Home' Afloat : AFLOAT September 2017 Contents Take monthly with water September 2017 49
ON THE WATER
with David Lockwood
You can contact the author at David.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at
Full marks to the Boating Industry
Association (BIA) for putting together
an impressive 50th Sydney International
Boat Show. There were more new high quality
boats than since the GFC. Unlike other capital
cities, we haven’t the constraints of shoaling
channels, extreme winter weather and a lack
of safe havens or ports in a storm. Our boating
Mecca attracts boats from all corners of the
globe and they were on show.
Of course, Sydney is an international city
with a high cost of living. There is a yawing
gap between the haves and have nots. This
wealth divide was to some degree reflected
by the calibre of craft at Sydney boat show.
There were more luxury yachts, catamarans,
cruisers and motorboats than, say, an indoor
Brisbane or Melbourne show that’s mudguard
to mudguard with trailerboats.
That is not to say that stand up
paddleboards, kayaks, tinnies and other tubs
weren’t displayed. SUPS were everywhere
including the watersports area and pools on
the top deck. They were terrific for families
and kids to see how easy it is to get afloat.
Dip the oar or paddle. Bravo BIA!
Evidently, families flocked through the
gates, with more than 63,000 showgoers
up from just under 50,000 visitors last year.
That’s a big turnout considering the 2002
boat show 15 years ago attracted a record
crowd of 89,248 during the insane pre GFC
peak. With families back, there were plenty
of seeds sewn to grow future boating.
Of course, some readers will disagree
about the Sydney boat show. They will
lament the explosion of white fibreglass
boats, without the character of their classics,
and tell you that yachting is inaccessible
and unattainable, with lofty tickets for the
smoked salmon set alone. That old lament
about preserve of the rich.
Sailors are renowned for hitching a free
ride. But if they looked beneath the shiny
surface of all those new boats on show
this year they would have seen it – a quiet
revolution changing the face of boating and
yachting – the share economy.
Of the 200 or so luxury boats on display
at the marina, half of them must have been
offered through share boating, managed
fleets, syndicates and club membership
arrangements. Boat and yacht share is today’s
affordable way to boat ownership and it’s
Through boat share you can own enough
of a boat – 1/8th shares are common – to
sate your Sydney boating needs. A managed
boat is just that, prepared and right to go for
your set allocated time, which may be 6-8
weekends a year, plus mid-week and standby
time. Overheads such as marina fees and
maintenance are shared, too.
Unsurprisingly, boat share resonates with
time poor Sydneysiders. For $100-$200k, you
can get access to a luxury 50-footer in power
or sail. No one will know you don’t own it
outright. At the end of the typical three year
term, sometimes out to five years, the boat is
sold and the capital is redistributed or rolled
into the next one.
Eventually, as your time and whims allow,
boatshare folk might find themselves ready
to buy their own boat. It mightn’t be quite
as big and glamorous as what they partly
owned before but, in Sydney at least, you
can buy a dayboat with a decent bathroom
all of your own.
There are other boating products now
emerging in the share economy including
Boats on Board that also launched at the
50th Sydney International Boat Show. The
idea here is to rent out cabin space while
your boat is tied to the marina. The return
can help defray the cost of boat ownership
and, we were told, just four rentals a month
could offset berthing fees.
Beds on Board is established overseas,
but local boating identities Darren and Nicky
Vaux from Empire Marina in Bobbin Head
are now in the process of obtaining approval
from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
(AMSA) to offer the model locally.
“A MSA have advised us that it is their
view that creating a general exemption in
relation to recreational vessels being used
for the limited purpose of short term marina
accommodation is an appropriate means
of scaling regulation to reflect risk and that
a draft general exemption for this use will
be released shortly by AMSA for public
comment,” Darren said.
Boats in the 40-50ft range are expected
to command $100-$150 per cabin per night.
The boats are managed by the owner, the
marina and/or a third party, say, someone on
site who runs a boat share or charter fleet.
Changing linen would therefore be easy to do.
“ The sharing economy provides the
opportunity to monetise under-utilised
private assets and boats in marinas are only
used around 20 days a year,” Darren explained
at the local launch.
“ We also see it as a way to introduce
a whole generation of non-boaters to the
luxury boating and marina lifestyle in an
easily accessible and low cost way, as well
as helping boat owners to offset the cost of
boat ownership,” he said.
Even the world’s biggest boatbuilder
Beneteau has announced it’s backing a global
boating club model that offers access to a
fleet of its small outboard powered craft for
about AUD$1,500 annual membership. There
are 15 bases in France and Spain, but talk of
Elsewhere, new subscription models are
being bandied about where, say, you learn to
sail on a boat and then gain access to that
same boat like a bareboat charter over the
course of a year. Charter boat investment is
also making a return. There’s a lot going on
with flexible boat ownership now and in the
THE SHARE BOAT
Above: Boatshare is big business and part
of the growing share economy.
Left: Beds on Board is starting up in
Australia as a means to rent out your
cabins and defray boat ownership costs.
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