The first worldwide online boat exchange system was unveiled today, allowing boat owners to unlock the equity in their boats and expand their horizons.
Sydney-based BVC International has announced the global like-for-like boat exchange network for every class of vessel from 10ft fishing skiffs to 300ft super-yachts, launching the Web site www.bvcinternational.com.
Company co-founder Andy Young said: “A boat on a mooring, berth or trailer that’s not being used costs money and benefits no one.
“Our passion is boating and the freedom to travel. We want to share this taste for adventure with others across the world and inspire a new global boating lifestyle, unlocking every vessel’s true potential.”
BVC International works in a similar way to the highly successful home exchange programs around the world. An owner makes his boat available to other boat owners in his specific size and category and exchanges for the use of a similar-size boat in another location, be it local or distant.
“One major difference with BVC International is that we offer greater flexibility than direct exchange,” said Mr Young. “Owners build up credits by making their boat available and can utilise those credits to use a similar boat anywhere in the world.
“Whether they are families who would love to go ski boating in new locations without trailing their boat long distance or superyacht owners who would like boats around the world without the multi-million-dollar cost, BVC International offers a solution.”
BVC International has offices in Sydney, Australia, in Spain and in the UK with more than 50 agents across nine countries.
“We already have hundreds of boats in locations as diverse as St Lucia, Spain and, of course, Australia in our database, so members already have a wealth of opportunities,” said Mr Young.
He said his team had spent a number of years seeking and forming partnerships with some of the leading members of the boating industry, along with national port authorities, marinas and clubs across Europe, the America’s, Australasia and the Middle East.
“We are also very proud to be working alongside world-class boat builders affording their existing owners the chance to join our global community,” he said.
The BVC International annual membership fee is typically less than a single day’s charter for a member’s boat class. Members pay a booking fee for each exchange whether it is for two days or four weeks. The fee is generally less than most hotel daily room rates.
“Imagine you enjoy fishing from your trailer boat on the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria and plan a caravanning holiday at Lake Macquarie in New South Wales,” he said. “Tow the caravan or tow the boat ? Now you can take the caravan and have a boat waiting for you at Lake Macquarie.
“Or take the family on a week-long sailing adventure in the Caribbean for not much more than the cost of the air travel.”
“Maybe you own a three-cabin cruiser in Auckland and travel on business many times a year. Instead of an expensive and sterile hotel room in Melbourne, utilise a credit and stay on board a luxury three-cabin cruiser at a marina on Port Phillip Bay.”
BVC International staff carry out a series of strict validation checks to verify the insurance, registration and ownership status of each applicant which ensures the safety and security of all members.
“Until now it’s been said that the two happiest days for an owner is the day they buy their boat and the day they sell it,” said Mr Young. “BVC International aims to put the benefits back into owning a boat and bring a whole new world of possibilities to all boat owners.”