Meet the Editor

Our editor, Roselle Tenefrancia is a Gold Coaster, an experienced publishing supervisor and a media professional. Working abroad, Roselle has been Editor-in-Chief of a number of industry magazines. Locally, she worked as Production Editor of a Queensland-based environmental council magazine.

She is a lawyer and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Roselle has experience in advertising, public relations and journalism work. Aside from her editorial background, she has worked as a professional photographer, researcher and travel writer.

‘‘As the mother of a Gold Coast child living so close to our vast and beautiful waterways, the Boat Gold Coast magazine is one of my avenues to ensure that there is a dynamic, healthy and safe boating culture for the children of the Gold Coast for generations to come.’’



Editor’s Notes


#24- April – June 2021

The worldwide drama caused by the pandemic is certainly not over. The whole world (or at least that’s what we are led to believe) is still in a critical state. Economies are struggling, people are losing their jobs or homes, and the stress of it all is affecting people’s state of mind.

And yet, it’s been all positive news for the boating industry lately. Over the past year, the European and American boating industries have reported increased demand for recreational boats and personal watercraft. Back here at home, their Australian counterparts have reported similar growth in sales and services. Recreational fishing has also seen an extremely positive uptake. Our hopes are up for the continued and sustainable growth of the industry.

Indeed, we saw a significant increase in boating activities during the Christmas holidays, and the Australia Day weekend. Along with boating, many associated activities have also grown — such as watersports and fishing, as well as pockets of events that happen where there are boaties. We have yet to see whether the trend will continue during April, with the Easter weekend and the school holidays.

It is well and good that more people have taken up recreational boating in South East Queensland; after all, this is a region where the waterways are perfect for such an activity. As an added bonus, the hub of the recreational boating industry — manufacturing and services — is in the same region, making everything fall into place for the boatie.

The increase in boat use definitely requires an increase in proper management of waterways use, as well as basic waterways courtesy. It is safe to presume that, even if the new boat users are not beginners in boating, they may be new to the area or region. They will need to familiarise themselves with the local rules and regulations, as well as the local environmental conditions. We all understand that knowing how to operate a particular vessel is never enough when navigating local waterways, particularly when the waterways are shared with residents, swimmers, fishers, watersports, other types of vessels — whether motorised or passive — and the oft-forgotten marine life. So it is always best to remember, not only to do the “right thing”, but also, to do the “safe thing”.

This edition of Boat Gold Coast — as with all other editions — celebrates boating as the epitome of an adventure that takes you to where YOU want to go. The saying “You are the captain of your own ship” literally means you decide where you are heading, and how you are getting there. But in boating, as in life, you always take your natural instincts with you, you listen to them, and you stay mindful of what is around you. Our stories and articles are simply reminders of things you may already know, so please browse through the pages, and be the boatie who is truly the captain of your own ship.



#23- December – March 2021

many people rant about this crazy year – when most of the people in the whole world spent the majority of their time at home – I do wonder how many of us took to boating more often? Or finally picked up our paddles and kayaks that have been sitting in storage? Or upgraded boats from a tinny to a trailerable cruiser? Or decided to stay the night (or two or more) on board with the family out on the Broadwater or Moreton Bay? Or finally decided to buy a boat for the first time? Any one of these definitely beats attending a Zoom meeting!

The uptake on watercraft use on the Gold Coast is reflected on the reported increase in boat sales for some of the local dealers, as well as an increased demand for services from our local marine businesses. A number of local boat dealers stated that they were selling boats almost every day. Some boat yards declared that they were fully booked during the months immediately after the declaration of the pandemic. This is definitely good news for an industry that just recovered from the GFC! With overseas travel (and cheap airline tickets) on a full stop, local boating activities surged in number. One US publication reported “A Buying Frenzy” in June, referring to the noticeable increase in boat and PWC sales compared to 2019. For example, PWC sales in the US in May 2020 increased by 75% compared to May 2019; and boat manufacturing and wholesale shipments increased between 16% and 160%, respectively from April 2020, when almost all industries were shut down by the pandemic. We can surmise that the uptake in Australia is more or less similar.

Perhaps because of the restrictions on movement and travel, we are drawn to activities that just make sense in our current “social-distancing” world. I have seen more water activities and, indeed, a few new “water toys” on the waterways lately. Have you seen the motor-powered hydrofoil boards on the Broadwater and rivers? The New South Wales Transport Department considers these boards as personal watercraft with a few exemptions (such as no PWC licence required unless it is operated over 10 knots). Not sure what the rules are in Queensland…

With a lot more users of the waterways – boats, PWCs, kayaks, kitesurfers, windsurfers, SUP-ers, foilers, swimmers, and fishers – we do have to be very mindful of our actions on the water. Aside from the safety concerns of the waterways-users, it is imperative that we are also respecting our environment and the wildlife. Yes, it is now more fun to visit Wave Break Island for a party or two with mates, but it is equally important to make sure we do not leave rubbish on the shores or in the water. The convenience of having plastic to keep our food and things sterile during these pandemic times has also resulted in so much rubbish being collected from our islands and waterways. So as stewards of our surroundings, we should be at the forefront of protecting our natural assets, don’t you think?

Now, moving forward from the initial impacts of the pandemic in our lives, are you ready for the summer boating season? Get ready to watch the sun set on 2020, and sail into the sunrise of the new year. Bring on 2021!



#22- August – November 2020

a journey for us earthlings it has been! With just one big announcement of a COVID-19 pandemic in March, the whole world went into survival mode. Countries went into lockdown; all types of travel almost came to a complete halt; people were asked to stay at home; and we were all told to wait for what will happen next. Thanks to communication technology, we were not really that unaware of what has been happening around the world. We were all in contact with our families and friends from all over, and have had a chance to know what was happening in the world. However, in the same vein, (no) thanks to communication technology, we were flooded with news and information from everywhere and everyone. As such, it was not easy to tell which was true or not. This led to a lot of confusion and panic.

