A Yachting Legacy

Clare (right) with her mother and sister

A Yachting Legacy

Clare (right) with her mother and sister

Kinship

A Yachting Legacy

A passion for sailing is often passed down from generation to generation.

By Clare Wray | 13 March 2018

My father owned a boat before he owned a car. As his life and wealth progressed, so did the size of the vessel. It is his lifelong passion and –­ as my mother jibes ­­– cheaper than therapy. I have had a lifetime of experiences with my father, mother and sisters on board yachts all around the world. For me, the benefits of yacht ownership come down to three things; life experience, quality time and legacy.

A Yachting Legacy

Clare at her wedding held on board Princess Iluka

A Yachting Legacy

Clare at her wedding held on board Princess Iluka

My father worked very hard in both South-East Asia and our native Australia. We did not see him a great deal when he was working, yet when the weekends and holidays came, he’d take us all out on the water. Dad was most relaxed when sailing and it transferred to us. The time we spent at sea was somehow more concentrated than other holidays spent together on land. I can still recall the tiniest details about our sailing holidays; the firework showers which surrounded us as we celebrated Chinese New Year on a boat on Hong Kong Harbour; the sound of a squeal of a ratchet as we caught Spanish Mackerel on the Queensland coast; and the cleansing taste of Alicante Bouschet washing away a day of saltwater. Dad spent time teaching us to sail, snorkel, fish and swim and he took us to remote anchorages where we would climb the headlands in discovery mode.

A Yachting Legacy

Clare's niece patting a sea turtle

A Yachting Legacy

Clare's niece patting a sea turtle

These were experiences more than holidays. It was a privileged life, which exposed me to a wide range of places, people and environments. I spent my teenage years and young adult energy out of the confines of urban life. We owned boats as well as chartered in Australia, Europe and Asia. Sometimes the vessels were glamorous but often the destination was more important. My father, eldest sister and her husband once cruised from the Falkland Islands to Antarctica. My sister returned determined to minimise her footprint on the earth based on what she learnt from the scientists on board. These experiences coloured many areas of our lives.

A Yachting Legacy

Clare's father, sister and brother-in-law in Antarctica

A Yachting Legacy

Clare's father, sister and brother-in-law in Antarctica

I often joked I would only marry a man who loved yachts as much as I did and certainly could never get sea sick. And I did. My husband had a similar childhood to mine and we now have three children who have the enviable choice of Grandpa’s slow boat or Papa’s fast boat. We want our children to reap the benefits of a yachting life; it’s the lifestyle equivalent of an antique Swiss watch which is handed down generation by generation. Yachting offers a healthy lifestyle which gives children the room to expend energy and discover the world for themselves.

My advice to anyone considering yachting would be to start slowly, perhaps with a smaller boat or charter. Encourage your family and loved ones to be involved. Once you have found your sea legs, then be intrepid. 71% of the world’s surface is water and there is so much to be discovered.