This recession we’ve been in has spared no one. Okay, no, that’s not really true. Doctors are fine, and also celebrities, and the makers of Tamiflu. But the point is that no matter what our income bracket, the faltering economy has caused many of us to make changes in our lifestyles. For some of us, that means putting off retirement, or bringing lunch to work, or moving into a tent city. For others it means entering into a yacht-sharing partnership instead of purchasing their own.
According to Bloomberg, since “senior managers at firms including Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley lost their bonuses last year,” sales of luxury yachts have slowed. But some bankers have discovered the secret to buying a big-ass boat on a dinghy budget: time-shares! Take the Ocean Emerald, a 41-meter luxury yacht that comes with a seven-member crew and interiors by Italian furniture-maker Cassina. It normally retails for $21 million, but a group of bankers decided to go in on it. Now, each of them gets five weeks for a mere $2.7 million! And if anyone accuses them of being cheapskates, they have a ready answer:
“Anyone who has a boat knows that the big problem is that you pay all year and use the boat very little,” London-based businessman Niccolo Arnaldi, a stakeholder in Ocean Emerald, said on board the yacht. “Time-sharing is a way to have access to a boat you could never afford.”
Right? Yacht-owning = hassle. Everyone knows that. Of course, the sharing could get complicated. Like what if Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon accidentally book the same week? Think of the high jinks! Buddy movie?