We also had to deal with the choice between what are “essential” and “non- essential” activities or work. Obviously, medical, transport, aged care and child care, and food services were instantly the “essential” activities. There have been exemptions here and there on a case-by-case basis, but strict guidelines were immediately put into place to ensure that we “flatten the curve”. While many other countries have had much difficulty managing COVID-19’s impact on citizens and community transmission, Australia performed relatively well in this regard. The stimulus packages offered by the government were also welcomed by the citizens, and things did not turn out as bad as it could have been.

Although recreational boating was considered non-essential at the onset, after only about a month of prohibition, boating for leisure was permitted again, albeit with restrictions. Everyone would agree that “social distancing” could be best practised in a leisurely boating activity anyway, and that being out in nature is a foolproof way of keeping us healthy in many ways. According to the grapevine, many people then turned to boating as a way of coping with the many restrictions that the government imposed to manage the effects of the virus and to curb its spread; boating is synonymous with freedom, after all. While this was good news to the boat industry in general, the businesses were still not spared the impacts of the pandemic declaration; inevitably, some suffered much more than others.

Moving forward, things are looking a bit brighter for us. While there are still COVID-19 hotspots around the country (as of time of writing), we can be assured that we have dealt with the pandemic quite effectively.

This period of sudden changes in the way we live our daily lives and how we view our world has also given us a chance to slow down. Of course, our thoughts go out to those who have been severely affected by the virus — directly or indirectly — but we remain grateful that we can still appreciate the world that we have, and still create beautiful stories and places from our life experiences.

Boat Gold Coast magazine is not just about boating; it is more about the experiences that we can share with one other. With or without COVID-19, we remain always interested in your stories. We also hope to keep you interested in the ones on these pages.

Keep boating! Keep safe!



#21- April – June 2020

As I write this piece, the whole world is in the midst of a crisis that is fueled by panic and fear. Every aspect of our lives has been impacted by the declaration of pandemic of the COVID-19 virus. While there is no wide-scale lockdown, the massive decline of activities in the travel and tourism sector, and the stress on the medical communities have definitely affected all other businesses in the country. The rush to stock up on “essentials” — what is considered essential of course varies from person to person — has caused hysteria. And as this is happening, businesses are shutting down or downgrading as a response to a massive downturn in economic activity. This is not just in Australia, but it has affected the whole world.

So how has this affected the boating community? As people who place a very high value on freedom and being out in the outdoors, boaties who do spend a lot of time boating would probably be the least affected by the transmission of the virus. In a way, the nature of the boating lifestyle calls for simplicity and staying away from the rush of everything else around us, including our natural desire to stop and smell the seawater.

We can be assured that human kindness and generosity will always shine in these challenging times. When the bush fires in New South Wales forced people to flee their homes, resulting in some of them seeking refuge literally on the shores of Mallacoota, members of the boating community responded to the call for help to evacuate families with young children. Owners and skippers of four Riviera boats organised a rescue mission. While the navy ship HMAS Choules assisted many people, the circumstances did not allow young children under 4 years old to board the ship because of the dangers of climbing the rope ladders. So the owners and skippers coordinated with authorities to allow them to evacuate these families. And what a heartwarming success it was!

Recreational boating may generally be considered a luxury. However, we have seen in recent history how owners and skippers have been valuable in times of crises — superyachts delivering essential supplies to islands affected by natural calamities such as in the Caribbean in 2017 and Vanuatu in 2015, boats rescuing victims of devastating fires, various boating and fishing clubs organising fundraisers, and everyday rescue missions by boaties who happen to be in the same area of an accident or an emergency.

Champions of environmental protection seeking to respond to the challenges of climate change are growing in numbers too. Sailors, boat owners and boat builders are championing environmental sustainability based on their actual experiences out in the oceans — rise of plastic garbage, microplastics affecting marine life, pollution affecting the health of the oceans and all that depend on them for life and survival. We can see that boating is also an opportunity for impacting change in the way we consume resources. Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist, has attended meets and conferences around the world in private sailing vessels, not adding to her carbon footprint.

Any crisis, whether it is isolated or global, always gives rise to many other opportunities. Our resilience as human beings has been proven so many times in human history. The positives will eventually outweigh the negatives; we can only be creative and be more proactive in order to make sure this will happen sooner. In these trying times, we should be able to say, “We got each other’s backs.”


#20-January – March 2020

Bring on MMXX!

Welcome to our 20th edition and welcome to 2020! (MMXX is 2020 in Roman numerals.) It may just be a coincidence that our 20th edition actually gets published at the beginning of 2020, but we think it is serendipitous, too.

A few years ago, not a few writers have toyed with the idea that many of the things we use would be obsolete by 2020. The list includes print media, landline phones, paper maps, printed books, digital cameras, and analogue watches. Guess what? It’s 2020 and we still have all these in our midst, and a lot of them are going through a renaissance.

Let’s start with maps and charts. The GPS and other digital navigational tools have really helped many of us address the difficulties of navigation. However, most pundits will tell you that the paper charts are as valuable now as the were before. In fact, the use of paper charts together with digital plotters is a must. We can recall how a presumably hi-tech US navy ship hit a coral reef years ago, and all because they relied exclusively on their digital tools.

And now let’s look at print media. If you are reading this, then print is defintiely not dead. The 21st century did promise a paperless society — to save the trees. But while devices may have saved some trees, we have created more waste that we cannot reuse — an equally huge problem for us. We may eventually end up with a paperless — and even a desktop computer-free — society in the future, but let’s face it, you do like reading and keeping all the print editions of our magazines anyway, right?

