As I write this article, the Sydney Boat Show is open. It is designed to seduce you into parting with some hard earned cash in exchange for the feeling of the freedom of owning your own boat. The seduction starts with the assistance of technology, making boats like sleek mean machines that James Bond would be proud of! Think press button gizmos designed to take the thinking and muscles out of skippering such as auto helming, auto winches, radar detectors, chart plotters etc. Just crank up the stereo and you’ll be right, right?
If you have purchased any electrical item in the last ten years, you must know that they always break a day after the warranty expires, they corrode and your bills skyrocket with each new gizmo. See the connection? Your beautiful boat who you think will reward you by making you feel so important, so free, so loved, so swooned upon by your chosen ones is a clever trick. Your new love soon will rapidly corrode unless you constantly coat every surface with a protective coating. You will be reminded every time you get on that you still need to replace XYZ, coat XYZ, renew XYZ, fix XYZ, tidy XYZ, workout how to XYZ, or hire someone to XYZ. Meanwhile, you are trying to keep up the smile to swoon XYZ.
Do you know what BOAT stands for? Bung On Another Thousand!
Please read the fine print below for a candid look at the reality-
No doubt about it, for all of these boat options, everything feels great on the first day. The harbour is magnificent, the boat is shiny and everyone is smiling. You will feel free, admired and rewarded.
Buying a Boat
The practicalities of keeping your seductive boat in ship shape condition are many. You will have to ensure that every surface has a constant coating of weather protection, even if it is hard grade plastic and not metal. Wax polishes, decking oils, sprays, greases, and anti foul on the hull are needed here. If you love tinkering and watching the sparkle come to life, buying you own boat might satisfy.
A boat share membership will take a big load off your responsibilities here as you will only need to do an ‘As you found it’ clean when you get off.
When you charter a boat, you can just walk off, leave the dirty dishes and barbeque etc. and head off to the after party or a nice comfy couch.
Buying a Boat
To form a realistic estimate, you need to include in your maintenance costs the following:
-Linen and Laundry
An estimation for the average annual spend for a boat that costed around $200,000 would be around $40, 000 or more in Sydney Harbour in 2015
-Membership Entry Fees
-Monthly Membership Fees
Minimum annual spend $13, 500 py for a basic level boat.
Note that the boat share system is usually based on points. If you don’t use up your points in a single year, you lose them. Weekends and popular days will cost you more points. A Monday to Thursday charter may be 20 points and weekend may be 50 points, so it is worthwhile looking closely looking at your honest availability and divide that by the costing. Money is made by Boat share companies on the fact that most people don’t use all of their points just like many gift vouchers are never redeemed.
Pay as you go. Couldn’t be simpler, and you pay for the fun bit of actually enjoying the boat. No wasted money, points or time.
Buying a Boat
If you are buying a boat and you can afford it, you can splash out and buy a boat big enough to host lots of friends. Otherwise, your boat party size will always be restricted to small numbers and you will have to pick and choose your friends a bit more!
If you are considering a boat share option, the boat guest capacity sizes are very small due to government safety restrictions. 12 passengers is a standard maximum on a boat share boat, and this is for the top of the range vessels. At entry level, you passenger size is usually 8 for day charters
With the boat charter option, you can name your party size and you will be given a large choice of vessels to select from. Sydney Harbour Escapes can host events on boats from 2- 950 guests.
Buying a Boat
Take this well on board. As a skipper, you have all the responsibility for the safety of first and third party persons at all times. You will have to stay sober at all times if you are a skipper or pay someone to skipper for you.
Same as above.
Enjoy some one else taking the responsibility so you can get full enjoyment out of being on the water with your friends.
BUYING A BOAT 15/30 stars
Suits those who have lots of money and like to fix things, clean things and tinker or pay someone to do this. Your new 'love' will definitely make your current partner jealous of time spent with your new interest. Beware of the seduction of the first date. Your new love may not stay looking this way for long!
BOAT SHARE 20/30 stars
Suits those who have lots of free weekdays, a suitable chunk of spare cash, and a willingness to stay sober and enjoy others partying as you take the responsibility.
BOAT CHARTER 30/30 stars
Suits those who like to simply make the most of their free time, love to socialise and have fun. Caters for all budgets from modest to exorbitant. No sense of guilt from not using a wasted asset. Can take your pick from large range of boats and catering options for any size group.
View boats available for private charters
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