Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about Carefree Cruising, our service and how it works, please call us on 01270 760 770.

For out of office hours we’ve provided answers to some of the more frequently asked questions below.

 

BUYING AND SELLING YOUR SHARE

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Is this a Time-Share scheme?

No. There are several fundamental differences between shared-ownership and time-share schemes

The first is that you own an actual share in your boat. With time-share, you only have the right to use one of the time-share companies boats.

The second is that you own your share of the boat indefinately (with time-share, you purchase the right to use one of the time-share company’s boats for a specified period, say 10 years).

The third is that you can also extend your use of the boat by making use of any weeks that your co-owners cannot use themselves. With time-share your entitlement is fixed, even if the boat stands unused for the remainder of the year.

When I buy my share, what do I have to pay in advance?

As a sign of commitment, we ask for a small holding deposit when you agree to buy your share. We then ask for a small initial payment when the build of the boat commences.

The balance is due on delivery of the boat.

It’s as simple as that.

Can I sell my share in our boat?

You can sell your share any time after the end of the first year of your ownership. As the new owner(s) of it will need to enter into the same shared ownership agreement that you did, we will help you sell your share, but you decide the price that you want to offer your share at. (We will give you advice as to what we think your share is worth.)

THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF OWNERSHIP

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Is there a co-ownership agreement?

A formal agreement is made between each owner and Carefree Cruising. This is designed to be fair, non-contentious and to protect the interests of all of the co-owners equally.

How long will I own my share for?

for as long as you want to!

Our boats are very high quality and this, coupled with the ongoing maintenance that they receive means that they have a virtually unlimited lifespan.

Over 90% of the co-owners must be in agreement before the boat can be sold. If the co-owners decide to sell the boat, Carefree Cruising will market it on the co-owners’ behalf through a reputable boat brokerage business. The sale monies will then be divided between the co-owners in proportion to their shares.

How do I know the maintenance money I pay you is secure?

Each syndicate has its own bank account. These are designated “Client Accounts” and as such are ring-fenced and totally separate from our own business funds. In the unlikely event of any problems with Carefree Cruising, your money is separate and secure.

Can the owners manage our boat ourselves?

Yes.

Carefree Cruising manage your boat on a year by year basis. The syndicate can vote to either re-appoint us or to manage the boat themselves at each and every annual meeting.

What proof of ownership will I receive?

You will receive a copy of the co-ownership agreement that you entered into with Carefree Cruising and the other co-owners when you purchased your share. This clearly details your ownership of your part of the boat.

ABOUT YOUR BOAT

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Can I choose the name and colour of our boat?

When we’ve sold a boat to you, it’s yours. So we don’t paint the boats in a “corporate” livery with our name on the side, or use “linked” name themes so that people in the know can work out which shared-ownership company sold the boat to you. Your boat will be painted in individual private-owner livery and will be indistinguishable from single owner boats.

If you reserve your share before your boat has been built, you can put forward suggestions and then all of the co-owners vote for their preferred name & colours.

Can my Son, Daughter or my Friends use our boat?

Up to two people can be named as owners.

You can also have two additional named users, giving four named users of your boat in total.

Where will our boat be based?

Initially, your boat will be based at our own premises at Kings Lock, Middlewich on the Trent and Mersey Canal. This allows us to get to know you and you to get to know us.

This bases also give an exceptional variety of cruising routes including the Cheshire Ring, Four Counties Ring, South Pennine Ring, Caldon Canal, Huddersfield Canal, Rochdale Canal, Llangollen Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

After the first year, the boat will be based wherever the co-owners decide they want it to be based.

How often can I use our boat?

This will depend upon the share of the boat that you purchased. For a one twelfth share, for example, your entitlement is four weeks, which is broadly split as two weeks in the main sailing season and two weeks in the remainder of the year. You can also, with the agreement of any other co-owner, obtain extra weeks by using their entitlement if they are unable to do so. The only extra costs you incur are for diesel and pump-out.

Can I have two weeks together?

Of course! Our ownership allocation system is specifically designed to allow this.

With our “flexible cruising” scheme, you can have 2 weeks together if you own a 4 weeks share, 3 weeks together if you own a 6 weeks share and 4 weeks together if you own a 8 weeks share.

