Boating Syndication offers COVID escape

Boating Syndication offers COVID escape

One of the by-products of the global Covid-19 pandemic has been the challenge to re-think recreation and family time. We’re unable to travel overseas, so the options for new adventures inside borders are opening up.

In the US, the recreational vehicle industry — caravans, campers and motor homes – is predicting its fourth-best year in history. Sales of such RVs in Australia have spiked since March. Many families have looked across the wide expanses of water in Sydney Harbour, Moreton Bay, Port Phillip Bay and the waters Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays.

One of the most attractive options is syndicated boat ownership. Parents are still working, even if at home, and children are going to school so sharing the costs of a family-size luxury boat is highly attractive.

Andy Young, CEO of Boating Syndication Australia, said the company had noticed a considerable jump in demand beginning in July. “The number of enquiries has been stronger over the past three months than we have ever experienced,” he said.

BSA manages 35 luxury boats on behalf of owners in Sydney, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and on Hamilton Island in Queensland’s Whitsunday islands.

Steve Martin is a senior executive with a global advertising company. He and wife Nikki and their two young children moved to Sydney from their home in London last year, planning a two or three-year residency and hopes of holidays in the Asia-Pacific region.

“When the borders closed, we looked closer to our new home,” said Steve. “What better way to see Sydney than from the waters of the Harbour?” A colleague suggested shared ownership of a boat on which the family could spend days and weekends exploring the local waterways.

They contacted Boating Syndication Australia and investigated a number of different vessels, settling on the ever-popular Riviera 5000 Sport Yacht. “It has been a fantastic experience since the day we signed on,” said Steve. “Having a share in ‘Twilight’ is one of the most positive experiences we have had.”

With overseas holidays out of the question for Ben and Jane Herden and their four children, local boating seemed an obvious alternative. They already owned a 20-foot bow-rider but it was hardly suitable for an extended on-water holiday.

“We researched the options for boat syndication and sharing,” said Ben. “There were many alternatives but we were attracted to the professionalism of the team at BSA. When we first arrived to inspect a boat, everyone was in uniform; we saw 10 people working on maintaining and cleaning the boats.

“We felt comfortable and decided on shared ownership of a Riviera 5000 Sport Yacht in August. We visited twice to check the boat. The cleanliness was perfect, she smelled and felt good. I like things to be orderly.

“We’ve loved every minute of our time on board although pulling into a jetty is somewhat more challenging on a 50-foot boat than on our 20-foot bow-rider!”

The walk-on-walk-off benefits offered by BSA particularly attracted Hamish Pearce and his wife Kimberley to a Princess 54 named Aurora. He decided on the ownership model after his business partner invited him out on his shared luxury cruiser.

“We decided on the Princess because of the amount of space available for entertaining,” said Hamish. “We take work colleagues out as well as friends and the family. The large flybridge deck on the Princess is a great additional space.

“Kimberley works full time with a lot of pressure, so time out on Aurora is a special way to relax.”

BSA’s training program was especially helpful for the new owners. Steve and Nikki Martin share the driving duties aboard ‘Twilight’. “BSA helped us both to obtain boating licences,” said Steve. “The two-day training program was intense. I don’t think I have every felt so tired as I did afterwards!”

BSA’s fleet ranges from the ever-popular Riviera M400 sports cruiser to a super-luxury Longreef 90SX. “Our syndicates provide economical boating,” said BSA’s Andy Young. “Each owner is guaranteed at least 33 days on the water each year. Everyone shares in the costs of ownership and maintenance which are fixed, meaning there are no surprises. The only additions are the fuel each owner uses while they are out on the water.”

More information is available at the Boating Syndication Australia Web site,

Pictured: Ben and Jane Herden – “We’ve loved every minute of our time on board”.