So going back to the auspicious “20” — This 20th edition is packed with stories, boats, events, activities, anniversaries, and campaigns, including at least: 20 races, 20 clubs holding events, 20 fishing for fish and prawns, and 20 new models of boats released. We also believe that Summer 2020 also promises at least: 20 new owners of boats, and 20 people who will go out fishing for the first time. Furthermore, the Gold Coast marine precinct as we know now is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

As we mark our entry into the new year, we also continue to celebrate the life of our beloved advertising consultant who worked patiently and tirelessly with us to produce our past 20 editions. Richard “Tricky” Newman left us the legacy of 20 editions where he put his hard work to establish and maintain relationships with our advertising partners. His passion for the boating industry and his love for the stories shared in our magazine were his invaluable contributions to our success. He helped build the foundations that we are now relying upon so we can continue sharing your stories for another 20 editions and more.

With that, we leave you to turn the next pages and revel in the offerings of the boating industry and the waterways of the Gold Coast and beyond.

Have a safe and enjoyable Summer boating adventure!

#19-October – December 2019

Progress. It means a forward or onward movement towards a destination, or development towards an improved or more advanced condition.

The Boating Industry Association (BIA) reported that 90% of the boats in Australia are trailer boats. They also indicated that there is an increase in the mum-dad boaters, an increased interest in the boating experience from the millennials, and an increased focus on children, in the past few years. Although the sharing economy is becoming a norm in our current society, the boating sector in Australia, however, seems to be slow on the uptake, according to BIA’s Darren Vaux.

Australia’s marine industry reports an $8.65bn turnover for the period 2018- 2019. The industry has very high confidence that there will be continued growth in the next few years. With economic growth comes growth in jobs and in opportunities for other sectors, such as tourism and education. This is reflected in the Gold Coast boating sector. Being the hub of the industry, the opportunities are endless.

But beyond the numbers, we should also take a look at our boating experiences in our waterways and offshore. The dynamic nature of boating and fishing allows us to flow where nature is leading us. For instance, the changes in some fishing regulations are a consequence of studies on how our fisheries are also changing. In order to protect them, we need to manage fishing activities that directly impact on identified species.

Our advantage as boaters is that we are direct witnesses to our environment. Our ability to be close to wild nature – waterways, bays and oceans – also provides us the privilege of experiencing an ecosystem that land-based adventurers cannot experience. The unique opportunities of boating should then give us a sense of responsibility for the environment in which we conduct our activities. In this edition, we quickly talk about seagrass, a very special part of our ecosystem often taken for granted. As stewards of the water world, boaters are simply asked to be aware and respect the roles of other living things in our environment.

Ensuring safety around us is also a major responsibility of boaters. We should continue to look out for each other and look out for other users of the waterways and oceans. Nature can be cruel at times, so it is a boater’s unique skills that can help in times of need. For instance, speed limits are in place not for the sole purpose of restricting movement – they are there in order to ensure that all waterways users remain safe, and to promote a wholesome boating experience for all.

As we head out towards the end of the year, let us reflect on our personal progress by looking back in the past – “Where was our destination, and did we get there?” We can also look back simply to check what has improved and what still needs to be improved.

Now that summer is just around the corner, our team at the magazine invite you to continue cherishing your boating lifestyle – whether it is for fishing, cruising, playing, partying, living, or other recreation. And remember to keep us as your companion on your journeys ahead.


#18-July-September 2019

We live in an awesome city. There, I’ve said it. Most of you may agree, and some of you may disagree somewhat. But before your mind starts coming up with all the reasons why the Gold Coast is – or is not – awesome, let me ramble on here and say my piece.

Many old cities like Vienna in Italy, London in the UK, Rotterdam in The Netherlands, Amphawa in Thailand, St Petersburg in Russia, and Florida in Miami, USA, and other similar cities around the world, have their societies built on the waterways. Their art, culture, tourism, events, literature are influenced by the canal systems – natural or man-made – one way or another. The romantic feeling of being on traditional boats along the rivers, creeks or canals is still an experience that many want to have. The architecture along these waterways, and the sounds and smells that stimulate our senses, as well as the interaction among those in boats and along the banks, are the main attractions of these cities.

And I honestly believe that the Gold Coast is the same. We may not have centuries-old buildings or bridges yet, but we do have generations of history that live on our waterways. From the beginning of the changing landscapes of Australia, our land has been blessed with a dynamic environment. Our coasts and beaches are a large part of our national pride, as is our unique flora and fauna. We are attached to our land and our waters in physical, spiritual and emotional ways, just as the First Nations People always have been.

Our young Gold Coast society is growing – and growing fast. Our boats are getting bigger and faster. We now have more choices of watercraft, whether they be powered by motor, sail, paddle, rowing, kiting, wake, and they come in different forms and sizes. More and more people are getting involved with our waterways.

Over the years, the Gold Coast waterways have connected us to our evolving environment and our growing society. In this year’s Marinas 19 Conference held in our city, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) presented our new brand, “Waterways City”. And isn’t it appropriate? We do have 260km of navigable waterways, and more than 750 hectares of lakes and dams, after all. There is a growing number of events held along the waterways too, even all the way up some residential canals. All these also prove that our contemporary lifestyle can coexist with nature – nature that has amazingly adapted to our visions and whims.

Just in the first half of this year, I had the privilege of joining many activities that acknowledge and celebrate our waterways. Australia Day fireworks viewed while on the Broadwater was expectedly spectacular. South Stradbroke Island was buzzing over the Easter holidays. The Bleach Festival celebrated our canals with musical performances in waterfront homes. And even in the midst of the noise of boat engines and the singing of the birds on the Broadwater, I was able to find a sense of calm while joining a meditation session on a sail boat at sunset, while staring at The Seaway in its particularly quiet state.

