Aircraft and vacation properties aren't the only aspects of high end travel on which you can save money by going the fractional ownership route. With SmartYacht, you can enjoy a taste of adventure on the “high seas” without the cost, management, or other hassles involved in full yacht ownership.

SmartYacht Azimut Yacht

Founded in the principality of Liechtenstein in 2008, SmartYacht is in partnership with Moore Stephens Trust Company LTD and Pantaenius, a yacht-insurance company that has been in business for forty years.

The concept behind SmartYacht is the same as fractional ownership of any other property; for a fraction of the cost of full ownership, customers purchase anywhere from 1/6 – ½ share of crafts ranging from 45 – 150ft for guaranteed use for 3-9 weeks in each of three seasons: the High Season (June-Sept.), Mid Season (April, May, Oct. & Nov.) and Low Season (Dec. - March).

The yachts are located in the Mediterranean's hot spots, including St. Tropez, Monaco, Cannes, and Sardinia or the Red Sea or the Canary Islands.

SmartYacht members aren't limited to use of “their” yacht, but can also use other available boats through the company's Multi-Yacht Multi-Location program without incurring additional costs. In addition, SmartYacht offers a 1-2-0 Special Programme which allows owners to recoup some of the cost of their fractional ownership by releasing the craft for charter during pre-determined times.

According to SmartYacht, in “an ideal situation,” it's possible for fractional owners to recoup their entire investment in the craft using the 1-2-0 Special Programme.

What Does Fractional Ownership with SmartYacht Cost?

The per-share cost of fractional ownership of a SmartYacht craft depends, of course, on the size and type of the yacht one purchases and whether the craft is new or used. However, as a rule of thumb, expect your annual costs to be from 10-12% of the new purchase price of the craft you're looking at.

Savings don't end there, however, because the purchase price is only the beginning of the expenses for anyone who purchases full ownership of a yacht. Full owners are responsible for mooring, insurance and maintenance of the craft and must also take care of hiring and supervising a crew – or hiring a company to take care of those details for them.

Fractional ownership of a SmartYacht craft, on the other hand, includes mooring, administrative costs, and insurance and a fund for maintenance and repair of the yacht. Any unused moneys in this fund are refunded back to the fractional owners on the sale of the yacht. In addition, the company provides crews for its larger crafts.

SmartYacht provided the example of it's Sunseeker Manhattan 66, an Executive class craft in the South of France that includes three cabins, three heads (bathrooms), and a separate cabin and head for the captain.

As of June of 2011, SmartYacht still has ¼ share left of this craft available for purchase at GBP197,500.

In addition to taking care of most of the hassles of yacht ownership for its clients, SmartYacht includes the following in what the company calls its Service and Lifestyle Package:

  • All-season management
  • An online reservation system
  • An advanced shopping service – order the food and drinks you'd like to take with you and they will be on board when you arrive.
  • Airport service – SmartYacht representatives will meet you at the airport and either provide you with a car, or you can choose to have a driver take you to your destination.
  • Either crew or training. If you wish to pilot the craft yourself, SmartYacht provides complete training. As we noted above, the company also provides crews depending on the size of the craft.
  • Storage for your personal effects. If you choose, SmartYacht will store your sporting equipment and other personal effects between visits and have them ready on your craft for you when you return.
  • Laundry and dry cleaning. Towels and linens are already provided – no need to pack them. You can also arrange to have your laundry taken care of during your stay on the yacht.

Given the level of service, the low cost, and the lack of hassles involved, fractional yacht ownership may be the best route to take for enjoying a Mediterranean yachting vacation – particularly if you are new to yachting.