many ways defined by the hours and days we put aside to spend on our boats. Any family raising children, or grandchildren, can help mold young characters in positive directions as well as create family memories that will be cherished for a lifetime by spending time on a boat.

Why doesn’t absolutely everybody go boating (or, at least a far greater number of folks than actually do)? Walk around either location of the Seattle Boat Show this month, and just as evident as the gleaming hulls and latest fantastic technologies will be the age old barriers to entry. Owning a boat, at least in the way that most of us first imagine when considering the question, is expensive. Maintaining a boat is also expensive, as well as time consuming. For too many families who yearn to go boating, the aggregate cost of boat payments, insurance, moorage, fuel, maintenance, and repairs is well beyond affordability. Other families may be able to handle the expense, but still find it difficult to justify such a large financial commitment in view of the  limited number of days or weeks each year they will be able to actually use a boat.

The traditional solution to the dilemma has been chartering. It will cost a few thousand dollars to charter a cruising boat of reasonable size for a week. When compared to the cost of family airfare to a deluxe resort and the cost of renting one or two hotel rooms for the same week, the cost of chartering a yacht can be extremely competitive. However, chartering isn’t for everyone. Many boaters will want to enjoy boating far more often than just one week per year. Who wouldn’t feel more “at home” with their personal items aboard a vessel?  There’s no more “pride of ownership” in a traditional charter boat experience than there is any sense of ownership when staying in a rented hotel room.

How many people would spend two or three weeks per year in a hotel room if the only means for doing so were to purchase an entire hotel?

Gateway Yachts, in Anacortes, has established a program that addresses the financial and time commitment barriers to boating, while still providing the freedom and scheduling flexibility of an ownership experience. Imagine boating, with 100 percent of the fun and none of the work at a fraction of the cost.

The fundamental economic problem with most boat ownership is that we are forced to buy and maintain a lot more boat than we need. Even a very active boater will be using a boat for only a fraction of the year, but absorbing many of the same expenses that would be incurred if the boat were in daily use. Certainly insurance and slip rental will be the same whether or not a boat ever leaves the dock. As every boater knows, there are certain ways in which things can uniquely deteriorate from lack of use just as surely as from being “worn out”, so the annual costs for maintenance and repairs isn’t correspondingly reduced when a boat owner uses his or her boat only 10% of the year, (or less).

Gateway Yachts offers a means through which a boater can own just as much boat as they are planning to use. Through Gateway, an owner buys an undivided fractional interest in a power or sailing yacht. The size of the fraction is determined by the owner’s needs, not pre-determined by a rigid formula, and can be as little as a 1/16 undivided interest in a boat. An incredibly active boater could purchase a quarter interest or even more.  

The most popular fractional purchase through Gateway Yachts has proven to be the 1/8 undivided interest. An owner of 1/8 interest can schedule 5 weeks of use each year, as well as enjoy an unlimited number of days use when none of the other factional owners have scheduled the boat. That 1/8 fraction should prove more than enough to enable a vacation cruise during good weather, as well as many weekend cruises each year- (a fairly common usage level among experienced boaters).

In order to provide a highly personalized level of service, Gateway has each owner complete an Owner’s Preference worksheet and uses that information to prep the boat before each owner’s use. If an owner has a variety of décor items, cookware, clothing, or provisions they expect to find aboard when arriving to use the boat, Gateway will store those items between uses and restock and stage the boat prior to each owner’s individual use.

When ready to go boating, a Gateway Yachts owner simply pulls into the marina parking lot, steps aboard the boat, and casts off. The boat is already clean, stocked, and ready to depart. Upon return, there is no need to spend many hours scrubbing and polishing the boat, or even unloading personal effects. The Gateway Yachts crew handles everything.  In a very literal sense, a Gateway Yachts owner enjoys 100% of the fun of boating, with none of the associated work, and at a small fraction of the true cost of sole ownership.

So, how do the costs compare?

Using a new Aspen C90 Power Catamaran as an example, here is how a Gateway Yachts 1/8 fractional ownership stacks up against traditional sole ownership,

Purchase price, with tax:  Sole ownership- $240,885    Gateway fractional ownership - $38,041

Down Payment (if financed): Sole ownership- $48, 132    Gateway fractional ownership- $11,412

Note: A Gateway Yachts fractional owner can pay cash for a 1/8 undivided interest, and make no monthly finance payments, for about $10,000 less than the cost of a down payment for a sole owner.

Monthly finance payment: Sole ownership - $1437.00    Gateway fractional ownership - $431.75

Estimated indirect ownership costs: Sole ownership - $833/ month. Gateway fractional ownership - $320/ month.

Hoping to get into boating, but put off by the high costs? Already a boater, but looking for a means by which to reduce your cost of ownership? In either case, Gateway Yachts is easily worth consideration. For additional information, please visit the web site http://www,gatewayyachts.com

Sidebar: The Fleet

Gateway Yachts offers fractional ownership of Aspen Power Catamarans as well as Jeanneau sailboats.

Aspen Yachts are among the most fuel-efficient powerboats available, yet provide a high level of comfort and are capable of a good turn of speed.

Remarks about Aspen Power Catamarans on the Gateway Yacht web site read: Aspen currently builds 28′ and 32′ sleek, fuel efficient cruisers, and has tested design plans for a 36′ and 54′. The Aspen has a modern Proa Hull design which ensures one of a kind speed and fuel efficiency. The power-proa hull has 35% more interior square footage than mono hull designs providing more spacious living areas. The efficiencies of their new hull includes 70% less drag than comparable designs and is equipped with solar panels capable of recharging batteries at dock or anchor. The 28′, C90 Cruiser, burns 4.5-5.0 gallons per hour at cruise speeds of approximately 17 mph. The Aspen Power Catamaran is the latest in innovation, fuel economy and green boating.

Gateway’s comments regarding Jeanneau: Bénéteau/Jeanneau is the world’s leading production sailboat maker. While the Jeanneau has a distinctively French heritage, the Gateway Jeanneau’s are manufactured in the U.S.A. at Bénéteau/Jeanneau’s Marion, South Carolina plant using the very latest construction technology designed to pack a ton of features into a very competent and price competitive sailboat.