A first for this year’s National Boat Share Show at Braunston will be a boat on display that isn’t part of any of the organised boat share schemes.

Tess, a six-berth 55ft trad stern narrowboat with a one-sixth share on offer at £5,500, is the first self-managed shared ownership boat ever to attend the show. It joins the other ten boats already booked in representing all three main boat share management companies – BCBM, Carefree Cruising and Ownashare – with the show’s organisers confident of the number rising to at least 20 boats by the time the event takes place on 23-24 April. Two brand new boats are due to be launched.

Over the last 20 years or so, shared ownership has been becoming an increasingly popular alternative to either owning a boat or hiring one for holidays. There have been several commercially run schemes: you buy a share in a boat, and pay a management fee for them to look after it. At the same time, there are still plenty of people who just get together with a group of like-minded folks and buy a boat between them and up to now, the Share Show hasn’t featured any of these.

Andrew Cooley of independent website boatshare4u.co.uk which supports the show pointed out that over 30 shares changed hands at last year’s show, representing “a significant proportion of the 200 or so shares we know to be on offer at the moment”.

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