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Monday, June 3, 2013

Temporary glitch

There seems to be a bit of a glitch on the exOwnerships forum making it almost impossible to log on or post a message at the moment.  

I've reported the problem and it should be resolved at the weekend - when the administrator returns from his boating trip!

Sign of things to come?

Visitors enjoy the June sunshine at the RNLI Festival at Overwater
When I went to the RNLI Festival at Overwater this afternoon, I didn't expect to find the bosses of two of the main shared ownership management companies both giving short talks in the marquee.

Andrew Barton (left) of BCBM and
Artie Chalmers of Carefree Cruising
at Overwater.  Both companies were
supporting the RNLI Festival there.
But both Andrew Barton, MD of BCBM and Artie Chalmers, MD of Carefree Cruising were there and took the opportunity to discuss some aspects of shared ownership and the market for shares.

It made me wonder whether a suggestion made to me a few days ago might actually be a realistic proposition for the future.  

The suggestion was that, now we're three years on from the demise of Ownerships, things have settled down and there is much more stability and confidence in the sector, might it be the time to look at a more general Shared Ownership Festival and Rally?

A marina like Overwater might be an ideal location. The costs to the boat management companies could be a small fraction of mounting an individual show. It costs these companies a four figure sum to take even a single boat to a show like Crick. And there could be an opportunity for self-managed boats with shares for sale to take part.

These companies are, of course, in competition - but it's not world war III.  In reality, someone who wants to buy a share in Oakmere from BCBM is probably not a potential customer for a share in Carefree Cruising's Solace, and vice versa.

Ownashare decided against taking a boat to Crick
this year, using the busy Fradley Junction
location to show some of the boats they
manage, with shares selling in Forget Me Knot,
pictured here, and older boats.
A Shared Ownership Rally could also make an ideal showcase for the many companies who provide goods and services to a wide range of syndicates, both managed and self-managed.  It could also highlight the importance of the shared ownership sector - with more than 220 shared ownership narrowboats, whose owners collectively contribute at least £3,500,000 a year to the waterways economy.

When this idea was suggested to me, someone with wide experience of the sector said, "Can you imagine the bosses of those companies actually being involved in a show together?"  I can now.