Boat owning, with benefits

BEDECKED in midlife-crisis orange livery, the Boab Boat Hire vessels have been a conspicuous sight on Port Stephens in recent years, and now the company has launched an ownership program that delivers exclusive benefits and the potential to earn a financial return.

Shares are being offered in a fully-equipped, Honda-powered Boab runabout which will be managed by the company's national franchise network.

Along with designated annual boat usage, there's a crew member pack containing merchandise, tackle and other gear valued at more than $1500.

Platinum Card membership brings discounts off Boab's hire fleet throughout Australia and access to member-only rates on products and services offered through selected Boab suppliers.

Boab director Paul Gelfius said the Boat Crew program had been designed to meet the demands of boaters across the country.

"Boab's business model is built around providing our customers a smarter, more cost-effective and convenient way of boating and this new program extends that even further," he said.

"Starting from less than $40 a week, Boat Crew members can own a share in a premium-quality trailer boat with owner-usage rights and enjoy the many other benefits offered by the program.

"Based on a five-year turnaround, owners could also make a financial return."

Ownership opportunities are being offered on the six-metre Centre Cab with a Honda BF150 and 5.7-metre Sports Rider sporting a Honda BF135.

Each vessel has 12 unit trust shares available, and buyers can own multiple shares within the same boat or across several boats.

Sole ownership packages can also be put together on request.

Details at: boabboatcrew.com.au.

Best of the best

THERE'S good and there's better, but Lake Macquarie yachtsmen Paul Charlton and Peter Osborn wanted only the best when they conceived the OC50 Deck Saloon cruising yacht as a blue-blooded alternative to contemporary production yachts.

Designed by Australian naval architect Andy Dovell, the 50-footer (15.2 metres) was built by Jarkan in Nowra. The target demographic was well-to-do couples who start their cruising life with inshore sailing and, once confident, move to coastal passage making.

Instead of cramming in cabins and toilets, the OC50 has generous space for the owners and enough room for guests or any crew needed for an extended voyage.

It packs a plethora of electronic equipment to provide easy push-button operation and navigation. The same logic extends to the choice of diesel equipment.

Tucked beneath the saloon floor is a Yanmar 4JH4-HTE marine diesel engine that swings a Gori three-blade folding propeller. There's also a Mase IS.7 generator mounted aft.

Yanmar became involved early in the design process when Dovell confirmed it as the preferred auxiliary supplier.

"The Yanmar was right at the top of the recommended power range," Paul Charlton said.

"Based on the hull characteristics of the OC50, the 110-horsepower Yanmar delivers the effortless cruising performance that we wanted to provide for our owners."

The engine sits amidships, which is ideal for balance but can cause noise and vibration issues - no such problem here. An intercooler is integrated into the turbo induction system and peak power is achieved at 3200 rpm.

The Gori prop operates the same pitch in forward and reverse, with the blades turning 180 degrees.

It also has an overdrive, a second pitch that can be compared to fifth gear in a car. You use it when motoring in calm waters saving around 20 per cent in fuel.

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