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All Aboard for the Brig Safari 2020

All Aboard for the Brig Safari 2020

The recent Brig Safari, coordinated by BRIG Queensland at Coomera, attracted 106 participants across an armada of 22 boats. Led by event captain Tom Carlisle, the boats launched at The Boat Works, stopped at Slipping Sands Beach at North Stradbroke, then Peel Island and, finally, Tangalooma Island. After an overnight stay, everyone headed back the next day. Despite lasting just two days, it was designed as an unhurried schedule with plenty of time for relaxation and experimentation with the boats’ capabilities.

The inaugural trip was birthed in the wake of the Brig Day Out, another event organised by BRIG Queensland. The company arranged a private beach on Wave Break Island where people could come and see the BRIG boats on offer and what they could do. However, current and prospective owners visiting the Brig Day Out said they wanted to be part of something bigger. They wanted an expedition where they could meet other owners instead of just going on out on their own.

“Knowing many BRIG owners, we realised that they would become friends very quickly,” said Dylan Lopez, managing director of BRIG Queensland. “They bought BRIGs initially because they have plenty in common. We created the Brig Safari to give them an adventure – a safe environment where we could push them out of their comfort zone a little and they could learn more about their vessels.”

Captain Carlisle explained his role and the advantages of participating in the Brig Safari. “Many people buy boats but don’t understand what they can truly do, so my goal was to pass on knowledge and a skill set that could ensure they always have a good experience when they’re on the water. By taking care of the logistics, it leaves them free to see what their BRIG can do. They are rigid boats that are safe and capable. While they can be used in wild waters, it doesn’t mean that the owners have the confidence to do that. The Brig Safari ended up being a massive learning experience, and, for some, a baptism of fire.”

The attendees covered the full-age spectrum, with participants ranging in age from two to 80 years. The family-friendly weekend included sandboarding on Slipping Sands, lunch at Peel Island, sunset drinks, feeding dolphins on Tangalooma Island, dinner event and snorkelling the Tangalooma shipwrecks, with some elements holding particular appeal to little ones.

A range of boats also took to the waters, starting from four-and-a-half metres long to flagship BRIG Eagle 10. Six demonstrator models were also in attendance, encompassing most models in the range currently on the market.

As event captain, Mr Carlisle found Tangalooma Island to be a good logistical fit – far enough away to be a novel trip but close enough to ensure the launch point was local and there could be stops along the way for the kids. The island also has a range of attractions: dolphin feeding, 13 wrecks to explore, white sand beaches to play on, crystal clear waters, the resort for food and beverage, and much more.

The trip featured a mixture of passages, deep waters, islands, and other navigational challenges to push skippers beyond their comfort zone. Captain Carlisle has extensive experience in: search and rescue, towing and operations. He also holds credentials in rescue boating, navigation instructing and power boating, and is a former commercial captain with a yachting history. So participants were assured that, by following instructions, nothing would get out of hand.

The trip was such a success that places for the next one, from October 16 to 18, 2020 are filling up quickly. It will be a day longer this time around so people can stay an extra night at Tangalooma Island, and enjoy all the island has to offer over a full day. The next Brig Day Out will be held on May 30 and 31, 2020.

There have been benefits for BRIG Queensland in holding both events, as they generate interest in second-hand BRIGs and improve knowledge about the safety and reliability of the boats. The organising team are passionate about the boats and love showing their capabilities, but see that as a secondary achievement to the community they are creating.

“These events build a brand alliance, and it’s almost a badge of honour to be part of it,” said Captain Carlisle. “We want people to know that, when you are buying a BRIG, it’s not ‘Thanks, see you later!’ You are buying into a family out on the water. We have some BRIG

owners who are hardcore fisherman, and they are starting to take out other BRIG owners who are not, to give them a taste. Then we have some who are into diving and they will give other owners an experience doing that. Everyone has a certain talent or interest, and they share them with each other.”

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure people feel more comfortable on the water with their BRIG,” Mr Lopez said. “We want to encourage them to visit more than just that same beach every time, to feel confident enough to change their plans and explore new places.”


Published in the Jan-Mar 2020 edition.