Who would have thought that the city that has been branded as superficial by some could actually provide a deeper sense of connection between our built and natural environments? While boating in all its different forms and waterfront lifestyle can be mistaken as snobby affairs, we have that growing opportunity to find the connection within ourselves and our community, to find that “awesomeness” in our city’s emerging art, culture, architecture, and literary scene, to discover more destination prospects, and to always appreciate our ever-changing natural environment. Our waterways will always be part of the foundation of our city. What’s not awesome about that?


#17-Apr-June 2019

A year ago, I came across a Discover Boating’s study about different types of first-time boat buyers in the USA. The research involved analysis of available data (boating statistics, etc), a survey of 2,000 respondents interested to buy their first boat, the online behaviour of 75 people, a survey of 550 people who bought their first boat and 20 people who stopped shopping for their first boat, and one-on-one interviews with 20 people who sold their first boats. The report came out in 2017, and provided an insight to the first-time boater mindset.

I thought that it would be interesting to share their findings with you even if the study was meant for the boating industry to understand to whom they are marketing. It takes a lot of work to gather that much data, and identify various categories of first-time boater types. So even if you are not from the boat industry, it is worth knowing what their research found – even just for information purposes and something to ponder. You probably have our own general stereotypes of various boaters, but the six categories below are a good guide to understand first-time boater types. Let me know if you think these categories apply or not to Australian boaters.

Gear Guys. They are the young people, mostly male, motivated by specialised equipment and intrigued by the technology and the specifications. For them, it is not about being on the water – it’s more about the boat. So they only talk to the experts, and those who can provide them the lowdown on every detail.

Merry Mates. For these people, family is everything. No plan is as good as any plan, as long as they go together as a family. They are focused on the practical side of owning a boat, and they will always consider their budget to make sure they are able to own a boat that their family will enjoy.

Luxurious Leisurers. Image-conscious and always having the finer things, these first time boat-owners consider boat ownership as an achievement. Generally, they will not know a lot about the boat they want to buy, but they want it because it is a statement of their status.

Water Weekenders. They are the water-lovers. But while they love the water, they did not grow up boating. They love planning outings on the boat, hosting friends and family, and really interested in activities that they can do with their boat – tubing, fishing, waterskiing, etc. They are also the frequent renters.

Seclusion Seekers. They are nature-lovers. They generally have a busy daily life and are bound by many obligations. So they want to escape to the outdoors. Boating for them is about this escape, and getting away from the daily grind and connecting with nature. They do not have many demands for the boat they want to buy, and also more likely not to fully understand the obligations of boat ownership.

Nautical Natives. These boaters have boating in their DNA. They understand the appeal of boating and enjoy getting on the water. They know a lot about boats and boating, and their desire to own a boat is to continue a family legacy. They generally know the ins-and-outs of boating.

Whatever your stage of boat buying experience, which type of first-time boat buyer do you think you are/were? If you think you do not fit in any of these, then under what category of boat buyer do you belong?


#16-Jan-Mar 2019

I believe that Australians are really lucky to have convenient access to the waterways around us. This reflects the freedom and no-frills attitude of Aussies in general. Aside from surfing, the other more popular recreation activities that we love in this country are boating and fishing. The Boating Industry Association (BIA) has reported that, as at July 2018, over 2 million Australians have boat licences. There are more than 900,000 registered vessels around the country, and a significantly growing number of non-powered watercraft – SUP, sailing dinghy, paddlecraft. Registered PWCs are already around 70,000. It is estimated that there is an average of 14,500 new registrations of all types watercraft every year.

The constantly growing number of boat users impacts on the growth of the marine industry. In the same BIA report, it is indicated that the Australian marine industry turnover for 2017/18 is at $8.47bn, supported by 27,685 people employed by the industry with a flow-on of thousands in the tourism sector. There are more than 2,250 businesses in the Australian boating recreational sector, with boat sales, storage, yard services and charter operators leading the way. And there has been an expected 70% growth over the year.

If you are not yet a boat owner, you may want to consider being one. The benefits (freedom, fun, relaxation, quality time, happy family, etc.) will outweigh the costs (price, maintenance, etc.) only when you conduct your research and educate yourself about the boat to buy and about boating in general. In this edition, local businesses have invested in showcasing more than 150 boats that are ready to purchase. It is all good to have a diverse list of boats to choose from, but it is equally imperative to have the tools to know what you have to check and what boat will really suit your needs and preferences. The BIA (p.66) outlines the path to buying a boat, while some boat reviews in this edition also list specific features and designs to help you in the boat-buying journey. So, please do read through the articles inside these pages (and in our past editions too, which are on our website) for valuable information and insights to educate yourself about recreational boating in the South East Queensland region. (All the above apply even if you are already a boat owner, too!)

The impact of recreational boating on the community and the environment cannot be ignored either. The increasing population only means there is also an increasing number of waterways users. As much as everyone would ideally want unrestricted freedom to use the waterways, it is always not possible. Government entities have to do their job of regulating our activities, with safety and the protection of our natural resources as the primary motivation (hopefully!). As members of the boating community, each of us also has an indispensable role in keeping ourselves and each other in check – staying on the right when there is an oncoming vessel ahead, and constantly checking your speed and wash, for instance. One boating accident is an accident too many! (Let us save for next time a discussion on that matter.)

Welcoming the new year involves a bit of having or doing something new, and/or creating some changes, always for the better. So let’s start the year right. Whenever you are out there on the waterways, just remember: Your freedom ends when another person’s (and our environment’s) rights begin. Do the right thing!


