Current State of Sailing Boat Racing and Yacht Sales

As Australia and the rest of the world navigate this lonely and strange new way of living with Corona Virus, we are seeing “everything” effected. The sailing and racing scene, like all other sports has been turned on its head.

From the local dinghy club on a regional lake to the America’s Cup, every sailor has been impacted and, for the time being, we cannot do what we love: Going Racing!!

Not just racing has been affected, many areas of the marine industry are feeling the squeeze… Major regattas and events such as boat shows have been cancelled or postponed which has put a large dent in the turn-over of this multi-billion-dollar industry.

Here are some boating industry figures which will amaze you:

  • In 2018, US$2.9 Billion was spent on Superyacht Sales (yachts over 100 ft in length)
  • There are over 12 million registered vessels in the USA
  • There are over 1 million registered vessels in Australia
  • Australia’s Boating industry turns over approx. $8 billion per annum and employs more than 25,000 people

aerial view of boat show racing yacht

Check out the interview with Australian Sailing CEO, Ben Houston, for Sails Magazine. It delivers an important message to the sailing community.


So, what can we do…

  • Continue to enjoy the water
  • Take on some maintenance and do your race prep
  • Keep in contact with clubs, class associations and online information
  • Get fit
  • Consider a new yacht

Enjoy the Water

We are very lucky in Australia to have some of the best waterways in the world and year-round boating conditions. Whilst our yacht and sailing clubs maybe closed, we can still get out on the water if we do it sensibly and safely to enjoy the beautiful conditions on offer.

Each state has its own rules so follow the directive given from your State Government and remember the clear message for now is to stay home if you do not need to leave.

Sailing, like kayaking, windsurfing and other water-sports is exercise!

eagle yacht sailing


With less sailing time, consider taking on some regular maintenance onboard your boat.

Prepare and tackle the job list, as the weather this time of year is perfect for working on the boat. You can still isolate from others right now and if required, you can get the crew involved as you know they won’t be out sailing with someone else!!

cleaning yacht varnishing yacht

Furthermore, marine-related businesses are still operating as normal (albeit under strict health and safety measures) to service your boat.

With less work around for these businesses, it’s a great time to strike a deal with your local mechanic, sail maker or rigger! Shipyards are open and are doing antifouling and other works as normal so take the time to sort your boat out and have it primed for when racing commences again.

Our big racing events such as the Upcoming Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Sydney to Auckland Yacht Race are still progressing as planned, so it’s important you are ready.

Get into the things that are important but can be done at home such as:

  • First Aid and safety gear checks
  • Race Entries, Insurance, stability, and other documentation
  • Crew list details including each individual crew’s qualifications to meet requirements
  • Dry Provisioning, spares and other race specific prep can be done anytime, so get into it!

Stay in touch

I have been talking to a lot of clubs and all are basically shutdown but are planning for a buoyant return to normal when C-19 passes. Members are bursting to get back to the club! Get you entries in, sort your safety and be a pro-active member. Contact is still important!

Also, find out if your club is offering any Virtual Regattas or online racing. Some clubs are hosting race e-series online to replace their regular schedule of either weekday or weekend racing, its great fun and puts you in contact with your regular sailing friends and rivals! Some examples are Cruising Yacht Club Australia and Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

virtual racing virtual racing

Races and events scheduled for later in the year are going ahead as planned, so keep in close contact with your club/ class association to ensure you know when racing will start again.

There is a lot of good content online during this time as well. Some examples are the webinars promoted by North Sails, and Peter Isler, a world renowned sailor, has been working hard to share his expertise in many online formats. There is much more great content out there, so search up and have fun listening or watching what others are up to.

Fitness and other land-based training

I am not the one to tell you how to train, but fitness is really important when racing so take the time when you might usually be on the water, to get fitter and stronger.

I really enjoy getting on the bike, and my kids have actually set up an old dinghy in the back yard with trapeze wires off the mast so they can hone their stills of “being on the wire”! Get creative, its good fun and will be a benefit.

yoga on a boat pilates

Consider a New Yacht

As we all have time on our side, there has never been a better time than now to be looking online for new opportunities in the Racing yacht market.

Yacht brokers are open, and business is good so we can assist you to sell your current boat and get you into something new. We have some great racing yacht options available right now and can also act as a buyer’s agent to find you the right boat either here in Australia or overseas.

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