Charting The Return Of Fractional Ownership

By Rose-Hannah Lishman

Following Princess Yacht’s announcement of a shared ownership scheme earlier this month, AvYachts are the second firm this year to bring to the industry another fractional method for buying your very own yacht. What the company is branding ‘Instant Yachtification’ will allow clients a stress free owner-experience and a slice of the superyacht lifestyle for a few weeks of the year. But is the scheme here to stay?

The opportunity to enjoy the ocean playground for either 3 or 6 weeks a year, surely seems like a dream that in reality, would be difficult to turn down.

Superyacht ownership in this dimension is branded extraordinarily as more affordable and also hassle-free. Further, facing the challenge of managing, running and chartering a vessel can be daunting, especially for a first time owner. With AvYachts, all of these problems disappear with one monthly management fee, and all at the touch of an app: one example of new technology breaking into an otherwise archaic industry.

Moreover, as an AvYacht owner, you’ll be offered the chance to sell / trade your weeks at sea for a week on shore in a number of destinations throughout the world. In essence, the program offers a turnkey solution to the ultra-luxury, global holiday experience for a fraction of the cost.  

Indeed, schemes like this one have been marketed before and despite the initial excitement, have struggled to explode into a market that has for many years, stayed shrouded in secrecy and exclusively to ultra-high-net-worth’s; namely those in the top 1%. Other attempts at making the superyacht lifestyle accessible have risen up in the form of ‘Uber-style’ structures; allowing those with some extra disposable income to charter for a day or even an hour at a reduced rate.

However, while the interest for these services is more than plenty, the number of superyacht owners willing to share their most highly valued possession with others, is not always so high. In addition, the choice of yacht is much narrower than that of the endless brokerage market which offers infinite possibility for interior and exterior design.

Yachts in the shared ownership scheme with AvYachts do hail as quintessential Westport builds, though for those wanting to break into the larger size range, the models offered in the scheme never seem to exceed 50m. With the charter market rife, and options endless, a few week's on board a yacht for charter seems like the natural next affordable solution to ownership. 

Nevertheless, a breakthrough company in the industry is always watched with anticipation and intrigue. A superyacht industry open to all may seem like an impossibility, but a more affordable superyacht solution? Let’s just wait and see…

By Rose-Hannah Lishman