#15-Oct-Dec 2018

My family and I travel by runabout to do some shopping, fishing, island-hopping and visiting friends on the waterways and canals of the Gold Coast. Although we simply stick to taking basic items with us, we do take the time out to know where we can stop for fish-n-chips and coffee (or even sushi and ice cream for the little one), and find a secluded beach on one of the islands and sandbanks for a relaxing couple of hours. Then we venture into a centre with a supermarket accessible by pontoon or sandy beach, and come home with a shopping bag of groceries and food for the pantry.

You can say that boating is a leisure activity for my family, but we also use it as transport for a few regular errands. And despite its modest size, our boat has gone further north to take us to Peel Island to enjoy its turquoise waters, to the Amity Point campsite for a week of exploring North Stradbroke, and for a weekend getaway in the Southern Moreton Bay Islands region, staying at a waterfront AirBnb holiday house on Russell Island.

Now that we are heading towards the end of the year, and entering the season of the long days, hot humid nights, festivities and celebrations with family, friends and colleagues, and endless opportunities for boating, maybe it is a good time for you to venture to some place you have not been on your boat. You can find a new spot on a mangrove island north of the Broadwater, and kayak or paddle through the mangroves for a nature trip with your family. If you have always gone offshore for fishing or sailing, you may want to explore more places and be more intrepid. You can even learn how to spearfish and satisfy the need for new adrenalin-rush activity.

If you think you are ready for a longer holiday adventure, why not navigate north up to Bribie Island and stay for a weekend or a week? It is close to home, and the journey itself is the adventure. For those with long-range liveaboard cruisers, heading north along the east coast of Queensland from the Gold Coast all the way to Port Douglas, we pinpoint safe harbour marinas that welcome visiting boaties. These marinas offer a safe and friendly haven for you and your boat.

No boat? No problem! Hire one, join a group cruise to South Stradbroke, or book a fishing charter or an adventure boat ride. You can sign up as crew for one of the boats at your local yacht or sailing club. Even your kids can get on a boat and learn to sail with many school holiday programs on offer. The opportunities are endless!

The days are becoming warmer, so now is the time to make plans for a boating journey that you have not even thought of. Be a free spirit and take the plunge! Be spontaneous! But also remember to stay safe! Follow the channels, observe the speed limits, be thoughtful, and please use common sense.

The sun, the wind, and the sea are calling out to us, not in a whisper, but with a loud bang that shakes us out of our not-so-winter nap. Simply look out your window and gaze up in the blue skies, and let your spirit of adventure be free. Stop dreaming and start boating!


#14-July-Sep 2018

Many think that the winter season is a “low season” for boating, simply because it is much colder to be out. However, here in Queensland, these cooler months have proven to be equally as good for boating as in any other time. The calm waterways and the clear blue skies make the times out on the water a very pleasant experience. Fishing also offers a lot of excitement. And with fewer boats out there, the waterways are less busy and more relaxing to navigate.

Needless to say though, safety is always a matter of priority. So we should all be mindful of the weather conditions and of other waterways users, and adjust our boating behaviour appropriately. For example, some changes to the speed limits on Gold Coast waterways have been implemented so it is important to be aware of these. We are also at the height of the whale migration season – so if you are thinking of boating offshore, please be very careful. Respect the humpback whales and give way to them as they are on a very important life journey.

If you are thinking of giving your boat a rest, then now is the time to show it some TLC. The pages in this edition are full of information about boat maintenance for the season. Aside from helpful tips, you will also find an array of businesses that you can consult for the services that you will require. Today’s boatyards and marinas are great destinations by themselves, and should be able to cater to all your boating needs, as well as for your personal enjoyment. It is essential to prevent any unnecessary hassle and expense by doing all the checks now and have the boats ready in time for the spring and summer boating adventures you are planning.

The major boating events may be “done and dusted” for this year, but it looks like a busy winter and spring for the industry. The growing interest in boating is reflected in the boat purchases, orders and leads at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, as well as the increasing push to package the city and other parts of Queensland as a boating hub. The ongoing debates and discussions, as well as the continuing implementation of projects to improve boating and waterways infrastructure and amenities within the Gold Coast and greater Moreton Bay community, are all positive motivations to keep on collaborating for the local boating industry and community to flourish. As the industry strives to keep up with global standards, we all need to work together to maintain a safe environment for recreational boating, and to build our waterways region as a global and sustainable boating destination.

Australians – the first nation peoples, the settlers, and the new Australians – have been boating for centuries and more, and it is an activity that will never lose its appeal. Whether for recreation, transport, work or sport, we can see in recent developments that the interest in boating has been on the uptake again. The more people become involved in boating and water activities, the better it is for the industry, as well as for our community’s wellbeing. After all, Southeast Queensland is a major waterways region built on the desire to be close to the water and has prospered as such because of the well-managed waterways.

At Boat Gold Coast, we endeavour to go beyond presenting you the boating stories and articles. Our goal is to build on a community that encourages sharing and working together, not only to support our boating sectors, but also to ensure that our city and our region remain a place that everyone enjoys, residents and visitors alike.


#13-Apr-June 2018

It is that time of the year when the Australian boating community gather together again to showcase what they have to offer – from new boats to the latest technology in navigation, from fishing gear to lifestyle offerings. The boat show season begins this winter in May, with Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) and the Riviera Festival of Boating set to entice boaters and non-boaters alike to visit and experience. As winter rolls on, the big city boat shows (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, among others) turn on the heat among boating enthusiasts. 

The northern hemisphere was host to the popular international boat shows in the first quarter of 2018. Navigational technology has been a valuable focus of many sectors in the industry, and the demand to include many accessories as standards has been addressed by many boat builders. However, the physical design of vessels still seems to be top-priority for ensuring that the boating experience delivers efficient performance and versatility (power performance to cruising), luxurious spaces, and ease of manoeuvrability. Innovations in boat engineering and design have also integrated eco-friendly measures, such as improved fuel-efficiency and zero-emissions technology. 

