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How does the membership in the Limited Liability Company work?

A Captain's Executive Summary is provided below explaining how the LLC membership works. A more detailed explanation of member rights and privileges are spelled out in the LLC operating agreement.

  1. Initial Capital Investment. Incoming MEMBERS are required to make an initial “buy-in” capital investment to become a member of the LLC. This buy-in investment is considered non-refundable, but can be resold pursuant to the Operating AGREEMENT of the LLC.
  2. Member Interest Certificates. This investment is in a form of an “interest certificate” that is similar to company stock. Interest certificates can be resold to another person on approval of the Member-Manager. The interest certificates issued are based on the market value – what the market will bear on resale at any given time. The interest certificates usually appreciate in value, but this cannot be guaranteed.
  3. Security and Damage Deposit. A fully or partially refundable security and damage deposit is placed on account for each member. This account may be charged for yacht or equipment damage, late payments or other non-collectables from a member.
  4. Member Involvement. All members have a say in how the yacht is managed. MEMBERS may vote to approve policy and procedures, as well as, one-time assessments to make improvements or additions to the yacht.
  5. 5. Monthly Operation and Maintenance Fee. An operation and maintenance fee is paid by each member on a monthly basis. This fee is non-refundable and covers all associated costs to berth and operate the yacht. The cost is kept low by distributing these monthly costs proportionately over the membership.
  6. Limited Membership. The membership is limited to quality people. To be cost-effective to the membership, the membership limit is established at a maximum of eight (8) members. As the LLC membership grows, existing members may elect to reduce the number of members by agreeing to pay more for the initial buy-in capital investment and a higher monthly fee. Likewise, the members may elect to increase the number of members to reduce the initial capital investment and monthly fees.

What are my costs?

Based on a 1999 Hunter Passage 420 appraised for $179,000. Member costs are summarized as follows:

  • $6, 500 Member Capital Buy-In Investment
  • $1,500 Security & Damage Deposit
  • $399 Monthly Maintenance & Operation Fee
  • $50/Hour Additional Training (6 Hours provided FREE)

You can also view the cost of owing you own yacht to compare the value you receive by being a Sun Spirit member.

What services can I expect?

1. Well-Equipped Quality Yacht! At your first glance, you will see that attention has been paid to details. You will find the overall appearance of the yacht will be maintained in new or near-new condition. Potential members may view yacht specifications and photos by clicking on Available Yachts.

The yacht is equipped to be operated with ease, so you can send your time relaxing or enjoying friends and family. A few things that will “pamper” you and your guests include:

  • Roller Furling Main Sail - All lines operated within cockpit
  • Roller Furling Jig - Electric Winches (1 cockpit & 1 anchor)
  • Auto-Pilot - GPS
  • Chart Plotter - Radar
  • Cable TV & Directional Antenna Internet & Telephone
  • Dingy & Outboard - Vacu-Flush Heads (2)
  • Dodger & Bimini Top - Full Enclosure for Cockpit

2. Pride of Ownership! Each member has a special interest in the Limited Liability Company structured to ensure the yacht is well maintained and managed. Members sharing a quality yacht with a carefully selected group, quickly form a pride of ownership in a yacht that has raised their quality of life.

3. Carefully Selected Members! Unlike a rental or time-share yacht, your yacht will be used only by a limited number of quality members, each having a capital investment into a quality company. Members may vary in experience and training, but a special training program will ensure the member-captains are fully qualified to safely operate the yacht.

Potential members are interviewed by the member-manager to evaluate training and experience, and their “fit” with the group. The capital investment is considered secondary to bringing on responsible but fun-loving people.

4. Member Training Program! All members will be required to go through a Basic Training and Check-Ride Program. The length of the program will vary in time required and is dependent on previous training and experience. The basic training and check-ride involves two on-water sessions, each lasting approximately three (3) hours.

Even if you are an experienced sailor, you will find this program to be a valuable hands-on experience. Not only will you learn to safely and effectively operate the yacht, you will also learn anchoring & docking, emergency procedures, radio operations, basic navigation equipment operations, harbor hazards, and a number of carefully selected skills.

The Basic Training and Check-Ride Program is very relaxed, but a structured experience that provides members with valuable hands-on experience. This six (6) hour program is FREE. Most members will be signed-off to skipper the yacht after completing the program.

Some incoming members may be required to, or may choose to, receive more training before being signed-off to skipper the yacht. Additional training can be arranged for $50/hour. If additional training hours are needed, the incoming member may also arrange to crew with another member to obtain more training before taking another check-ride to be signed off for skipper use.

Crewing with other members is highly encouraged, both initially and ongoing. The more you sail with experienced sailors the more you learn what to do – and what not to do! Learning is always two-way!

5. Internet Services for Yacht Management! A state-of-the-art website improves member communications. You will be able to access the website from your own home/office personal computer, or on the on-board computer provided for dockside use. A few of the features of this specially-developed website are:

  • Scheduling yacht use times
  • Member email addresses
  • Direct on-line member communication
  • Captain's Use Logs Maintained
  • Preventive Maintenance Program
  • On-Board electronic check-in and check-out
  • On-Board reporting of needed repairs or maintenance

6. Equally Distributed Yacht Use! Members can be assured that their sailing needs will be met. A specially designed scheduling system allows for flexibility while ensuring yacht use is equally and fairly distributed. Special considerations are also given our out-of-town members.

