In my later years of high school, I developed a desire to become a helicopter pilot. I don’t know why, there was no history of pilots in my family, I guess i just thought it would be cool.
So, as the son of a mechanical engineer and a chip off the old block making me reasonably handy with my hands, I decided I would start a small ‘odd jobs’ business to raise enough funds to learn how to fly. About $20,000 is all that was needed to achieve this back then.
Having grown up in one of Perth’s coastal western suburbs I was never far from the water. My father always had boats, the earliest I remember being a timber, clinker hull planked ski boat with a marinised Holden petrol V8 and a shaft drive….a little like the Australian version of an Italian RIVA.
‘Gina’, as she was called had no gearbox, just like the Long Boats in Asia. You fired her up and off you went, which was sometimes a challenge when you needed to stop in a hurry. All of my siblings and I learnt how to water ski behind old ‘Gina’ in Cockburn and Warnbro sounds.
Up until I was twelve, Sundays in summer were spent with two of my brothers at Royal Perth Yacht Club (RPYC) sailing Pelicans and Cherubs. This later evolved for me into crewing on a Space Sailor 27 built by one of my Hale School teachers whom I had become friendly with.
I was a product of the Class of 83. Yes, this was the year that Australia won the America’s Cup…and yes, I was at RPYC in the wee early hours of that particular morning with hundreds of other joyous boaties, watching the final race off Rhode Island on the big screen. Well, what seemed like a big screen back then but in reality was no larger than the little TV you have in your spare bedroom today.
I remember the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, waltzing in and donning a white sports jacket with ‘Australia’ written obliquely many times across it and ranting “anyone who sacks their staff for not turning up for work today is a bum!” I was about five feet from Bob. No, I wasn’t the one who sprayed Bodega champagne over him, however I was standing next to that guy!
Needless to say, I didn’t go to school that day.
Why am I telling you this, well, as a result of winning, RPYC was to become the host for the 1987 defence of the America’s Cup. At the age of nineteen, still running my odd jobs business, I thought it would be fun to have a job on a boat during the pending defence off Fremantle.
Being fairly resourceful, I wandered down to RPYC in Matilda Bay where I had spend many formative years as a junior sailor, headed out along what we then called ‘millions row’, where all of the BIG power boats were berthed (Now called ‘Billionaires row’), looked out for the filthiest, most unkempt boat and rang the owner to ask if he wanted someone to look after it for him – A Bertram 42, one of seven that the then dealer, Alf Barbagallo had imported back in the late 1970’s.
Some five years later, included cruising around during our America’s Cup Defence off Fremantle, three journeys to Broome and Exmouth gamefishing and a thousand river cruises and Rottnest Island trips, the helicopter pilot dream was out the window, I had spent my savings on a little 18ft Star aluminium centre console and decided I would stick to boating.
That all began in 1985. It is now 2015 and I have spent three decades forging a career on or around the water.
By no means an expert…in anything, but always willing to learn from others, I have put this report together ‘Everything you need to know before you buy a luxury motor yacht’ , based on my own personal experiences and knowledge gathered from many mentors along the way, including technicians, engineers, surveyor and piers.
I hope you find this information helpful and that it leads you and your family on a fabulous onwater journey…together, as boating did for me as a child and as my family and children enjoy today.
‘Relax….take the boat’
Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy a Luxury Motor Yacht
The reason behind your desire
The many options available
The true cost of ownership
Boat within your comfort zone
The reason behind your desire
It has been well established that our desire to get out on the water often stems from an introduction to boating at an early age, or encountering an enjoyable day out on a friends boat. I say an enjoyable day out because the reverse could occur if you have a nasty experience with an inexperienced skipper. This could easily taint your perception of boating one way or the other.