Here are some snippets of the highlights from a few international boat shows early this year. 

At boot Düsseldorf, the sailing sector showed that “straight bows and wide sterns ensure not only high-performance levels of the boats due to long water lines as well as great hydrostatical stability, but also greater space below decks for cabins and storage. What you see on many boats are powerful rigs with plenty of sail area. These features of the current design standards range from super yachts down to handy-sized daysailers.” For power boats, the key message for the 2018 motor boating season is: “Impressive luxury or just your small bit of happiness: everything is possible.” For daycruisers and tenders, “fast, cheeky and sexy” still apply. And at the other end of the spectrum, “the large European shipyards offer very interesting boats for families and couples, offering ideal touring boats for coastal waters or inland waterways.” 

Equipment standardisation, colour customisation, larger motor specifications, and increasingly stylish designs were the key highlights at the Miami International Boat Show. The new developments included: “(1) High demand in terms of accessories and equipment, fitted as standard on boats; (2) A strong presence of outboard boats (rigid or semi-rigid open hulls, longboats, cabin cruisers, etc.); (3) Greater outboard motor power in the leisure sector – increasing power levels; (4) Colour customisation is all the rage – harmonisation seems to be becoming standard, rather than only available as of a particular model; and, (5) Stainless steel or aluminium tubing, with an improved finish, together with a certain level of standardisation (by piping modules).” 

While fancy and subdued would best describe the European and American trends, the super yachts and foilers seemed to have been the interest at this year’s Dubai International Boat Show. The boat show aimed to showcase “the freedom, excitement, and joy a marine lifestyle has to offer”. 

With just a sweeping view of what are considered trends in 2018 boating, it is easy to see that boating is alive and well in the world – offering greater diversity and increasing automation. Despite some global setbacks in the last decade, the boating industry has thrived and has continued to innovate and evolve to address contemporary challenges. 

We are looking forward to a season of boat shows that promise to deliver the innovative and carefree Australian marine lifestyle, and showcase trends that are unique to our part of the world. Will this year’s boat shows excite and entice? You be the judge. 


#12-Jan-Mar 2018

Will 2018 be your boating year?

We do hope so! With the boating industry having a renaissance in the last few years, there are a number of new technologies and designs that manufacturers have launched to welcome a new year.

On the Gold Coast alone, home to three of Australia’s major recreational boat manufacturers in the country, we will find that innovation and collaboration are the key aspects to promote the marine industry. Maritimo’s expansion plans, Riviera’s comeback at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2018, and Quintrex’s continuing innovation to keep fishing exciting and safe, are a few highlights that we can expect this year. Add to these, the Superyacht sector has seen promise with last year’s release of a revolutionary research study that paved the way for having a 12-month trial for a Port of Entry on the Gold Coast.

With the city being geared up for the influx of international delegates and visitors for the Commonwealth Games, our city’s local marine industry and the boating community are building on the legacy that the Games will leave behind: more investment prospects, and growing interest in our waterways infrastructure.

New policy directions are also taking shape. The Marine Safety Queensland have exempted light craft operators from the EPIRB requirement in certain conditions, while the national air emissions standards have now been raised with the passing of the Product Emissions Standards Act that will take effect in July this year. Efficiency and safety, which these rules are promoting, are key factors to ensure our boating experiences remain ever pleasant and safe.

We have been seeing a “hyperactivity” in the international market where our city’s local manufacturers and innovators are being featured. The Gold Coast City Council have been supporting local businesses to help them showcase their products and services in well-renowned international trade shows. This is not only to promote the Gold Coast as an investments destination, but also to ensure that the local businesses are given the limelight for the opportunity to explore bigger markets abroad. Barz Sunglasses and Aqualuma are examples of innovative products that have their home on the Gold Coast.

While some businesses have been enjoying success one after the other, others are not as lucky. The old saying, “You win some, you lose some,” still hold true in our modern society. We already see a trend of people dropping off from Facebook and moving on to another platform, or people leaving the stock market to invest in “cryptocurrency”. (Will we see the day when we purchase boats using bitcoin?) People are always looking for something new and different, and to stay in the business, one should always be “ahead of the times” and not just “trendy”.

What is particularly insightful in this generation of innovators and technology-bound industries is the desire for sustainability – not only financially, but also in terms of social and environmental aspects. Even the European boating community have been finding ways to balance the need to protect the environment while encouraging the millennials (a new demographic cohort to target for the future) to explore boating.

Back home, even if the Summer started a bit wet, the Gold Coast’s local waterways will remain a favourite destination for boating, fishing and other recreational activities. If you already own a boat, then get it out there and join the fun. If you do not own one yet, start looking through these pages to help you make the decision that you will not regret.


#11-Sep-Dec 2017

Many conversation points have been discussed within the domestic and international boating industry in the past months. Our team have been privy to most of the industry conferences, and have gathered more than our fair share of information and learnings. One of the most significant factors impacting recreational boating is not only the growing population, but also the increasing diversity and digitalization of the populace. The boating industry is posed to develop strategies to adapt to these changing environments.

The Australian boating industry had a turnover of $2.28 billion in the period 2016/17, with a total of 25,340 people employed. There are more than two million (2M) people with boat licences in Australia, and countless non-powered users and those who do not need licences. There are more than 900,000 registered boats, plus as many unregistered low-powered vessels, paddle craft, SUPs, sailing dinghies. Queensland has the most number of boat licence holders (694,000) and most number of registered boats (256,000). There is a 15,000 increase in vessel registration every year throughout Australia. These numbers are significant to the boating industry, but more importantly, the industry wants increased use of the vessels. The way to grow boating is to mobilize boating, as highlighted by the Boating Industry Association (BIA) during the Marine 17 Conference in Sydney this year.

