syndicate ownership, yacht share

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Frequently Asked questions are divided into four categories: Syndicate yacht ownership: General questions

Are Curvelle yachts ONLY sold by fractional ownership, with shares in a syndicate?

No, while we think that Syndicate ownership is a very smart way to own a Curvelle yacht, we sell whole vessels to individual owners.

Is your shared ownership really a timeshare scheme?

No, it is quite different to timeshare. This is an Equity Ownership position, so Syndicate members own the yacht outright. Timeshare is based on fixed periods of usage while Curvelle Syndicate members can choose when they want to cruise, just as single owners do.

What makes syndicate membership so special?

You are spending your vacations on an exceptionally spacious and luxurious family-friendly, fully crewed superyacht. It has very high performance and exceptionally good fuel economy. You have all the pleasure of being the owner of a yacht with space equivalent to a 41m performance monohull yacht, but are paying only costs equivalent to owning a (roughly) 17m motorboat, and have no concerns about any of the administrative aspects of ownership - organising mooring, maintenance, insurance etc. Unlike outright purchase of a boat of any size which involves large amounts of paperwork, a Curvelle quaranta Syndicate membership lets you "pay to turn up and go" if you wish.

Can you summarise the benefits of the syndicate program?

In the first Curvelle quaranta Syndicate, each member with one seventh share will be able to use the yacht for up to five weeks per year - three weeks Mediterranean, two weeks Caribbean, and benefit from any charter income. Since most people typically use their yacht on average less than five weeks per year, syndicate membership helps to match cost with actual usage time.

Who is Syndicate membership suitable for?

A Curvelle Syndicate is suitable for most people who plan to take superyacht cruising holidays for the next few years. It is ideal for those who do not want the financial commitment of outright purchase of a superyacht for their limited likely usage. Anyone who habitually has chartered for a couple of weeks a year but would like to cruise more will find it very advantageous as it provides much greater certainty of quality standards, etc., at significantly lower cost. It is also appeals to those who could purchase a smaller yacht outright, but who find that a much less attractive proposition than part-ownership of a far more luxurious yacht.

A share in a Curvelle Syndicate would be absolutely ideal for a family that has been contemplating buying a smaller yacht of equivalent cost for their sole use, but who find that the size, layout and facilities on board such a boat would not be right for their circumstances. These factors would include the need for access via a normal RIB tender, climbing ladders, cabins below the main deck level, adequate sun shading for children, and other family related matters. Boats in this category are normally "self-catering" while a quaranta share is fully serviced at all times by a full crew of six.

Is there anyone a quaranta syndicate membership is NOT suitable for?

We would not recommend it for people who want to spend long periods on their yacht, however purchase of multiple Memberships may help satisfy those that wish to spend more than 4 weeks onboard. It may not suitable for people who make the majority of their usage decisions at extremely short notice, or those who like to spend successive holidays on very different types of yacht. We would not recommend it for people who expect to be involved in detailed day-to-day management of their yacht.

What's the difference between syndicate ownership and timeshare?

Timeshare involves a lump sum payment for future rental or charter opportunities in one of a large number of assets (e.g. properties or yachts) that are owned and controlled by the promoting business. Timeshare confers negligible rights of ownership. Syndicate ownership is the opposite of timeshare as its balance of cost and usage sharing comes closest to the flexibility and control available to individual owners. The Syndicate members have total control over the vessel via an agreement between themselves, with Curvelle acting only as a facilitating service agent. In timeshare the client would have little if any say in how the yacht is run and no part of the equity value on disposal of the yacht.

What's the difference between syndicate and fractional ownership?

In fractional ownership, the selling organisation normally keeps control of the asset and uses it as part of its own brand. The specific asset which is fractionally owned is one of a number of similar ones that are operated by, and primarily for the benefit of, the selling organisation. Owners generally have some rights of usage over other assets that they do not have equity in. With Syndicate ownership, while each owner has a fraction of the equity in the yacht, ultimate control over it rests entirely with the owners. Curvelle has no rights over the yacht and collaboration to share use of it with other people is entirely at the discretion of the owners.

