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Striking Gold Off The Gold Coast: The City’s Best Boats To Charter

The commonly held belief is that Sydney is the boating capital of Australia, thanks to its one large and unmissable selling point – the world’s most beautiful harbour.

Sure, it’s got The Bridge, and that Opera House, and it’s got some fabulous beaches you an anchor off, and a handy selection of coffee boats and ice-cream boats that will motor up to tempt you during the day, but there’s one area in which, surprisingly, it’s slightly lacking – weather.

As anyone from Melbourne is sick of hearing, Sydney does have 107 fully sunny days a year (and at least 236 where it’s mostly sunny, compared to Melbourne’s 46 and 185), but on many of those days, in winter, it’s a bit cold to really enjoy boating. Yes, the Vivid Festival is good on a boat, but you need to rug up. A lot.

The Gold Coast, on the other hand, doesn’t really have winter, and it has more than 300 sunny days a year, plus – in Sanctuary Cove – it has one of Australia’s most spectacular marinas.

This, then, as any Queenslander will tell you, is paradise, and thus the best place to hire a boat, at any time of year. Once you realise that, you’ll need to know which vessel is best for you, so here are your Gold Coast boats options.

Crystal Blue

As sunroofs go, the vast portal-like device fitted to the roof of the spectacular 80-foot superyacht that is Crystal Blue has got to be the best one the world has ever seen.

It allows you to sit in a decadent, mega-lounge with the sun kissing your skin, or you can close it at night for a more intimate, dinner-party feel. Speaking of which, you’ve got space here for a sit-down meal for 14 guests, or you can host a stand-up cocktail party for 50 people if you prefer.

For that special anniversary, of course, there’s plenty of space for two people to live in luxury for a day or two, lazing on the daybed on the bow. The four spectacular bedrooms mean you can sleep overnight if you prefer, with separate crew quarters for the people who will see to your every need, and obviously drive the big beast for you.

The minimum charter time is four hours and will cost you $6990, with each additional hour at $1250.

Emerald Lady

Sure, you’ll look great strolling onto the Emerald Lady in your boat shoes and pristine polo shirt, but you’ll look far cooler, and attract even more attention, by arriving on a helicopter, and landing on the rear heli-pad this vast and hugely classy 115-foot super yacht provides.

If you’re not using the helipad, of course, it can be turned into a sunny and spacious alfresco dining area, where you’ll be served by a five-star chef, who is part of the crew (along with a skipper to do all the hard work at the tiller).

With plenty of room for 48 guests during the day, or eight people for an overnight stay in its four sophisticated cabin, this is the way to the see the sights, or take in the lights, of the Gold Coast.

Multi-day charters, for those who really want to head out for adventure, are available, or the all-inclusive cost for full-day tours is $10,000 in high season – from September to December – or just $8000 a day from January to August (of course it runs all year, it’s the Gold Coast).

Phoenix One

Even if you have got a boat licence, there’s a kind of blessed relief in hearing that a boat like Phoenix One comes with a skipper and crew, because driving – and berthing – a vessel that’s 115 feet in length is a stressful endeavour. And after all, you’d rather be relaxing in the on-board jacuzzi, followed by a bit of sunbathing on the flybridge on the top floor.

For us, though, the lounge at the front of the Phoenix has got to be the place to be. There’s space for eight people to dine, or you can party on with up to 50 people, enjoying the fully stocked bar in the main saloon.

If you fancy a bit of fishing, eight people can stay overnight (a charter that costs $8000), and be up at first light to drop your lines in. And all eight of you will even fit in the jacuzzi.

The price, including your crew, is $1600 an hour, with a minimum four hours for a charter you won’t forget.

Go big – like huge – YOT Club

Gold Coast boats

Image: YOT Club / supplied

Yes, YOT Club more like a floating night club than a boat, but the Gold Coast is the sort of place you go to really, er, push the boat out, and this is a floating party venue on a Las Vegas scale.

Designed to be ‘the world’s first superyacht lifestyle entertainment venue’, the enormous and fantastic-looking floating venue can host up to 400 people.

If you’re after a formal affair, it can seat 260 people for dining (honestly, who has that many friends?), or a Greek wedding, with food coming out of its full commercial kitchen. It also features a ‘relaxed beach club’, a state-of-the-art sound system, to really turn the whole thing into a night-club, a stage for live music, and for that final Vegas touch, a VIP Green Room lounge.

Described as a ‘rock-star oasis’, this is the place where you and your very best 19 friends can sneak away to when you want a break from your giant party upstairs.

Truly, there is nothing like this in Sydney, or not on this scale, and there are very few hireable boats like it anywhere on Earth. A Silver Package starts at $25 a head, per hour, for a two-hour charter, but the Platinum Package sounds like more fun, at $50 per person, per hour.

That’s just for drinks only, of course, and sit-down dinners add from $90 a head.

(Lead image: Phoenix One / Waterline Charters)

Published 17 May, 2019