Image credit: Freedom Boat Club

There are many entry points into the boating lifestyle and they include charter, hire, share and clubs forming an important growth sector within our industry. The increasing range of options in this area and their popularity tie into the emerging generations like Y (born 1981-95) and Z (born after 1995) who are looking for experiences but not necessarily buying a boat in the first instance.

A recent study in the UK found that Gen Y and Z had less interest in competition, organised sport or formal training, and more interest in personal challenges, lifestyle, fitness, fund and ‘just do it’ experiences.

Hire and share options (notwithstanding others….) like Pacific Boating, Boating Syndication Australia, Freedom and Book my Boat allow people to experience the joy of boating and share it with family and friends without having to worry about factors like insurance, storage, maintenance and repair.

BIA has many members who are providing such services ranging from traditional hire and drive, right through to share economy models. These are all excellent ways to enjoy boating and the BIA is supporting this trend in many ways including advocacy to governments.

The expanding and differing model types, include;

  • fractional ownership
  • hire
  • clubs
  • charter
  • syndication
  • tourism
  • houseboats
  • boat booking Clubs, i.e., Book my Boat
  • tourism and cruise groups.

Each and every one of these offerings represents a pathway into the boating lifestyle and allows people of all genders and backgrounds to gain experience and enjoy the simple thrill of boating. There is also a trend where people who have enjoyed the experience to such an extent that they end up buying a boat. Which is obviously a good outcome all round for industry.

A number of businesses also provide options around training that can extend from formal boat licensing provided by recognised license providers, to on-the-boat / vessel experience by experienced operators, assisting each user with general handling, operations and anchoring of vessels. This training piece as delivered by the operators is a critical part to safe and enjoyable boating for the boating user. The operators have the experience to deliver same.

Some of the benefits of the Hire Groups and Clubs include:

  • modern and up to date boats
  • regular vessel maintenance, keeping a vessel up to date with safety systems, engine performance
  • storage, easy to access storage facilities
  • maintenance crews
  • handovers at pickup and return times at marinas
  • support crews as needed
  • safety on the water programs and regular group boating sessions.

The packages are mostly all inclusive and may include:

  • insurance
  • maintenance
  • fuel
  • water
  • utilities and supplies
  • training
  • secure storage
  • new stock, ‘roll-over’ new boats
  • current models and current technology.

Around the world, boats are often left idle for periods of time. So the idea of sharing your boat through a club or model such as Book my Boat makes sense to those boat owners who would like to generate an income from their boat. Turning their idle days into pay days.

Book My Boat is a leading online boat hire marketplace in Australia. Book My Boat is changing the way Australian’s enjoy boating and can help make boat ownership more affordable and the boating lifestyle more accessible. Boat owners can offset their ownership costs with rental income whilst claiming proportionate tax deductions on their boating expenses including servicing, finance, storage, fuel, phone bills and asset depreciation via instant asset write offs.

Book My Boat provides a full suite of services including full comprehensive insurance on all hires, online booking platform, secure payment and security bond gateways, full terms and conditions including hire agreements and commercial registration support services.

Some have national locations, reciprocal opportunities and international reach such as Freedom Boat Club which has 95,000 members worldwide. Some 35 per cent of those are women and 95 per cent say they had never considered buying a boat but 5  per cent of those do so after being a member of the club.

This business model offers affordable and accessible boating, with unlimited boating at the club you join and multiple times a year in hundreds of other clubs in the world including several locations in Australia.

Freedom Boat Club is based round day use only in a range of boats all around 6.7m long and all no more than three years old. Their range of boats in Australia include Sea Ray 230 perfectly formed for family boating, Trophy 24 the mate’s fishing day out essential, Zodiac 675 Medline offering a great option to raft up to a friends’ bigger boat and the Arvor 675 Weekender – for rainy days and days out with the grandkids. Having a selection of boats and a variety of locations offers greater availability.


Pricing varies according to the club you join but to give you an example of the affordability, the club at Bobbin Head on Sydney’s leafy north shore with incredible boating throughout Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury and Pittwater has a modest monthly club fee and a one-off joining fee. Unlimited training including ability to obtain a boat licence is included in that joining fee.

Pacific Boating members all receive an initial two-day comprehensive boat handling training program which is delivered by their experienced team of trainers. This program covers boat awareness which covers the full operation of everything on the boat including all electrics, galley, head, anchor operation, main switching, switching around the helm station and the operation of all safety gear on board. Once this section of the program is completed the trainers take the boat out on the water to demonstrate and observe the members’ boat handling skills. This section includes high and low speed maneuvering, anchoring, mooring, and berthing. Whilst completing this section they also cover off safe navigation practices together with safety drills including person overboard and what to do in case of fire and grounding.


At the end of the initial training program the members are required to complete an online assessment answering a series of questions to ensure they have retained the knowledge gained during the program. If the members successfully answer all questions in the assessment and the trainers are convinced the members are confident and competent to have a wonderful time on the water, the members will be signed off to have access to the fleet. Members are able to request extra training during their membership if required.

Experience the epitome of boating luxury and convenience with Boating Syndication Australia (BSA). As you stroll onto the marina with your family, you’ll be greeted by a gleaming motor yacht, meticulously cleaned, fully stocked, and ready to set sail on the waterways.

The team at BSA is dedicated to meeting your specific boating requirements, which is why they offer a wide selection of luxury boat brands, styles, and sizes in the fleet, along with various syndication structures. Your boating choice and lifestyle are their top priorities, and they strive to deliver exactly what you need.

With years of experience in managing and syndicating vessels, BSA have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of syndicated ownership. They provide you with complete peace of mind and a stress-free boating lifestyle. When you arrive at your boat for a day, a weekend, or a week-long adventure, you’ll find it in impeccable.

BIA applauds such business models that promote access to a wider public which is going to such lengths to make education and training available to ensure safe, responsible and enjoyable boating. These sharing models also help make more use of the existing fleet and the efficient use of marine infrastructure. That all adds up to a great day on the water whilst opening up new pathways for people to get into boating.

See you on the water.

Andrew Scott, CEO