Richard Body shares his Smart Boating experience

Smart Boating syndicate owner Richard Body tells us about how a Smart Boating syndicate has provided his family with the opportunity to enjoy quality family time together.

Born and bred in Canada, Richard’s been living on Sydney’s Northern Beaches for over 20 years now.

So you could say he’s almost a local!

We caught up with Richard to see how his first year as a syndicate owner of ‘Infinity’, the Lagoon 39, has been….

…..and to find out what made him decide to become a syndicate owner.

Why take to the water?

My wife and I have 3 kids, aged 14, 12 and 7, and we were looking for a way of spending time together as a family…an activity our entire family could enjoy.

I grew up in Canada and camping was a huge part of my childhood. But camping’s hard to do in Sydney because it takes so long to just get out of Sydney with all the traffic.

Being on the water gives us the same feeling of getting away from it all that camping gave me as a child. And because our boat is just minutes from our home we can be out on the water in under 30 minutes without spending anytime in traffic.

Another option...

We’d rented a boat overseas previously but to be honest the experience wasn’t that great. It was an old boat and it broke down several times while we were using it.

But my entire family really enjoyed the experience of spending time on the water together. So we looked into buying a boat outright but quickly realised the costs were prohibitive, especially as I travel a lot for work…in fact I’m away overseas for more than 25% of the year.

So if we did buy a boat it would simply be sitting on the marina for most of the time, costing us a lot of money.

It was while I was considering buying a boat that I discovered Smart Boating and realised there was another option…

Buying a boatshare instead of buying the whole boat outright myself.

What made you decide to join a boat syndicate?

For only 10% of the cost of buying a boat outright, my family can enjoy the same quality family time together on the water that we were looking for, without any of the maintenance, cleaning or repairs.

We can simply walk on and walk off and maximise our precious time together on the water.

So the decision to join a boat syndicate really was a no-brainer.

The best thing about the 39?

In just one word: space.

We like to take family and friends with us when we go out on Infinity and we also like to stay onboard for several night whenever we get the chance.

‘Infinity’ has plenty of room for all of our family and our guests…the space is really great for living onboard for several days.

Another big attraction is all the other activities our family can do while out on the boat: kayaking, fishing, skimming on the lily pad. There’s plenty of room to take all of our toys with us, which makes it so much fun for the kids.

And my wife loves that we don’t have to worry about packing any linen, cutlery, crockery etc. We just need to bring ourselves, our clothes and our food.

It’s that easy…we simply walk on and we walk off.

So many highlights

In the recent July school holidays we went out on Infinity and stayed onboard for 3 nights.

We sailed up to Copacabana and saw so many whales…it was an absolutely amazing experience to see these magnificent creatures firsthand. Without the boat we wouldn’t have been able to get as close to them, or even see them at all.

We also love that we can access parts of Sydney you couldn’t access otherwise and yet we’re just still 30 minutes from the Marina. Beautiful locations such as Morning Bay can only be accessed by boat and therefore remain unspoilt and uncrowded.

And our overseas guests and relatives are totally blown away when we take them out for the day…Pittwater is such a stunning location, a real hidden gem located right on our doorstep in the middle of a city!

No experience necessary!

I’m not from a boating background and before Smart Boating hadn’t had much to do with boats at all, especially growing up in Canada.

To be honest the hardest thing is getting the boat in and out of the mooring but the Smart Boating staff show you what to do and then they’re always there to assist if you need any help.

Once you’re out it’s very easy to sail – you don’t need to have a sailing background at all.

My 14 year old daughter especially loves crewing for me and sailing from the cockpit and it’s a great father daughter bonding thing to do.

Advantages of syndication

Well the cost is obviously a huge advantage because we’re only paying a fraction of the cost of owning a boat outright, but we’re still getting the same amount of pleasure. In fact it’s even more pleasurable than owning a boat outright because we don’t have to worry about any cleaning or maintenance, so there’’s none of the usual hassle involved with boat ownership.

An unexpected advantage of boat share is that because we need to plan ahead when we will use our boat we actually use our boat more often then if we had a boat of our own just sitting at the marina. We eagerly look forward to our allocated time on Infinity and having to plan ahead makes us prioritise our time on the boat together,

We’re one year into our 5 year boat share and so far we haven’t missed a day of our share!

Precious family time

Without a doubt it’s quality time spent with my family. The main driver behind getting into the boat share was to spend quality time with my family because I know that my children will grow up quickly and not always want to spend the time with us that they do now.

Our family time together is limited and very precious, so we don’t want to waste it on maintenance and cleaning of our boat.

We’re just one year into our boat share and already we’re really looking forward to the next four years.

Our share in ‘Infinity’ has not only given us more time together as a family… it has given us so much pleasure and some very precious memories…

…at a fraction of the cost of owning our own boat outright.

Hop over to our SMART BOATING page to see current boat share opportunities.