Are we seeing more users of the waterways? And who are these users? Are they using their own vessels, or are they chartering? With an increasing population comes a bigger competition for space and infrastructure. On land, we are seeing construction of roads, buildings and services, to accommodate the growing population. The waterways are a different matter altogether. Although data show that there has been an increase in boat registrations, we do not yet have the statistics on the carrying capacity of our waterways as to waterways use (powered and non-powered, and human and non-human). There is, however, available data on incidents that help in policy reviews. As per the BIA report, over the past two decades, the total number of reported boating incidents has decreased, while the number of vessel registrations has steadily increased. This is a significant trend, as it shows that the increased interest in boats has most likely increased the awareness about boating safety. A more comprehensive approach to boating safety and enjoyment should also include identifying needs to promote and protect the natural environment, as waterways experiences are directly impacted by waterways carrying capacity.

Safer, enjoyable and positive boating experiences come with an improved boating and business environment. It is a two-way street. With a better – albeit not full – understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the boating businesses, we now have a sound understanding of the whole sector. To achieve the balance for all the stakeholders in recreational boating, collaboration is the key. At the same time, the power of digital technology should be used by stakeholders to enhance the boating and waterways experience, not to take it away.

While our Boat Gold Coast team acknowledge how the digital world seems to dominate our lives, we decided to increase the magazine’s print run from 10,000 to 12,000, to distribute throughout South East Queensland, with the goal of highlighting and enhancing the quality of boating in the region. As the BIA are developing a bigger boating business community in Queensland, we are looking forward to a resurgence of excitement with boating as a leisure activity in the region and in the state.

The season of boating conferences has passed. We welcome Spring and head towards Summer. Let the active boating now begin.


#10-May-August 2017

Three years ago, Boat Gold Coast quietly entered the free publication market in the city. Faced with much scepticism and doubt from many, our small team relentlessly moved forward aiming for a bigger and better boating and waterways magazine, edition after edition.

This is our tenth magazine issue, and we are honoured to be able to continue to be a strong media that connects the Gold Coast waterways with the boating communities, from the Tweed River to further up the Moreton Bay regions. We open up to the boating communities in Moreton Bay, as we encourage the exchange of information within our shared environments.

We remain steadfast in strongly supporting the industry and the community that sustain us. We also strive harder to provide better information and knowledge in an entertaining and pleasurable manner.

The value of our waterways and their contributions to the dynamic lifestyle and diverse economies of the Gold Coast, as well as the rest of South East Queensland, cannot be overstated. Looking back, we remember how the great visionaries in the city paved the way for the Gold Coast that we have today. Moving forward, we have to nurture the visionaries and each member of the community so we can ensure that our children and their children will still be able to enjoy the waterways we have built and kept for them. And that is what we want to achieve in every piece of writing that we publish – by offering information that everyone can learn from and can use in order to appreciate what our city and the region have to offer.

In this edition, we present a diverse set of new stories that will make you want to sail off to a new challenging destination, to try out the fishing advice of the local experts, and to invest in that luxury superyacht charter your family have been planning for years, or simply to keep turning the pages and soak up exciting information about new technology, new boats, new skills and new events.

A significant event in March this year is worth noting, as it brought out the best in many people, and in particular, the boating industry and community. When the tropical cyclone Debbie hit the east coast of Queensland and northern New South Wales, she brought massive destruction, causing damage and floods that lasted for weeks. The Whitsundays region was hit hard, with boats and marinas taking the brunt of the cyclone’s winds. But this natural event has also shown that resilience and cooperation are always the strong values that will help people recover quicker – and that was reflected in the quick response of the boating communities.

There are a number of developments that are unravelling with less than a year to go before the Commonwealth Games next year. The city is fast-tracking infrastructure projects, and supporting many private initiatives to build on promoting the Gold Coast as the host, as well as an investment and tourism destination. And so we are looking forward to more engagement and activities that foster greater use of and appreciation for the waterways.

How can the South East Queensland region promote the waterways and enhance the boating lifestyle in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games? Email me your ideas at


#9-February-April 2017

The temperature should be cooling down on the Gold Coast. This does not mean, however, that the active outdoor life in and around the City is also slowing down.

This edition is packed with much information for your entertainment, as well as for your guide as to what you can do for the rest of the pre-winter season. As you turn the pages of this edition, you will learn about Gold Coaster Chris Conroy, the man behind and in the limelight of the iconic TV show Wonderful World of Boats. And if this piece of history is not enough, you will find an interesting rebuild story on a 40-year-old Woodnutt ship, the Yanu. (P___) And going much further back into the 19th century, we bring you a brief introduction on the mysterious wrecks of the Stradbroke Galleon.

We have also included more new destination features beyond our Gold Coast waters. The understated Manly is a place where boating is a serious business. With several marinas and boatyards, it is quite handy to know what this suburb in the greater Brisbane area has to offer. For an island destination just north the Jumpinpin Bar, North Stradbroke Island is at its crucial stages of transitioning from a sand mining island to a tourism island. Read about what the government and the local community are doing for North Straddie.

Fishing is an all-year-round feature of the Gold Coast, and so we keep you up-to-date on what to look out for this season. Although there have been negative news on prawns that started at the end of last year, we also feature how prawning is an exciting activity for both experts and newbies.

Maintaining your boat and ensuring safety comes first for everyone are still the key messages that we want to emphasise in every edition. With so much information online and from other sources, we sift through them with you, our readers, in mind. It is important to get the current and accurate information that concern our boats, the boaties and the general community.

