Boardgaming tonight

October 12th, 2010

Off to play some boardgames tonight. Possibly Innovation

Shared Owners awake from slumber

September 14th, 2010

In past years this time of year has been the start of the boat AGM’s for those owners on Ownerships managed boats. With its demise earlier owners will now be facing a new future. After it came to light Allen Matthews had died and taken everyone’s money, the boats went into self-management. For some self-management lasted only until they could appoint an alternative management company, for others the liberation meant they could pursue managing their own boat free from any restrictions of management companies (Ownerships seemed different to what you expected from a management company, and the relationship was more akin to that of a brewer and tenant than a management co. and boat owner), for the rest self-management was initially current-season temporary fix. The idea of the temporary fix to enable everyone to take their booked holidays this year until the long term future can be decided upon.

The onset of boat-AGM season could well be the first time each the owners in a boat have got together face-to-face, though some had EGM after the collapse, to discuss things. For some it will be under a new management company already, but for others the decision of whether they want to be managed again has only been delayed from the spring..

Reached Llangollen and mobile modem

August 26th, 2010

Yesterday we reached the Ponty on the Llangollen. The weather has been atrocious and on top of that the power adapter for my camera failed – they are not designed for 8 hour a day shoots for a week at a time 🙁

So there will be no video of this cruise, still I’m sure I’ll do the Llangollen next year, possibly not in August.

I’m posting this from my Netbook, that is using my mobile as a modem using a free app from the OVI store. The 3G signal for most of the canal has been bad, but next to the aqueduct the signal is very strong – is that because its a world heritage site? Although we planned on doing he Monty too, we may put that off to next time as there isn’t much sightseeing when its raining.

Llangollen and Monty

August 19th, 2010

Currently preparing to set off on our next boat trip. this time we are aiming to do the Llangollen canal and head down the Montgomery canal, before returning.

The Future of Shared Ownership Boats

June 15th, 2010

The boat management company Ownerships was a large company in the shared boat ownership world, managing over 100 boats. Its collapse earlier this year left it owing £1.8m in debts, including to the 100’s of owners (maybe 1000+ as the majority of boats had 12 shared owners) has led some to believe that “the public will have lost confidence in buying shares in either new or old boats in a once thriving industry”. With Challenger Syndicateships collapsing in 2008, that’s two major players in as many years, but does it really mean the future is bleak?

There are the 100+ boats cut free wondering which direction to go next and what to do for the long term. Many will have been self-managing these last couple of months until their boat syndicate can decide what route to take, but some have already found a new management company. There are several companies that have expressed an interest in offering management services to ex-ownerships boats – the ones I’m aware of so far include ABC Boat Management, BCBM, Carefree Cruising, Kate Boats, and Norbury Wharf. In addition I received a prospectus from a newly forming company Ownashare Cruising, being run by ex-Ownerships management. So a plethora of options for syndicates wanting to be managed, and additionally some will take the option to manage their boat themselves.

For many owners boat management means the ease of simply turning up at the start of your holiday knowing the boat will be ready whilst knowing its your own boat you use each time, and that it is worth paying a management fee plus additional costs for this. The range of companies expressing an interest to offer management, indicates it is a profitable business. Indeed at the Ownerships General Meeting in May that almost filled the 1200 seater auditorium, they stated that the business model of shared boat management was profitable, as well as willingness to set up a new company if there was enough interest. They received enough response that they “expect to have in excess of 600 members” join the new company.

So will Ownashare simply take over from where Ownerships left off and pick up over half the boats? It is hard to say, there are those who have expressed bitterness at losing money through Ownerships who have publicly stated they have no faith in a new company with the “old team”, and those who have expressed support at the General Meeting for a new company being set up. It’s probably reasonable to expect that some boats will have owners in both camps, and as there needs to be 100% agreement in a syndicate to go with them there could be some hot debates ahead.