Do you need buyers to finance the construction?

No, the Curvelle quaranta has been completed and was launched in Tuzla, Istanbul in February 2013. It was fully funded in-house, is "free and clear" and will be ready for use in Spring 2013.

How do I know the vessel is well built and suitable for its intended use?

The Curvelle quaranta has been conceived, designed and built by a group of individuals and companies who have decades of experience in their respective fields. The vessel is built to Class: Rina A100+ etc. and MCA Unlimited (no restrictions), which is the highest MCA certification. Please see "about our Team" on the website for further details on who is involved. The layout of the Curvelle quaranta features the most flexible layout in her class, allowing virtually identical guest accommodations for all, which can be modified to over 20 different floor plans on short notice, allowing maximum flexibility of use.

Can I have an independent surveyor check out the vessel before I commit?

Subject to use and scheduling we would be happy to make the vessel available for inspection at the expense of any prospective new owner.

What about VAT and Sales Tax?

We believe that under current EU legislation, the Syndicate's assets and operations will not attract VAT. However the status of all commercial yacht operations is under EU review. At this time the benefits of the commercial/charter registry include: reduction in operating costs, fuel prices and VAT fee's for goods/services supplied, plus more. There is no US sales tax due on a share purchase.

In the syndicate, can I charter out my share if I don't use it?

The Syndicate is organised as a commercial charter business. Unused time can be chartered out and charter income is distributed according to shareholders and owners' own actual usage. This is covered extensively in the Syndicate Agreement.

Is use by friends and family permitted in a syndicate?

Yes. However use by family members, friends and acquaintances, without the owner being on board has a lower priority than usage by the owner in person.

Can we get legal advice about syndicate membership?

Curvelle itself does not offer legal advice, but we can suggest a number of reputable specialist firms who can give you impartial advice on this kind of arrangement.

How much routine paperwork would I have to get involved with?

One of the huge advantages of buying into a Curvelle Syndicate is that there is minimal ongoing paperwork or management oversight needed by the Members, unless they choose otherwise. As a Syndicate member, there are no routine ownership "chores", no logistical nightmares - this service at a fraction of the cost to single ownership! All you would have to do is arrange for your share of the operating costs agreed with your co-owners to be paid into the Syndicate's bank account each month. You would need to check the Syndicate's private website occasionally and indicate to the management when you would like to use the yacht. The management company deals with everything else.

Can I meet someone from Curvelle?

YES, of course. Luuk V. van Zanten will be delighted to meet you to discuss all aspects of Curvelle Yachts, and Steve Last can explain Syndicate membership in greater detail.

Can I find out who owns Curvelle, what the company structure is, etc?

Yes, these details will be available to you during your "due diligence". Luuk van Zanten, Curvelle's Marketing Director, will expect to talk to you at length as part of this process.

Syndicate yacht ownership: Organisation and formalities

Who owns the actual boats?

Each yacht is owned by an individual limited liability company based in the Isle of Man, which the Syndicate members as shareholders own outright. The first yacht is owned by the company in which the first Syndicate members are the only shareholders.

Do I actually own 1/7 of a boat?

Yes, the minimum share is 1/7th, which is in shares in the Company holding title to the individual vessel. The Company is set up as a Sole Entity Holding so in effect you own 1/7 of the yacht.

What flag will the yacht(s) have? Is it a Red Ensign flag? Where will all of the yachts be registered?

quaranta #1 will be registered in the Isle of Man (Red Ensign). Future yachts will be registered where most appropriate for their owners.

Where will I be investing?

The yacht-owning company in which you will hold actual shares is registered in the Isle of Man.

How do I join and what is the payment plan?

After you have completed your due diligence and are happy with the Curvelle program, we request an initial 10% deposit, to be held in an escrow account pending formalisation of your subscription to the Syndicate. Payment of the balance is due when the yacht is delivered to the Syndicate.

Who has drafted your legal documentation?

