Business Times – 22 Oct 2011
FROM THE DESK OF
Getting on board boating and yachting
You don’t need to be a multimillionaire in order to enjoy the nautical lifestyle. Join the seafaring community by becoming a member of a marina club, of which there are several in Singapore
Tan Kay Toh
Republic of Singapore Yacht Club
BOATING and yachting have become attractive past times for Singaporeans in recent years. However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a multimillionaire in order to enjoy the nautical lifestyle.
Most yacht owners started out by owning a boat which was under 35 feet (about 10 metres) in length and progressing to a larger boat over the years. A second hand boat of this size might set you back less than $80,000, in some cases less than the price of a good brand of saloon cars.
In fact, this was how I got into yachting myself many years ago, with a smaller boat and then ‘upsizing’ to larger vessels as I became more proficient at nautical pursuits. Back in those days, we used our boats predominantly to go fishing off coastal waters. Today, you see more instances of family outings and corporate entertainment on board boats so it’s a pursuit with many different attributes and benefits for both work and leisure time.
Those looking to get into boating will need to be a member of a marina club, of which there are several on the island. Some, such as the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, are members’ clubs in their own right. Other marinas are places where you can park your boat when it is not in use. You must decide what kind of experience you would like and how much you’d like to be a member of a boating community, because not all marinas are equal in that respect.
What constitutes the basic elements of a members’ club? Well, for a start, a club is a place where you can go, relax, unwind, socialise, and be among like-minded individuals. The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club is Singapore’s first and original yacht club. It’s a place where you can feel at home, mix around with others who are passionate about sailing and boating and about the sea. Above all it is a real ‘community’ of seafarers.
The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, or RSYC, is Singapore’s and indeed South-east Asia’s oldest established members’ club, having been founded in 1826. Originally known as the Singapore Yacht Club, and later in 1922 as the Royal Singapore Yacht Club, RSYC reinvented itself yet again in 1967 as the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in order to reflect the country’s progress to an independent republic. For successive generations, RSYC has been providing a welcome nautical fraternity to our seafaring nation.
Reinvention has always been an essential part of RSYC’s story down through the years. Here at 52 West Coast Ferry Road, we have just embarked on our most ambitious phase of ‘reinvention’ to-date. RSYC recently unveiled ambitious plans to upgrade its services and facilities to meet the needs of Singapore’s new generation of boaters. After operating from our modern yacht club premises for 11 years, we are poised to begin a new development phase that will triple our dry berth facilities from the current 110 boats to some 300 boats, making us one of the largest dry berth yacht clubs in Singapore. This is in addition to RSYC’s 127 existing wet berths.
A five-storey dry stack, one of the main highlights of our $9 million expansion project, will accommodate up to 300 boats with a maximum of 35 ft in length. It is expected that there will be high demand for dry berths among boat owners in Singapore, as they appreciate the advantages of keeping smaller size boats out of the water when they are not in use to reduce cleaning and maintenance costs.
As well as upgrading our berthing facilities, RSYC’s master plan also calls for the doubling of our accommodation rooms, from our current 32 suites and rooms, to around 60, in a new four-storey adjoining wing that will also provide members with new additional facilities. Besides the two new buildings, there are also plans to upgrade the existing clubhouse. Construction of the new dry stack has commenced and is expected to be completed by end-2011. We expect to complete work on the new accommodation wing by mid-2012.
As part of the overall strategic plan, we have also launched a membership drive to augment our current 2,400-membership base. To cater to new members who wish to take advantage of the expanded and upgraded dry berthing facilities, an additional 150 ordinary memberships, priced at $15,000 have been offered with guaranteed berths for their boats. Uptake of these has been encouraging and we look forward to the influx of fresh seafaring lifeblood into the club. Beginners and learner seafarers are particularly encouraged to enrol.
Boating and yachting have enjoyed something of a renaissance this past decade in Singapore. With its 101 reciprocal clubs worldwide, RSYC is poised to ride on that wave. We are looking forward to being an important part in the further development and evolution of boating and yachting in Singapore, as befits our status as the oldest yacht club in Singapore.
Copyright © 2010 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sent from my iPhone