General Question

sfritter82's avatar

I'm buying a boat with two friends. What is the best way to split the cost of gas?

Asked by sfritter82 (20 points ) June 22nd, 2011

Its hard to nail down how much each person has used when they take the boat out and we can’t fill it up every time as the gas stations will be closed. We are going to split everything else but think that you should have to pay for the gas that you use.

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19 Answers

chyna's avatar

Keep track of how many miles each puts on the boat. Figure out how many miles per gallon the boat uses and divide by usage.
I know you didn’t ask my opinion on this, but it is a bad idea to buy a boat with friends. If one loses his job, if his wife S/O doesn’t want the money going towards the boat, etc., then only two will be stuck with all the payments and insurance and repairs. You should get all this hashed out before you buy the boat. I know this first hand as I had a S/O that bought a boat with his best friend of 20 years and the friend lost his job, my S/O was stuck with payments he couldn’t afford.

tranquilsea's avatar

You could just require that the gas be filled every time it is used.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

@tranquilsea – I’m with you. @sfritter82 is a friend of mine and he says that gas is not always accessible and that may be unrealistic….maybe a log of sorts? Or settling up on a weekly basis electronically or otherwise?

janbb's avatar

I think @tranquilsea ‘s idea is a good one. Each person is responsible for filling up the tank before they leave the boat for the next person.

Coloma's avatar

To keep it simple start with a full tank, split 3 ways, and then, whomever takes the boat out returns it with a full tank. So you each kinda forfeit a ⅓ of a tank to start, but, you have to start somewhere. I’d also insist on a full safety and fluids check by each person using the boat upon it’s return. Checking, cleaning and basic once over as a mutual courtesy.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

…and I imagine it’ll only be taken out, mostly on weekends, so that makes the time you have to figure out things more acute, easier.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Top off the tank,after every time you use it.If the gas stations are not open,either get out there the following day and do it or the next guy will top it off and bill the previous user.

tranquilsea's avatar

I think keeping a log could get nightmare-ish. What happens if someone forgets, which is quite likely? You could keep a gerry can filled and the last thing the person needs to do before he leaves the area is fill is back up again.

_zen_'s avatar

We have a system for sharing cars. Each person gets a special button which also doubles as an immobilizer. This button has the personal information of the user, and logs the info of the trip. At then end of the month, the info is downloaded from each button and records how many miles were driven.

Cruiser's avatar

Leave it empty and carry a spare 5 gallons with you.

lillycoyote's avatar

@chyna That’s what I was going to say to @sfritter82 first, don’t do it to begin with. I’m with @chyna. It’s a bad idea, this buying a boat with friends. There’s very good chance that it will go very wrong, in any number of ways and will be the end of your friendships and leave you vulnerable to financial problems, as chyna points out. If someone backs, out if someone loses their job, wants to sell his share and gets bent out of shape, someone gets in an accident on the boat, that would be bad enough, god forbid injures or kills someone with a boat that is in part, in your name, you could have some liability for that even if it was one of the other guys. How you split the gas could be the very least of your problems.

JLeslie's avatar

Keep a log that has the date, odometer reading, and how full the tank is. All you need to know is how many gallons the tank takes, how much you used, say habe a tank, and do the math. 16 gallon tank, use half a tank, 8 gallons X $5 you owe $40.

I think have some sort of agreement never to return the boat with less than an agreed upon amount of gas, especially if there is no gas sold where you keep the boat.

If for any reason you are worried that the other two you are buying the boat with will not be honorable in paying for gas, don’t buy the boat. No matter what it is very risky, especially if you are splitting the boat because you cannot afford one on your own. I know people who have owned boats, trailers, and condos together, sometimes it does work out ok, but for sure every time it worked out without arguments or a lot of trouble all parties actually had enough money to own the property outright themselves.

Hibernate's avatar

Or just fill the tank to maximum and every time someone uses the boat fill the tank again .. this way nobody can say they didn’t use that much or bla bla.
When the tank is full and one uses it he has to fill it again.

Hope it helps and hopefully nobody suggested this before me because I haven’t read all the above.

JLeslie's avatar

Why does everyone keep suggesting to fill the tank full with each use when the OP said the gas stations are not always open? I make the mistake all of the time, not reading all of the details of a question, but this is an unusual percentage of people for this question, almost everyone.

Hibernate's avatar

I read that but the thing is one can have spare gas in barrels and such… that was the idea even if he said he does not like it.

And I specified I haven’t read all the above only the question itself Maybe this way it’s more clear for my response.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hibernate I was not criticising a specific person, just found it odd for so many to respond seemingy unaware of the details. I make the mistake quite often myself. He didn’t say he didn’t like it, he has not said anything.

janbb's avatar

You usually have portable gas tanks or containers that you can bring to a boat to fill it partway @JLeslie . Also, there are often fuel docks at marinas that will be open on weekends.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Yeah, I know, I found it odd the fuel pumps might not be open, but just going on what the OP said. In southeast FL there are places to fuel and you just pay at the pump, no one is manning it really. I would assume they are always functioning? Since I don’t own a boat I am not sure of that.

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