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Broadwater Bliss

Broadwater Bliss

My family and I were lucky enough to enjoy an extremely relaxed sunset sailing charter on the Broadwater. After a thorough safety briefing and having our youngsters equipped with life jackets, we were gently cruising on

Sol Cazador out of Sanctuary Cove, towards the Broadwater, as the sun flickered in and out of the luxurious mansions we were passing.

Local couple, Trevor and Michelle Lindsell, wowed us with their Broadwater chartering business, Gold Coast Sail. As we were enjoying the view, Michelle brought out a lovely range of fruit, cheese and desert platters. To give it that perfect touch, champagne was also popped. While my wife and I enjoyed the platters, the kids tucked into lollipops and had a great time being allowed to steer the yacht. Clearly, Michelle and Trevor are equally comfortable catering to adults and children alike.

The Lindsells turned their lifelong boating passion into a professional business in 2008 when they purchased their current boat, Sol Cazador (Spanish for Sun Hunter), a 45-foot Hunter sailing yacht. They operated a very successful chartering business in Sydney, sailing guests around the iconic harbour. Sol Cazador had been featured in several reality television shows including Farmer Wants a Wife, The Biggest Loser and The Bachelorette.

The idea of a chartering business appealed to Trevor and Michelle because it gave them an opportunity to work together and to fully utilise their boat and qualifications. Trevor is a practicing lawyer, who is also an AMSA-qualified commercial skipper, able to operate sailing vessels commercially up to 82 feet in length. He can also charter cruises at up to 200 nautical miles from the coast, thanks to his Yachtmaster Offshore certification. Michelle is a retired primary school teacher, who is qualified as a General Purpose Deckhand on commercial vessels. She also holds a Five Star Eat Safe food licence.

Trevor and Michelle chose Sol Cazador for chartering because they felt it offered the perfect combination of luxury and stability on the ocean. “The best feature is her presentation. The internal fit-out, roomy cockpit and deck space

make her an ideal charter vessel. She is also in excellent condition for a vessel of her age,” said Michelle.

A few years ago, they made the decision to move up to the Gold Coast for a lifestyle change and to enable them to combine their love of chartering with the Gold Coast’s 260km of stunning waterways. They are happily situated on Hope Island, a short distance from where their yacht is moored at the Sanctuary Cove Marina.

In early 2018, Trevor and Michelle began their first charters on the Broadwater. Sol Cazador is fully surveyed for 16 passengers and is licensed to conduct charter activities in both the Gold Coast and the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Moreover, Sol Cazador is currently the only charter vessel of her kind and size on the Gold Coast, and in a short space of time has become a favourite with tourists and locals. It is an ongoing process to maintain the very high standard as required by AMSA.

Although there are many things Trevor and Michelle love about the Gold Coast, the friendliness and consideration of its boating fraternity tops their list. “We are on the water a lot. It is so refreshing to see how much knowledge other boaties have and how well they follow the rules. It gives us a feeling of safety, and allows everyone to enjoy the beautiful waterways of the Gold Coast,” said Michelle. There are, however, some improvements Trevor and Michelle would like to see on Gold Coast waterways. For one, more public wharves will enable them to pick up and set down passengers more easily. Another is a greater focus on dredging shallow areas of the channels that would be beneficial to all users of the Gold Coast waterways.

The Gold Coast Sail charters accommodate many tourists who have never seen the Gold Coast before. Depending on conditions, they can cruise the Broadwater either by motor or sail. Michelle and Trevor find cruising down towards the Sundale Bridge at Southport proves most popular with guests. However, for those who want to experience the thrill of sailing, they go north toward Tipplers where the channel is wider and more conducive to sailing.

Michelle explained they attract charter guests from all walks of life, including overseas and interstate visitors as well as locals. “We have had a number of marriage proposals, anniversary and birthday celebrations, hens parties, family get-togethers, and couples wanting to take a lovely romantic cruise. Sunset cruises are particularly popular, watching the sun set over the mountain range.”

Michelle and Trevor told us that they are always thrilled to see her guests enjoying the cruise. “Many have not experienced the Gold Coast waterways and are delighted at the enormity and beauty of the area. Our guests love the contrast and diversity between man-made structures and natural marine park areas. From a comfort perspective, we have customized accommodation including seating and cushioning on the decks to allow our guest to take full advantage of the sites and boating experience. Sol Cazador also benefited from a new sail plan, new rigging, and a comfortable covered cockpit. We take great pride in her, because we are a family business.”

Michelle notes, “Many comment on what they see as an ideal business, which is obviously attributable to the passion and pleasure we have for boating and tourism on the Gold Coast. While there is an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to produce and sustain a superior tourism experience, it gives us great joy to see how much our guests enjoy their experience.”

Gold Coast Sail operates a range of fully catered cruises from $79 per person. They offer morning, lunch, afternoon and sunset cruises from Thursday to Saturday. They also cater for both special occasions and exclusive charters for couples, small groups and large groups. www.goldcoastsail.com.au

 

TREVOR’S ADVICE ON BOAT-BUYING

It is essential to be very clear what you want to use the boat for. Undertake all possible courses to feel confident and competent in the use of your boat. Ensure you understand and apply the ‘Rules of the Road’ in all situations, and make safety your primary consideration. Boating can be a wonderful experience; but if you are not fully prepared and do not know what to do in an emergency situation, your experience will be far from ideal.

 

By Narayan Pattison

 

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