Motor yacht owner, Judith Mazey, shares with us her first-hand account of her experience taking part in several of our boating educational workshops at this year’s Festival of Boating …
Stepping behind the helm of any boat is daunting enough, but taking the controls of a brand new Riviera really is something else.
Unless, of course, you have an experienced Riviera tutor at your side, who is calm and keeps you calm.
During this year’s Riviera Festival of Boating and Gold Coast International Marine Expo, I signed on to do a number of workshops to develop my boating skills.
What a wonderful experience.
Not only did I get to chat to other luxury motor yacht owners and hear about their experiences on the water, I was able to absorb a lot of relevant information in a very short space of time.
My learning curve started on Thursday, the first day of the Festival, with the Ladies Skipper Program – Start-Up, Helm Station, Berthing, Whipping & Splicing.
Participants in this very hands-on 1.5-hour workshop had the option of going aboard a supremely seaworthy Riviera Flybridge or one of the stylish and sophisticated Sport Yachts.
I chose to step aboard the 6000 Sport Yacht … and what an amazing yacht it is.
My husband and I have owned our second motor yacht for the past two years and at no time during that ownership have I felt confident enough to take the helm and berth it.
Like many women on the water, my husband is the skipper and I’ve always been the rope girl, galley queen and deckie.
But, after successfully berthing the 6000 Sport Yacht with numerous people watching – including a film crew – that’s all about to change.
From now on, I am going to get as much experience as I can at the helm so I’m not just crew, but a back-up for my husband in case anything drastic happens to him and I need to take control to get us safely back to shore.
I am going to remember to take a deep breath and relax when things start to get a bit stressful at the helm.
I’m also going to remember to slow things down because, as our instructor informed us: “If you go slow, you can’t do much damage”.
Good advice, I thought as I eased the 6000 Sport Yacht alongside the jetty at Coomera using the IPS pod-drive joystick just like a professional with years of experience.
And while I’m going to have to use the more conventional gear levers and a bow thruster to berth our own boat, I now feel I am most certainly now up for the challenge.
As well as the hands-on helm course, I signed up for sessions on Sanitation Systems and Radio Communications.
For me, one of our two marine toilets is a constant source of frustration because it’s so fickle. So learning the workings of one’s sanitation system and how to maintain it was, believe it or not, remarkably fascinating.
I’d also put my name down to do the Galley-Wise – Planning & Provisioning session … but we were so focused on the berthing, I simply ran out of time. So until next year’s course, I shall just have to be more careful about my dry store purchases, particularly long-life milk and savoury biscuits.
On our last big trip away, I seemed to have more milk than most supermarkets and enough biscuits to cater for a 1000.
But I’m learning … and that’s what the Festival workshops are all about – learning, having fun and gaining confidence to stretch our sea legs and really use our luxury motor yachts to their full potential.
by Judith Mazey
The Riviera Festival of Boating will in 2017 be held from 25-28 May. Please click here to register and receive the 2017 Festival program prior to its public release.