Co-ownership can give you access to a luxury yacht like this Sunseeker Signature 95
Co-ownership can give you access to a luxury yacht like this Sunseeker Signature 95
Image: Supplied

One can only dream of being invited to park your superyacht in the exclusive harbour for the Monaco Grand Prix. To do that, you have to have fulfilled the dream of owning the superyacht in the first place. Those who have are very fortunate, but there are other ways to live the superyacht life.

One is simply to go the charter route, but even that can run into tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars per week. It’s still far short of the millions you need to spend to buy a superyacht, but you only get to enjoy it once.

You could go for joint ownership, perhaps a syndicate of friends or business associates, all of which share the purchase price and the running costs. This is probably the cheapest way to buy into genuine ownership, but what if you want all the benefits without the commitment?

It was while looking at some of those images of people having a great time on a yacht in the Monaco harbour that we discovered Flexshare. Operated by German company Meros Yachtsharing, it’s a bit like timeshare for luxury yachts but with added lifestyle benefits. It’s also significantly cheaper than co-ownership, although you are still in for at least $1.25m (R23m).

The concept of the sharing economy has really grown in recent years, in part due to the pandemic where people decided they wanted more life experiences. Often the cost of these experiences is a barrier to entry, whether it’s yachting, private air travel or luxury holiday homes.

With Flexshare, the idea is that you join the club and have access to a number of Sunseeker yachts at various locations, currently mostly in Europe and the Middle East. Meros takes care of running the yachts, maintenance, crew and so on, allowing you to just enjoy the luxury yacht lifestyle.

Like similar products on the market, it provides access to vessels like the Sunseeker Signature 95 Blue Infinity One, with the option to swap weeks on other yachts in alternative locations. All the crew, catering and service is taken care of while you are on-board — you just have to rock up and live the high life.

It definitely looked like those in Monaco were doing just that, although it was the Monaco GP so everyone was doing the same thing. But this is also where curated itineraries come in. Just as you could call on a travel concierge to plan your ultimate getaway, Meros has its own concierge service that takes care of plans and arranges exclusive events.

Yachts in the harbour always provide some of the most iconic images of the Monaco GP
Yachts in the harbour always provide some of the most iconic images of the Monaco GP
Image: Supplied

In Monaco, guests had trackside seats on board the Sunseeker yacht, access to the F1 paddock, helicopter transfers, dinners and the all-important on-board parties, the proper Monaco GP lifestyle. They even had their own F1 brand ambassador in the form of BWT Alpine F1 driver Esteban Ocon.

“Every year, I'm reminded why Meros is such a unique way to enjoy time on the water,” says Ocon. “Meeting other members and seeing the yacht showcased in Monaco always feels special. There's a strong sense of community and mutual respect for what we can achieve together, a feeling that echoes my world in F1. Meros offers incredible experiences typically reserved for the few, opening them up to those with a genuine love or interest in yachting and motorsport. I couldn’t be happier to continue our journey together this season.”

Having announced his contract won’t be renewed with the Alpine team next season, Ocon might be continuing that journey as part of a different F1 team in 2025. We suspect that won’t make any difference to the co-owners though; after all, it’s about the atmosphere of it all. It’s also about having access to that atmosphere without the huge costs of actual yacht ownership, which are generally equivalent to 10% of the purchase price of a vessel.

“It was a spectacular weekend in the company of our co-owners and with our perfect position to enjoy the racing on the track,” Meros Yachtsharing MD Georg Oehme said.

“This is just a taste of what our Flexshare owners get to enjoy each year, above and beyond the turn-key, hassle-free cruising experience that comes with access to the Flexshare fleet across the Med and Middle East.”

Thinking about it, this all sounds a like a bit of a plug, but we often bring you the latest news on yachts that can be a dream even for the seriously wealthy. This all seems a bit more affordable and access to exclusive events and parties is definitely a bonus. And, who doesn’t love seeing pictures of beautiful yachts at the Monaco Grand Prix and imagining living that life. We all have our dreams.

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