After learning how to sail during a round the world yacht race, Kim Bangel came back to Sydney a changed woman. She learned so much while overseas and didn’t want to lose her newfound skills. So Kim decided to get her skipper’s license and quickly progressed to doing weekly twilight races.
“I was new to sailing and I thought I would never buy a boat. I assumed it was dead money sitting there doing nothing. It seemed like such a waste.”
A friend introduced Kim to Flagstaff Marine’s Graham Raspass, through a SailTime event. He explained how the SailTime memberships work. Members pay a subscription fee, allowing them to use the SailTime fleet. Yachts in the fleet needed to be less than six years old and are kept in pristine condition by the SailTime team. The owner is invoiced for the maintenance and mooring but receives payments from the membership fee which offsets the invoices.
Working in real estate, Kim got it. She knew how lucrative rental properties are and could immediately see that buying a boat was suddenly within her reach. She spoke with her accountant and the figures added up. The SailTime payments would make her yacht completely cost-neutral. And it meant Kim wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of ongoing maintenance and mooring … bonus!
“I’m a champagne sailor. I love nice days out on the water – not roughing it at sea. In my head, I get a beautiful boat without the cost attached. I always get the first choice for major events and use the boat whenever I want.”
A front-row view of the Sydney Fireworks
Kim’s first New Year’s Eve as a boat owner was a night she will remember forever. Naturally, she was really nervous going out on such a busy night. Graham worked with her to plan the night and gave plenty of great tips like getting there early to save your spot and avoid sailing in the overcrowded harbour.
“We invited a group of friends on the boat. We moored early and had lunch, played cards and games, enjoying the day. When the time came we sipped on champagne while enjoying front row seats to the best fireworks in the world. It was an incredible experience. The best New Year’s Eve I have ever had.”
A win in the Pittwater Beneteau Regatta
In someone else’s boat, you become a competent crew member. In your own boat, you need to park it, sail it and drive it. Kim needed to learn these skills fast. Graham stepped in and taught Kim everything she needed to know.
The Oceanis was commissioned just before the Pittwater Beneteau Regatta. It was Kim’s first time skippering a race and she was terrified! Graham helped her find an experienced crew, including a racing veteran who acted as the tactician on the boat.
“I was really nervous because I had never done this before. But there was no need, in the end, we won the race!”
Kim has gone on to skipper many races and loves being involved in the SailTime and Flagstaff Marine communities.