The year 2017 is a year for new things to look forward to. We are fast approaching the much-awaited Commonwealth Games, and activities in the city seem to be directed towards this event. The boating community have all the opportunity to place our waterways and the Gold Coast boating lifestyle in the limelight. We wait to report on how the industry will take advantage of this major event.

As we gear up for the City’s huge international sporting affair and welcome international boating delegates this year, our pages bring out what is quintessentially the Gold Coast boating and waterways lifestyle.


#8-November-January 2017

What does this summer have in store for the Gold Coast?

As always, it is aplenty! The waterways are amazing. The (almost) consistently blue and sunny skies are spectacular. The list of diverse offerings for locals and visitors, free or otherwise, is long and varied.

So there should really be nothing to stop anyone from going out on the water and soaking up nature in a city that has it all. But while throwing caution to the wind is a tempting attitude to take—after all, summer is all about fun—it is wise to heed advice to be out of harm’s way.

Preparing your boat for many trips and adventures this season is like stretching your body upon waking up after a long sleep, making sure that all the bits and pieces are still working well. In this edition, we have a number of tips and advice to guide you in preparing and planning for this summer’s boating adventure.

While the goal is to have fun, fun, fun, remember that you too have obligations to keep your vessels seaworthy, and to be responsible boaties and fishers (that is, know the latest laws!).

Are we not lucky to live here? We should be grateful for what the Gold Coast is – a very liveable city with assorted offerings for people who love the water, and for weather that is (almost) always holiday-perfect!

Have a safe summer of boating!


#7-August-October 2016


#6-May-July 2016

Summer seemed to have lasted longer than expected, with many sunny weekends all the way through to the start of April. Sunny days meant perfect boating days—or simply just being out on the water.

It is amazing how many people are using the Broadwater these days—sunny or not so sunny. The Easter weekend (and other weekends around that time) kept the waterways very busy—from Southport all the way up to Jumpinpin. I suppose it is good that more people are appreciating our waterways, but at the same time, it should increase our concerns for safety and the environment. It may be cliché, but it never really hurt anyone to be safe than sorry! And it is every person’s responsibility—not just our government’s.

Speaking of responsibility, when the local paper featured complaints about the “bums” at Bum’s Bay, we thought it is timely that we have a contributor who actually lives on her boat around the Gold Coast. Sue Parry-Jones’ article gives a fresh look into the life that people live on board their boats. The government may need to rationalise the several aspects of the “problem”, as this matter is not a simple case of dura lex, sed lex (the law is harsh, but it is the law). It involves people’s lives and it is not to be taken lightly.

For enthusiastic boat show goers, we have a few tips for you to consider before you head out to the shows in May. Our publisher Andy Kancachian, a regular at trade shows all over the world, gives helpful advice on what to do and what to expect in these massive boating events. It is quite a disappointment, though, not to see the upcoming Gold Coast boat shows highlighted in the tourism bodies’ list of events in their marketing program. There is much room to include boating and boating lifestyle offerings as a tourism product of the Gold Coast and should be seriously considered.

To end this note on a happy tune, let me welcome a true blue Gold Coaster and a fishing and TV icon on board with us, Paul Burt. His debut story is an exciting glimpse into a whole new underwater world that will thrill the intrepid fishers: the Sea Mounts.

And with that and much more, I leave you to enjoy the rest of this edition’s pages! Stay safe on our waters!


#5-February-April 2016


#4-November-January 2016


#3-August-October 2015


#2-May-July 2015

Our team is delighted to bring you the second issue of Boat Gold Coast Magazine. If this is your first read of our magazine, then welcome to the Gold Coast boating community. If you are joining us again by reading through our pages, many thanks for your continued interest.

Within the Magazine are more than 50 advertisers offering goods and services to complement the boating experience. We are enormously thankful to these advertisers, for without their backing, Boat Gold Coast would not be possible. We ask our readers to take the time to study each ad and genuinely consider the goods and services so that these advertisers continue with ongoing support.

This issue has many stories about the boating lifestyle, with an emphasis on sailing, fishing, power-boat buying, practical boat tips, safety advice for families and our young people. We have tried to document a snapshot of the goings-on in our city over the next three months giving readers the awareness of waterways activities and basic knowledge from experienced boating people.

The local boating trade shows and industry conferences dominate our calendar of activities as we continue to deliver interesting information concerning iconic Gold Coast activities. Our local stories about the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race presents a fresh perspective on yacht racing on our home turf, as we meet two locals who are both champions in their own water right–Mat Belcher in sailing and Simon Christidis in underwater filming.

With fishing as the Gold Coasters’ favourite boating activity, we want you to delight in our fishing destination stories from Cabbage Tree Point and fishing on the Broadwater with Captain Nic. Be enlightened by an overview of various offices that protect and regulate our waterways, while we entertain you with some sailor superstitions’ history. Look forward to try out sailing without being a wealthy bugger, and take the Facebook water activities photo challenge to have a chance to win… Plus much more, so be sure to cherish each page.

As sundry and as insightful as our feature stories and editorial content, our team of contributors form a very diverse community of personas who have the passion for the Gold Coast and everything that the city can offer–from tourism to the environment, from the coast to our hinterland. We are from different walks of life, and we offer astute and imaginative content, both literal and visual. All our contributors are the faces of our stories as much as the people we feature in them. Boat Gold Coast is a creative and marketing team in one solid formidable magazine.

We are dedicated to enhancing the lives of our city’s residents by sharing information about the Gold Coast boating life. You are welcome to send us your own stories and photo contributions. We further invite you to have your say by typing a comment or two at the bottom of each story posted online, or simply follow us and share your thoughts on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn). After all, it is because of YOUR Gold Coast boating life that we are here.