The agreement is originally drafted in-house by people with many years of experience of Syndicate membership and superyacht ownership and management. It is then checked by our legal advisers Hill Dickinson who are one of the leading superyacht specialist firms. The company and vessel registration is done by Dominion Marine (Isle of Man).

What documentation do I need to sign?

You will be provided with a copy of the Syndicate members' agreement which sets out your rights and obligations. This contains full details of how both costs and usage are apportioned between shareholders. It can be modified by agreement between all of the shareholders. You will of course be provided with all other relevant documentation for your "due diligence" prior to signing any Agreements.

How do I go about selling my shares?

The Syndicate program calls for the vessel to be offered for sale on the 5th anniversary of the last shareholder joining the Company, unless modified by the shareholders as allowed by the Members Agreement. In the interim, should you desire to sell, the shares can be traded in accordance with the agreement between owners. Curvelle can also provide standard yacht brokerage services to help facilitate the sale.

If I sell how quickly will I get my money?

There are no mandatory retention periods on sale proceeds.

What are my exit costs?

Sale procedures for the yacht is covered in the Syndicate Agreement, which recommends that the vessel be surveyed (pre-sale survey) prior to offering her for sale and any Primary recommendations remedied from the Syndicate Contingency Reserve fund. Upon sale of the vessel, the proceeds, net of any standard brokerage commissions and typical closing fees (legal, documentation agents, flag state fees, etc.) will be divided according to the owner membership percentages. There are no hidden costs or fees associated with Curvelle.

What snags have I missed?

We don't believe there are any. The Curvelle Syndicate ownership concept has been designed from the perspective of maximising benefits to the owners, not as a money-making enterprise in its own right. It is intended to make owning Curvelle yachts more attractive and accessible to a wider audience. So if you find anything that seems to present you with a hidden catch, please let us know as it will not be something inserted to disadvantage you as a potential Syndicate member.

Syndicate yacht ownership: Financial aspects

Are there annual costs?

Yes. The initial cost does not cover future operating costs. The management company has created an initial annual budget and will adjust this based on real time information and the Owners' directions. Contributions to the budget are agreed between the owners, based partly on shareholding and partly on actual usage, so the actual contribution will vary between owners from year to year. The initial total budget however is expected to be 1.49 million per annum, which may be offset by external charter income.

Which operating costs are shared between members?

They are the normal and customary expenses any yacht owner would incur, regardless of individual use. These include: insurance, crew, home port dockage, maintenance, management and fuel/transportation expenses for bi-annual re-positioning.

Are there any other expenses?

Anyone using the vessel will pay the costs specific to their time onboard, similar to that of chartering a yacht. This includes: fuel, food and drinks, dockage, satellite communications, any special repositioning expenses associated with owner's personal choices of destinations.

How can I be sure this is a safe investment?

The investment is as safe as any yacht purchase can be, since the vessel is completely owned by the Syndicate under the agreement between its members. You are not committed to handing over the full purchase cost until the yacht is completed and ready for hand over. After that, the only people who can determine what happens to it are the owners. The members' agreement prevents other parties having any claim on it. Also, the agreement contains clauses to protect you against defaults by other members of the Syndicate.

How does syndicate membership compare to renting a boat on the open market?

We estimate that based on reasonable assumptions about inflation, cost of capital, depreciation and other factors, anyone who wishes to cruise for more than about 13 days a year in a yacht of this size and quality will save money by owning a share.

How is the annual cost of the yacht actually sorted out if each owner makes different amounts of usage?

The "fixed" annual costs (crew, insurance, annual maintenance and so forth) are divided between the members. The balance of costs is paid based on time of use by individual owners. The heaviest demand for usage tends to always occur in the same few weeks of the year, so these weeks carry more of the cost than others. The owners who use those weeks pay a somewhat higher amount than those who use the yacht outside this period, which are discounted to encourage a more equal usage throughout the season. All owners are guaranteed at least one of the peak demand weeks if they wish but an owner who wants to avoid crowded times in anchorages will see a reduced cost as well. The mechanism for doing this will be explained during your "due diligence".

