Born from customer and public enquiry, the Master Your Boat program is hoping to equip boaties with confidence and technical skills to enjoy their boats more, and more frequently.
The brainchild of Gold Coast-based, Ian Swan, Director of Swan Super Lines and himself ex-Army Water Transport as well as marine industry veteran of more than 30 years, Master Your Boat has been established 'to assist boat owners and family members in gaining confidence and knowledge to safely operate their own boats'.
The concept was developed by Ian and will be administered by a group of three 'boat advisers': Ian, Peter Donahue, captain of MY 'Eagle One' 30m tri-deck luxury charter boat, and Rhys Bohman, Captain of MY Seven Star, the 98 Azimut luxury charter vessel.
'I was always approached on the marina, or by customers at our hardware shop, with questions about their boat. They'd tell me they would use their boats more if they had the skills and the confidence and in some cases, local knowledge around the Broadwater and further afield.'
Some were new boat owners, many of them old timers whose kids had grown up and moved out, leaving them to operate the boat alone or as a couple, with friends who perhaps didn't have much boat experience.
'They didn’t want to go back where they purchased the boat for fear of looking a dill or the boat broker didn’t spend enough time with them, or as I have found out, not all boat brokers can operate a boat!'
In the course, these seasoned boating experts cover a variety of topics in the marine stream from tenders, trailerable boats, to motor yachts and superyachts, all delivered with the emphasis on safe boating and enjoying the boating lifestyle.
Among enquiries from local boaties, and many from interstate as well, were questions such as: 'What is the oil to petrol ratio for a 2 stroke 9.9 hp outboard?', or 'Where do I find the best weather report?', 'Can you show me how to go out the Seaway?' 'Where is Tipplers?' and 'Where do you anchor on Wavebreak Island and where can you camp?'
Customer queries included:
• Would like a little more instruction on their new purchase
• Wanted family member to be more proficient when berthing or tying up
• Had all the theory but little practical. This was noted in radio operation for VHF
• Were new to the Gold Coast and unsure of the waterways
• Wanted guidance with channel marks
• Unsure of procedure to cross the Southport Bar
• What safety gear is required on Broadwater and what is required outside?
• Where to boat and what facilities are available on the water - refueling, discharging holding tanks
'We show our clients how to operate going through the Seaway, reading channel marks, what to do at fuel stations and how to manage their holding tank discharge system plus various points of interest,' says Ian. 'We also have an arrangement and contacts at marinas, fuel depots, barbeque and camping sites, and more.'
In the future, Master Your Boat is planning to enhance its offering with guest speakers, tours and boat safaris, plus charity events, as well as day boating on the Broadwater and venturing to Tangalooma and beyond.
'This will not be limited to certain brands of boats but open to all those who wish to attend to brush up on safety, techniques, local knowledge, and help you enjoy your boating with more confidence, safety with family and friends.'
Ian has received enquiries from Melbourne about franchising the concept and hopes to roll out Master Your Boat to other regions within months.
For more information email: ian (at) swansuperlines.com Tel: 0416 110 466 and www.swansuperlines.com.au