Re: Changing focus - Sailboat partnerships, sharing or crew?
I have had a partner in my Tartan 27' for 10 years now. It does not hurt that we know each other from college and that we've both found that we enjoy the fairly relaxed PHRF racing we do every week, in season. That said, sharing a boat with another person (50/50) is not all fun and games; there was only one time I was about ready to turn my back on our arrangement due to differences in our personalities. I have become resigned to the fact that my boat partner may have had part or all of his sense of humor surgically removed. We still enjoy sailing together and sharing the maintenance work. This brings up an important point. Our skill sets overlap but it is the skills that we each excel at that the other does not that make us a better partnership. Our partnership is not perfect but it has worked well enough and kept the cost down for each of us.
My advice is to do as much crewing for races as you can and meet as many boat owners as you can. Not everyone wants a boat partner and many would probably never consider it. They certainly would not consider it if they did not know you well, or at all.
Another option would be to find someone who is interested in the idea amongst the people you have crewed with who do not already own a boat. If you could find an appropriate partner you could buy the boat of your own (collective) choice.
Another boat partnership I know of that consists of 4 partners does divide up the available sailing season by week. For them it is a necessary evil; for us we are more laissez faire and often sail together. I just have to laugh at my own jokes alone!
Classic Plastic 1967 Tartan 27' with lots of teak, everywhere. ~~/)~~