“Why would you live in a city like Sydney and not enjoy getting out on a boat?” says James Rice, an airline pilot who also enjoys regular boating on the harbour with his partner Amanda Cordner.

It’s a sentiment any Sydney-based boat owner would agree with. 

The difference is, James and Amanda don’t own a boat.

They’re among a growing number of people joining boat clubs as a way to enjoy a boating lifestyle without the cost and responsibilities of owning and maintaining a vessel.

James and Amanda are members of Boatlife Society, a membership-based boat club which offers accessible boats and affordable memberships, from just $395 per month. The boats are based at Rozelle on Sydney Harbour and at Akuna Bay in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.

For James and Amanda, COVID made them look at their boating options differently and a boating club made sense.

“We wanted to buy a boat but we couldn’t find what we really wanted,” says James.

“As COVID hit we thought parting with a lot of money up front to buy a boat was a bit much, especially as I work in the airline industry and things were obviously unstable there.

“We still really wanted to get out on the water – we found Boatlife Society and realised this was hassle-free boating without the initial outlay of money and ongoing boat care expenses.

“It’s a cost-effective, turnkey solution to boating – you arrive at the marina, the boat’s in the water, cleaned and ready to go.”

Boat clubs are new in Australia and Boatlife Society is leading the way in Sydney, where their easy to handle boats are making it simple for people to get into or return to boating.

“At Boatlife Society, we think everyone should be able to enjoy the fun and freedom of life with a boat, so we created a membership-based boat club where you can have all the fun of boating without the hassles and additional expense of owning a boat,” says Boatlife Society Director Craig Greenhill.

Alex Collo joined Boatlife Society four years ago when he was looking for a way to introduce his kids to boating.

“I’ve been around boats all my life as I grew up water-skiing in England,” says Alex, who lives in Sydney’s Surry Hills with his wife and two children who are now 11 and 13 years old.

“Having my own kids, I felt a bit guilty about growing up with boats and now living in Sydney but not having a boat to share that same experience with my family.

“We looked at various boat share systems but they still involved a very big cash outlay upfront and we didn’t want the hassle of share arrangements.

“Boatlife Society compared as good value to get out on the water. There’s nothing comparable in terms of value to get you on the water and having fun – nobody else has an offering near this.

“The boat sizes and power mean they’re easy to use and to buzz around between beaches for a great day out.”

Boatlife Society offers four levels of membership across two sizes of boat – 5 metre and 6 metre. There are options for 24 days of boat use per year or unlimited use, so members can choose a membership level which suits their budget and their lifestyle. Members have access to the boats in Rozelle and a 5 metre boat based at Akuna Bay. 

Alex often takes the family to Akuna Bay to explore the bushland waterways.

“We love the Akuna Bay option as it’s so beautiful there,” says Alex.

“For us, it’s about the family having fun on the water together and this is the perfect setup for anyone living in the city who wants to go boating.”

Discover your #boatlife at www.boatlifesociety.com.au

Collo family and friend on Boatlife 6 1000p
Collo family and friend on Boatlife 6