7. Extended Yacht Use Privileges (Up to 7 Days)! On an annual basis, a member may schedule extended use for those local cruises to Catalina Island or Ensenada, Mexico. Obviously, shorter 2-4 day coastal cruises can also be arranged.

8. Quick Response to Repairs & Maintenance! With the unique on-board computer check-in and check-out procedure, MEMBERS are reporting anything wrong with the yacht immediately. MEMBERS are required to check over the yacht and report maintenance and repair concerns prior to departure and upon arrival back at port. In most cases, arrangements for repairs and maintenance are being made as you are sailing.

9. "Vessel Assist" for Emergencies! Even with the best maintenance programs and responsible MEMBERS, sometimes an emergency will occur. If so, help is a radio call away! Vessel Assist has an excellent record for timely response times. It also responds to all emergencies in the all areas that are expected to be used by our MEMBERS.

10. Excellent Yacht Management! Your monthly fee covers all of the maintenance and operation costs of owning a yacht. Isn't cost sharing wonderful! All yacht expenses will be handled for services, maintenance, repairs and operations to include, but not be limited to:

  • Berthing (slip fees)
  • Utilities (water & electric)
  • Insurance
  • Communications (phone, internet, CTV)
  • Lease Agreements
  • Local fuel
  • Haul cleaning
  • Website use
  • Minor repairs
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Basic stock supplies
  • Tax preparation (LLC)
  • Property taxes
  • Minor new equipment
  • Management services
  • and Much more!

The only thing each member is asked to do is to leave the yacht in the condition found. Member courtesy and the pride of ownership will usually prevent any member neglect of responsibilities

Another PLUS is the excellent preventative maintenance program that is incorporated to prevent emergencies. This means things are replaced before they break. All routine and specialized maintenance items are performed on time - the scheduling calendar sends remainders when items are due.

How much yacht use can I expect?

  • A given week is broken down into four divisions to establish a distribution system for prime uses that will create a balance of the varying desirable uses. These include: prime day use, prime evening use, mid-week day use and mid-week evening use.
  • Likewise, the 24-hour day is broken down into two 12-hour intervals allowing more availability and flexibility in scheduling. Day use is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and evening use is 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. of the next day.
  • Each member is allotted equal numbers of available time slots and prime-time distributions. Each member may expect to use the yacht at least at total of 90 interval uses (12-hours each) or about 45 day uses (24-hours).
  • Sole owners of yachts are estimated to use their boats 2-3 times per month. In comparison, Sun Spirit offers each member almost 4 day uses per month (or 8 interval uses per month).

How does the scheduling work?

  • First – before starting into the scheduling guidelines, it is important to emphasize that all scheduling in performed on-line through a highly specialized website design that maximizes communications among members and management. Now let's get started!
  • A given week is broken down into four divisions to establish a distribution system for prime uses that will create a balance of the varying desirable uses. These include: prime day use, prime evening use, mid-week day use and mid-week evening use.
  • Likewise, the 24-hour day is broken down into two 12-hour intervals allowing more availability and flexibility in scheduling. Day use is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and evening use is 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. of the next day.
  • Each member is allotted equal numbers of available time slots and prime-time distributions. Each member may expect to use the yacht at least at total of 90 interval uses (12-hour periods) or about 45 day uses (24-hours).
  • Sole owners of yachts are estimated to use their boats 2-3 times per month. In comparison, Sun Spirit offers each member almost 4 day uses per month (or 8 interval uses per month).
  • Members may also use 24-Hour Bonus Time – if the yacht is not schedule within 24-hours of an anticipated use, the member can use the yacht without that use being charged to the member's allotted total uses.
  • Members may also swap uses with other members, go out with other members, and be placed on a waiting list for those any cancellations.
  • One last important benefit! Unlike some boat time-shares, Sun Spirit members also can schedule extended use for up to seven (7) consecutive days. So the trips to Catalina Island or Ensenada, Mexico can be accommodate.

What are costs to own my own yacht?

The following expense projections are based on a well-equipped 1999 Hunter Passage 420 with an appraised value of $179,000:

Initial Capital Investment
20% Down Payment on Loan $35,800.00
Loan Processing Fee $100.00
Sales Tax (CA 7.75%) $13,873.00
Hull Out for Marine Survey ($7.50/ft) $378.00
Bottom Paint (if needed) $1000.00
Bottom Graphics (Name Change) $500.00
USCG Vessel Documentation (if needed) $500.00
Slip Deposit (1 month @ $15/ft) $630.00
Connection Fees (phone, internet, Cable TV) $150.00
Total Cash Needed $53,246.00
Monthly Expenses
Boat Payment ($143,200 - 20 yrs @ 6%) $1,025.00
Insurance $125.00
Slip Fee ($15/ft) $630.00
Personal Property Tax (1.25% of value) $186.00
Vessel Assist (Emergencies) $10.00
Cable TV/Internet/Phone Dockside $100.00
Bottom Cleaning (monthly) $50.00
Fuel and Boat Cleaning $100.00
Reserve for Maintenance & Repairs $150.00
Total Monthly Expenses $2,376.00
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