How much does a membership cost / What is the price of the share you are selling?

A 1/7 share in the first quaranta syndicate currently costs 1.575 million. This represents 1/7 of the ex-yard price of a quaranta and the costs of registering and fully equipping the yacht for service. The latter costs are never included in the list price of a new yacht, but are included in this first vessel.

Will my fees increase yearly?

The annual budget presented for owners' approval will contain detailed line items and is subject to prevailing costs and rates, however if the Syndicate wishes to modify the operation of the vessel or considers that management fees excessive they can change this at any time.

If I join part way through the year, what happens with the remainder?

Your annual costs will be pro-rated accordingly as part of the purchase agreement.

What are the extra costs on board? What else do I have to pay for?

The budget does not include consumables (food, drink, fuel, dockage during use and satellite communication): these are billed to your individual account. A quaranta's fuel consumption is expected to be 30% less than that of a comparable capacity mono-hull yacht, significantly reducing consumables costs.

How much are the annual costs approximately?

The current estimated budget is 1.49m per year exclusive of individual consumables, so if all owners made exactly the same usage, each would be paying about 213,000 per year, less any share of charter income. In practice the cost could be substantially less if you did not use very much of your time, and charter operations were successful. By contrast, a member who used all of his available time (5 weeks) and concentrated that into the peak demand period might pay rather more.

Syndicate yacht ownership: Usage and time allocation questions.

How do I book my cruises?

Owners will be contacted in turn by the management company to plan their usage well in advance of each season. The order of contact will change from season to season so that all have identical opportunity to choose. Special provisions in the members' agreement ensure that some "high season" time is always available. Owners can also book time at short notice.

What are the chances of getting the time I want, when I want it?

The members' agreement ensures that owners have a very high probability of availability at the time owners wish. On average we calculate that the probability of getting the exact time you want is greater than 80%, but in many seasons it will be much higher with 100% guarantee on some occasions.

Are young children allowed aboard?

Children are permitted subject to certain conditions regarding company liability.

Does the boat come with all the equipment I will need?

Yes. The cost of a syndicate share reflects not just the basic price of the vessel ex-yard, but also all costs of registration and setting up ready for use (sports equipment, catering, linen) etc as well as a high specification tender.

How often are the boats used?

The first syndicate-owned quaranta will go into service in spring 2013. We anticipate that the yacht will have very high utilisation and it has been designed and equipped with this as a primary requirement.

Who can use the boats?

quaranta #1 syndicate will operate the yacht on a commercial charter vessel, with shareholders having priority booking. External charter clients will be able to use the yachts with the income distributed to the syndicate shareholders (owners). As far as use by members' friends or other guests are concerned, this is perfectly acceptable although friends using it without the owner being present will have a lower priority than use by owners in person. In other words, you will not be prevented from getting access to your yacht by the presence of non-members.

Do you charter/rent the boat out?

Yes. The syndicate operates in the charter market. This maintains its status as commercial vessel and provides income to offset the running costs. The income is divided among the members in proportion to the amount of time they've left available for charters, i.e. the less you use the greater the share of income.

Who will run the yacht's technical management under the Curvelle banner?

Curvelle SYS has contracted Hill Robinson to provide technical management. Hill Robinson is a highly experienced superyacht management company based in Antibes, London and Fort Lauderdale. Hill Robinson currently manages several dozen yachts between 22m and 80m in both private and charter use.

Who will you employ with experience of Superyacht management?

Hill Robinson will supply the shore-based management team. Because the yacht will be have a significantly greater utilisation than most yachts of similar size an innovative crewing scheme has been developed that involves more crew members and adds experience and expertise.

When repositioning between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, will the yacht be under its own power?

We expect to use a transportation company. The quaranta can easily position across the Atlantic under its own power and in fact can do so with commercial passengers aboard. This is nominally cheaper, but transporting reduces wear and tear, enables maintenance to be done while en route, and maximises available time for members' use.

end fractional ownership page