Can I go on one-way trips with our boat?

Yes, provided the co-owner following on from you agrees in advance to bring your boat back to its operating base. Any additional charges incurred, such as temporary mooring fees, will be your responsibility.

Can I hire out my unused weeks or offer my weeks for skippered hire?

No – commercial use of the boat would invalidate the insurance.

If you are unable to use the boat for your full entitlement, your “spare” weeks are available to other co-owners to use. This, of course, also works the other way and so you are able to take advantage of any “spare” weeks that the other co-owners may have.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes. Your boat is provided with a vacuum cleaner designed for pets. This should ensure that the following co-owner doesn’t suffer from your pet’s hairs! You must, however, bring your own pet bedding and pets are not allowed on the beds or upholstery. Your pet must not be left alone on your boat at any time.

(Please note: if you have bought in to a “pet free” boat then you will not be allowed to take pets onto your boat under any circumstances)

Will I meet the other co-owners?

Each co-owner is provided with full contact details for the other co-owners and you may communicate freely with them. You will be given the opportunity to meet your other co-owners at the “launch party” for your boat. Once per year, the co-owners meet to discuss their requirements for the following year, including where they would like the boat to be based for the coming year.

What is expected of co-owners using our boat?

Each co-owner is responsible for the boat whilst it is under their control (or the control of one of their additional users) and they are expected to take the same care of it as if they were the sole owner.

At the end of each holiday period, each co-owner is responsible for re-fuelling and pumping-out their boat at their own cost. They should also check that the gas bottles do not need replacing (this cost is met out of the boat’s operating fund) and clean their boat to ensure that it is ready for the next co-owner.

(Please note: bases provide an optional boat cleaning service at a small additional cost)

Do you provide boat handling tuition?

On your first use of your boat, we will take you through your boat and explain in detail how every piece of equipment works.

If you feel that you would benefit from a boat handling course, we can provide information on course providers.

CARE OF YOUR BOAT

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Who looks after our boat?

Carefree Cruising contract with operational bases to provide permanent moorings, operational support, (such as diesel and pump-outs), and Carefree Cruising undertake the maintenance and servicing for the boats. All of these costs are passed to you directly. We do not add any charges or make any hidden profits.

We also operate a 24 hour, 365 day a year support service, giving you the peace of mind that in the unlikely event of you encountering a problem whilst cruising, help will be at hand, promptly and efficiently.

How are faults on our boat recorded and rectified?

We have a tried and tested procedure for recording any faults that are reported by owners and ensuring they are rectified in a timely fashion, by qualified staff. Our local manager and their staff are on site on the turnaround day to complete a comprehensive turnaround check and any repairs or servicing that is needed.

We maintain a “work log” for each syndicate that includes details of all work required on the boat, when the requirement was reported, when the work was completed and how much it cost. This “work log” is posted into the syndicate area of our web based communication and information system for all owners to see and comment on if appropriate.

How is winter maintenance work planned and carried out?

Each year a full winter maintenance programme is carried out to a predetermined and fully costed schedule.

Our Technical Manager inspects every boat and produces a report and costing schedule for the syndicate to discuss, amend as needed, and approve. The work is carried out over a 4 week period, traditionally a fortnight before and after Christmas (weeks are co – owned by all syndicate members) to ensure that all work can be given the correct amount of time and attention. After each maintenance period a report is issued to the syndicate, with an updated costing schedule.

A budget for this work is included as part of the syndicate budget and no additional invoices are sent to owners.

BREAKDOWNS OR ACCIDENTS WITH YOUR BOAT

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What happens if our boat breaks down?

Our schedule of regular maintenance is designed to make breakdowns unlikely. If, however, you are unlucky enough to suffer a breakdown whilst cruising, call the emergency breakdown number in the boat’s manual. The cost of any breakdown is met from the boat’s operating fund. We will then arrange for a qualified boat engineer to fix the boat promptly.

What if I have an accident?

Accidents causing damage are very rare.

However, if you are unfortunate enough to have one, the boats are fully insured for full replacement value. Each co-owner is responsible for the first £150 worth of damage caused during their control of the boat (this is the insurance policy excess). Any claims above this amount are covered by the boat insurance policy. There is a third party liability limit of £3m.