Many of us have entertained the idea of sharing a boat with mates. The idea of pooling resources together to buy and maintain a better vessel is certainly appealing, but it’s not hard to foresee a few potential fishhooks.

The Bunting brothers -Kirk and Mitch, builders at Bunting Brothers Construction, and Adam, an ex-chef currently studying for an MBA – explain how sharing their 795 Extreme, Dawn Raid, works in practice.

Adam enjoying the spacious cockpit

Purchase & Build

With the purchase to be split evenly 3- three ways, the goal was to build the ultimate fishing machine so with that singular purpose we started the build journey. We were lucky that Kirk had previous experience skippering fishing boats and had excellent ideas about how to improve on their fishability. In that sense Adam and Mitch were happy for Kirk to lead the build in conjunction with Woodbine Marine and the team at Extreme Boats. The build process was very involved with Kirk spending countless hours communicating back and forth with the various stakeholders in the build, but those hours were well spent as we’re still over the moon about the finished product.
Having said that, all key decisions were hashed out at length between all the boys and a majority rules voting system was installed. We’re glad we went with this system as we ended up with a unique black-on- black open cabin Extreme 795 that we love when the original plan was to have an enclosed wheelhouse. It must be noted that the vote on the boat’s name was not unanimous!

Kirk with the boats’s biggest snapper (so far!)

Sharing the boat in practice

Every year we decide by committee who has the boat for the major holiday periods whilst considering who had what the previous years. We also factor in the weather – if someone gets unlucky with rubbish weather during their big holiday then that is taken into consideration. Outside the big holidays when the weather is good enough in the weekends, you can guarantee that one of the boys will have the boat out. It tends to work on a week by week by week basis, although if one brother misses out due to weather they have the first option the next week.
When you have the boat, you can crew it however you like and if you could use an extra body to share the cost of fuel on a big trip out wide, then the brothers are the first port of call. We also take the boat out together as much as possible, especially after work during summer. Usually the goal of the trip is decided by committee in advance and then on the water Adam and Mitch are happy for Kirk to put us on the fish and enjoy some refreshing beverages at the same time. We all have towing vehicles which is convenient for everyone, although Kirk and Mitch think Adam’s ‘ancient’ Landcruiser isn’t up to standard!

Sharing a boat helps split expensive costs- such as fuelling up!


Fuel costs are split evenly between the crew on the day. The boat must be topped up after each trip so that the next person can go for it in the early hours next time.

Fishing and boating gear

The game fishing gear is shared between all whilst day to day rods and reels are BYO (although for specific missions we are happy to lend our respective kit provided it comes back spotless). Tackle is bought in bulk 2-3 times a year, split between all and stored on the boat. If expensive equipment like stickbaits are lost, then the skipper that lost them has to replace them. All costs are shared when it comes to general boat equipment.

Maintenance and cleaning

The boat is expected to be spotless for the next person and this isn’t a problem for any of us, as we don’t mind pottering around on the boat. On a joint trip, cleaning and filleting duties get split to allow for personal strengths and to get the job done as soon as possible. In terms of maintenance, the cost (not cheap!) and admin is shared between us. If one of us is overseas like Adam recently you’re not getting wet and therefore exempt from paying any dues.

Kirk & Mitch’s current building site at Leigh – complete with panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf

Summing up

Dawn Raid has already travelled over 3000 nautical miles and sharing a boat works well for us because we’re family and it would be bloody expensive to do it by ourselves! If you aren’t family, we suggest establishing clearly defined rules and expectations so nobody ends up feeling aggrieved.

Tips & Tricks

• Sharing is considerate to chance weather.
• Fuel costs are split evenly.
• Boat is re-fueled after use.
• Game fishing gear is shared by all
• Tackle is bought in bulk.
• Skipper responsible for lost equipment.
• All costs for general boat equipment are shared.
• Maintenance costs are shared.
• Exemption from paying any dues if your overseas.
• Establish clearly defined rules and expectations.

Kirk & mates catching kingfish out from Whitianga