On the auspicious day of 25 June 2017, I graced the red carpet of the Pleasure Cruising Club in Docklands when I got a glimpse into their operations and went on a spin on their most luxurious boat. I met their General Manager Gary Freeman who shared their journey as a luxury boat club with only 1 boat in the beginning to 6 luxury sports cruisers and 5 boats for hire. The club's aim is to become the ultimate luxury boat club offering self-drive luxury boating service with an emphasis on luxury and safety.
Pleasure Cruising Club Incorporated is a registered association in Victoria which is managed by a committee. Anyone can become a member and once you become a member, you share the boat with other club members. You can bring your family and friends for a ride. Click here to find out the five steps involved in becoming their member.
They offer a wide array of classy boats available exclusively to their members. Members can choose from Riveria, Sunseeker, Maritimo and others. Members can take the boats anywhere on the bay.
Gary elaborated that Pleasure Cruising Club takes away the burden of boat ownership while bestowing the perks of boat ownership. Members get to take the boats for a ride without worrying about the associated costs. The club takes care of all the hidden costs involved in owning boats such as insurance, registration costs, cleaning expenses, maintenance costs, depreciation and so forth. They prepare the boat for the members and clean the boats upon their return. They ensure that the boats undergo regular monthly maintenance and servicing in accordance with the rigorous manufacturer's requirements.
An added benefit is that there is no need to have previous luxury boating experience to join Pleasure Cruising Club. Anyone can become members. The club assists members with induction and completion of a certification course. It is worth noting that the club has accumulated over 10,000 training hours since the year 2007 ensuring that members get to enjoy boating while remaining safe and secure. It is essential for members to obtain their own recreational boat license but the Club can provide assistance with the application process. The club also offers regular top up training every three months.
All boats have GPS tracking which shows the boat's position and water depth. This also means that the club can provide emergency assistance to members on the water if necessary. This is a 24-hour fleet service aimed at keeping members safe. Further, each boat is fitted with necessary safety gear in cases of emergency. Gary explained that ensuring members' safety is paramount to their operations and customer service.
Gary stated that the club is always trying build bonds between members by organising fishing excursions, races and air show excursions as well as skeet shooting sessions which are all available to members for a fee.
Membership and fee structures
Applying for membership is easy. Gary advised that the initial joining fee is $2,000 which covers ten hours of on the water instruction and fuel usage. There is an additional monthly fee of $599 which can vary depending on the type of boat you have picked and the number of boating days you have selected. Of their 6 luxury sports cruisers, Sunseeker is the most luxurious boat and its premium membership entails the exclusive opportunity to sail on one of the other boats along with the Sunseeker. This offer is not available if you become a member for one of the other boats.
Apart from private memberships, there are options for corporate memberships which means that the boat can be used by all of the employees of the company provided that they have completed the skipper school training.
Requirements and restrictions In line with the time share system, members can reserve boats using an online booking system 60 days in advance provided that their nominated dates have not already been booked by another member. As for the night of New Year's Eve, the club holds a raffle draw to select lucky members who can take the boats for a spin on this special night. For a fee, members can also request staff and catering for their boats if they are holding special events on their boats.
The club has a quota system which keeps track of membership ratio to boat availability. If the quota is reached, a waiting list is created to ensure that all members have had the chance to use the boat.
Members can use the vessels once the following conditions are satisfied:
-When valid current boat license is presented
-Timeshare members' hands-on course and tests completion (Skills include parking, emergency radio work, navigation GPS, ropes and refuelling the boat.)
-Members' willingness to undertake an optional night training course
Sunseeker Portofino 47
We went for a spin on their most luxurious boat named Sunseeker Portofino 47. This deluxe boat has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, open kitchen and three entertaining areas. This boat sleeps four people. The indoor entertainment area is well-equipped with TV, comfy couch and table. The tiny kitchen has all the essential amenities. The setting is stylish, warm and comfortable. The master bedroom even has small windows conferring views of the sea from the comfort of the bedroom.
We commenced our journey from Docklands and went all the way to the Fisherman's bend past Port Melbourne, Spotswood and so on. I even got to try my hand at sailing the boat and found it quite easy. Sunseeker can accelerate up to 36 knots at 2200 rpm. It uses a diesel engine which is more efficient from petrol engines. This boat has a sharp bow entry so you get to have beautiful views of the hull slicing through the water cleanly.
Things to note
-The boats are family friendly.
-No pets are allowed in the boats.
-They take care of filling the fuel tanks but members pay for the fuel.
-An iPad mini is provided to each member for each trip to assist with mapping out the route and remaining on course.
-There are special promotions from time to time. Currently, there is an offer of 50% off entry fee. There is another offer which gives 6 months free on a 3-year membership.
Pleasure cruising club also runs another venture known as Boat4Hire. You can hire one of their 5 fishing boats for $440 for the whole day (subject to availability and price change). To get you ready for summer, you can take advantage of their speed boating training offer. Their resident skipper Josh Lev will train you one on one on the fastest BowRider Boat4Hire has. It can take anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours maximum to acquire the skills to ride a speed boat. Click here to discover more information.
Please click here to discover important nuggets of information about Pleasure Cruising Club.
If you love boating or are simply looking for the X factor to spice up your life then Pleasure Cruising Club has got you covered. Pick one of their exquisite boats and explore the bay feeling the wind in your hair and exhilaration in every pore of your body. Try it, it is amazing!