We all have a list of things in our head that we’ll have or do when we’ve ‘made it’. It might be travelling the world, visiting far off exotic destinations or buying the house, the car or the boat?
But owning a boat may sound like something you want to brag to your friends about, but in reality boats can be huge money pits, with little enjoyment to be had. You either have to have your boat moored permanently or tow it to your destination. Then there are all the ongoing expenses and the reality that you don’t really have all that much time to actually enjoy your floating home away from home.
Thankfully Andy and Belinda Young from Boating Syndication Australia (BSA) have a solution to all the downsides of owning a boat. Rather than buying a whole boat you can buy a share in a boat with BSA and so you share the ongoing expenses as well.
BSA has been in business for more than 10 years and currently has 27 boats under management located at The Spit in Middle Harbour, Rushcutters Bay, and on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Their service is all inclusive and they take care of everything for you, even down to supplying a skipper if you would like. It’s an arrive and enjoy boating experience!
Owners nominate when they would like to use their boat then Belinda and Andy equitably share out use for the year. When it’s your weekend with boat you arrive at the marina and the boat is ready to go for you. Everything is included in the monthly management fee apart from fuel.
After spending so much time around boats Belinda and Andy have developed an intimate understanding of what their exacting clients want in their boats. They have now used this knowledge to create their own boat brand, The Longreef.
Longreef Yachts are built in Hong Kong and finished in Brisbane to exceptionally high standards using Andy’s design specifications. The first example of the Longreef range, an 88ft eight berth luxury floating penthouse, is now available for a quarter share purchase.
On a recent cruise around Sydney Harbour I got to sample this beautiful vessel for myself while chatting with Belinda Young who is co owner and Chief Financial Officer of BSA.
Belinda told me “In addition to the 88ft vessel, BSA also have a 60ft boat currently under construction and in 2018 BSA plan to have a further eight to ten Longreef boats coming out.”
“After ten years doing everyone else’s boats we will now be doing our own brand and we’re very excited about that”, said Belinda.
I asked how high demand periods such as New Years Eve and Christmas were managed among the owners and the answer surprised me a bit. Belinda said “Nine times out of ten owners don’t want to be on the harbour then because it’s so busy and it’s when many accidents occur. But for those who do want it, their names are put into a hat and drawn randomly, but the person who got the opportunity one year will not be in the hat for the following year”.
If you like the look of the 88ft Longreef boat a quarter share can be yours for $650,000 plus $5,000 a month for ongoing expenses such as insurance, berthing, maintenance and cleaning. This cost includes a full time skipper as well, meaning you really can simply enjoy cruising Sydney Harbour with your friends.
This Longreef includes a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, a second double bed and a third room with two single beds plus a second bathroom. There is a downstairs nine seat cinema room and upstairs a lounge and dining area.
Outside there are lounge and table areas at the back and front of the boat. On the top deck there is another seating area with table, a BBQ and a bar. Everything you would want to enjoy a weekend away on the water.
The majority of owners are families and the skippering is done by the husband. But BSA are also trying to encourage more women to take the helm by offering training days for women only and this gives the wives the confidence to drive the boat themselves.
Even one of the BSA employees who first started as a cleaner for them is now training to be a skipper and once qualified she will be one of the first female skippers on the marina.
It’s so great to see BSA encouraging more women to take to the water and if I were a keen boater, this is how I would go about indulging my passion; this is boating with style if you ask me!