Summer is now here, but is there still a tin of anti-foul waiting for you in the garden shed? Your boat has spent the winter months on the mooring, but now the weather has lightened, you want to spend balmy summer days cruising, racing or just mucking about on the water with family and friends.
But before you get out there the boat needs to be slipped, anti-fouled, costly repairs and routine maintenance done, systems checked and the cabins cleaned. This is the least fun and most time consuming side of boat ownership. And the reason why increasing numbers of sailors and power boaters are choosing an easier way to get on the water.
YachtShare offers clients 35 days on the water each year on a range of luxury yachts and launches in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful cruising grounds.
Fleet vessels are available in Auckland, the Bay of Islands and Nelson with the company planning to soon base vessels in Gulf Harbour and Marlborough Sounds. There’s even the option of spending some of your 35 days in Australia.
YachtShare’s General Manager Nigel Winnard said that with 144 islands, many secluded bays, a great climate and abundant marine life, the Bay of Islands is a popular cruising destination.
‘It’s fantastic: quiet, sheltered, laid back and there are fantastic beaches where you can hideaway and sail in a sub-tropical climate. They call it the winterless north and it generally is. People still run around in the middle of winter in shorts and t-shirts. It’s not quite Queensland but it’s getting close.’
Other YachtShare clients choose the convenience of Auckland’s Westhaven marina, though this still offers keen sailors the opportunity to get away from it all.
‘The Hauraki Gulf around Auckland is metropolitan but it only takes about three hours to get out to some stunning areas. Three or four hours and you can be on the far side of an island with only one other fellow boatie.’
You can choose to spend your time on a Beneteau 323 or 331 with a new Beneteau 40 expected to arrive at Christmas. There’s a lovely Elan 37, Hunter 356 and for multi hull enthusiasts a Grainger 43.
If power boating is more your thing, YachtShare offers time onboard a Vindex 470, Beneteau Antares 980, Wavecrusher 3100 or for serious fishing the Southern Sports 720HT is a great choice. The flexibility of YachtShare’s booking system means that many clients choose to divide their time between launches and yachts, or experience sailing on a range of different boats.
And the best thing about the YachtShare option is that at the end of the year you can choose to either renew your contract or walk away: it’s up to you.
There’s no boat to sell, no ongoing bills and none of the hours spent on boat maintenance. All you have to pay for during the year is the cost of the fuel you use and a refundable insurance bond. YachtShare even splits the annual fee into an easy Automatic Payment monthly option.
Nigel Winnard explained that for many families YachtShare’s service was a great way of testing the water before deciding whether to buy a boat. YachtShare provides an opportunity for people to experience various brands and types of boat, which may help guide an important future purchase. This also builds up their boating skills and is a fantastic way of discovering some of New Zealand’s beautiful waters.
‘It’s a really good introduction into finding out whether a family wants to sail. You get 35 days in the one year contract, and at the end of the contract if you say ‘no, it’s not for me’ you can just walk away. Or if you love it, you can roll it over for the next year, but maybe this time choose a different boat to suit your changing needs.’
For older people or time poor executives, YachtShare’s options area great way of indulging in a much loved hobby without the back breaking hours spent on maintenance or the continuous stream of bills that accompany boat ownership.
For less experienced sailors, or for those who haven’t sailed in a while, YachtShare employs a fully qualified skipper who is able to give further training or coaching for a small fee.
YachtShare have designed their booking system to be as user friendly and convenient as possible. They understand that their clients want as much flexibility as possible when it comes to selecting dates, locations and choice of vessels.
‘We want to be really, flexible. Basically if you dream it up, we will try to help you make it happen’ said Nigel Winnard.
The booking system is available online 24/7 and clients can check the calendar to see which boats are available. Although booking is largely based on a ‘first come, first served’ principle, there are ground rules in place to ensure that everyone has fair access, particularly during school holidays or peak periods.
Clients are also able to make bookings at the last minute via a 24 hour telephone support service or the internet.
‘You wake up, it’s a fantastic day, you turn on the internet and see a boat’s free, you click on it and away you go.’
This is a much nicer way of spending the day than scraping anti-foul off your boat’s hull at the slipway, cleaning black mould off a cabin roof or running around trying to organise sail repairs.
For more information about YachtShare visit their website: http://www.yachtshare.co.nz
Telephone: 0800 366 828
Fax: +64 9376 9640