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On deck: Not just another boating cliche

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Let’s not beat around the bush: Phuket is Asia’s marine playground. Period.

Whether you live in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia or anywhere in the region, Phuket offers some of the best sailing grounds, a well-developed onshore infrastructure and is a great place to cruise, race or base your boat. And many do. It’s also a great place to buy a boat.

They say the two happiest moments in a boat owner’s life are when they buy a boat and when they sell a boat. A cliche? Perhaps. But it’s one I’m sure many boat owners would agree with. It makes sense when you bear in mind the likely costs of owning, using, maintaining and berthing a boat.

However, more and more people are becoming interested in boating around the world and Asia is still very new to the scene.

That age-old cliche looks set to be challenged.

Before buying a boat you need to do your research. There’s a lot of generic advice out there on the web. For example, who will use the boat? What will it be used for and how often? Where will it be used? What’s your budget? Once you’ve answered some or all of those helpful questions, then it’s time to shop.

Let’s be clear, I’m assuming you’re buying a boat to keep in Phuket. So the best place to start researching and shopping is in fact right here in Phuket, and if you’ve never shopped for boats on the island before, you’ll be amazed at the options – power or sail, big or small, yacht for charter or yacht for racing, they’re all here.

The choice of secondhand boats (or pre-owned as the industry prefers to call them) is diverse. Most yacht brokerages on the island will have a good mix on offer and at a range of prices.

If you are looking for a new-build, however, most of the international boat brands are represented on Phuket, most by the ‘Big 8’ – Asia Marine, Derani Yachts, Elite Yachting, Go Boating Thailand and Lee Marine, Multihull Solutions Asia, Simpson Marine, South East Asia Yacht Sales and Services. But a big mover on the local marine scene recently, has been Boat Lagoon Yachting, a subsidiary of Phuket Boat Lagoon.

Long-time representative of Princess Yachts in Southeast Asia, Boat Lagoon Yachting was appointed sole distributor for Wider Yachts in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia in January 2015 and launched the Wider 32 into Asia at the Phuket International Boat Show, and more recently added Jeanneau (sole distributors in Thailand and Singapore) and Admiral (sole distributors in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) to their stable.

If you’re not brand-focused and are looking for something different, Thailand is renowned for its quality craftsmanship and Phuket is home to a good number of local boat builders, constructing all manner of craft to high standards.

Do your research: Google away, walk the marinas and shop around. More than likely you will find something that answers all of your questions and suits your needs for boating in Phuket.

Duncan Worthington is a long time Phuket resident and through Infinity Communications (www.infinity-comms.com) consults to leading consumer brands, hospitality and marine clients in Thailand. In his spare time he runs the marine web portal www.MarineScene.asia. #OnDeckPhuket

— Duncan Worthington

 

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