Darling Harbour-based Sydney-by-Sail and sister company US Yachts provide a unique service to anyone who is getting into sailing for the first time.
Instead of just buying a yacht and sailing away into the sunset, customers can learn to sail, join a syndicate and buy a complete yacht, all in the one place.
General Manager of Sydney-by-Sail, Ed Penn, says he is pleased by the number of people who approach yacht ownership in this methodical way.
“We have people, often couples, who come to us to learn to sail. We offer everything from an introduction to sailing to advanced qualifications that allow you to skipper a charter yacht in Europe or the Caribbean, for example,” Penn explains. “Sometimes that will be the goal, but often customers just want to get to a stage where they are comfortable taking a boat out and returning her safely to the dock.”
Penn says that the next stage for many is buying a share in a yacht syndicate. US Yachts offers various syndicates where 10 people co-own a brand-new yacht from Elan or Hunter. It entitles them to at least 33 days of sailing a year, with all maintenance handled by the company.
“It’s very much step-on, step-off,” says Penn. “Some shareholders will want to go racing, others will want to go cruising and we can organise that for them at a very competitive price.”
The syndicates run for three years, when the boat is sold and the owners share the proceeds. Penn says that some will re-invest in a new syndicate while others will be ready to buy their own boat for extended cruising holidays or perhaps for more regular racing.
“The concept of a one-stop shop obviously works for these people,” Penn says. “I think it gives a good sense of security to do some formal training prior to yacht ownership, and then there is a way to go sailing on beautiful Sydney harbour without having to outlay a quarter of a million dollars up-front.”
For more information on sailing tuition, go to www.sydneybysail.com.au and for informationon syndicate ownership go to www.performancecruising.com.au