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B.A. Boat Hire offer great fishing boat hires and self-drive boat rentals in Adelaide. Their boats are clean, well serviced and professionally maintained. We had a chat with Ben to find out why B.A. Boat Hire started and how they do such an amazing job…
Can you tell us a bit more about you? Who is Ben from B.A. Boat Hire?
I am a very keen fisherman with a passion for being on the water. If I’m not working on a boat, I’ll be fishing from one! The saying life is better on the water speaks true.
We know you have a background in the marine industry, can you tell us about that?
My desire to fish started very young with my father taking us away on camping trips. I started boating at the young age of 14 and it was then I knew I wanted a career around boats. At age 18, I started working in the local boat yard as an apprentice marine mechanic and to this day still work as a marine mechanic. I also hold my Coxswains ticket and have skippered for a few local fishing charters over the years.
When did B.A. Boat Hire start? What does B.A. stand for?
My wife and I started B.A. Boat Hire in November 2017. B.A. stands for Ben and Anne – keeping it simple!
Is it just yourself running such a great business, or do you have a team with you?
Both my wife and I run the business. We both work full time, plus run this boat business, so having a team of two really helps. I am the one who meets and greets and maintains the vessels. Anne is behind the scenes managing all our accounts, email enquiries and the marketing on social media and our website etc. You might see Anne down at the ramp on a weekend, helping with the launching / retrieving and washing the vessels.
Why did you start a boat hire service in Adelaide? What has been your mission from the start?
We chose to start B.A. Boat Hire in Adelaide, as there was no other service like the one we had set out to start. We wanted to provide a safe, personalised boat hire service that was fun and easy for everyone to use. Whether you’re new to boating, or experienced on the water, we have a service that fits everyone’s needs.
With your experience in the industry, do you think hiring is the new buying? Have you seen a shift in the industry over the last few years?
Hiring is certainly becoming more cost effective for many reasons. Lack of space to store boats, expensive maintenance costs, plus registration and insurance costs that come with your own boat can really add up, especially if you don’t use it much. We have many regulars who use our services and say it’s far cheaper than owning their own boat.
Tell us your secrets! What makes B.A. Boat Hire the best in South Australia? What makes customers come back to you again and again?
We are unique in that we offer a no hassle, safe approach to boating. We are all about safety, while ensuring that everyone has a fun day on the water. We spent the time making sure our vessels met all the AMSA requirements.
Our walk-on walk-off hires are our most popular service. The boats are launched, retrieved AND cleaned for you. You simply turn up and everything is done for you. We even offer all the quality fishing gear for those who don’t have their own.
Our tow and go services are also quite popular in the summer time. You can tow and go to almost any destination in South Australia with your own car. Our boats have been to a lot of places! From Kangaroo Island, and the Murray to the Yorke Peninsula.
As a passionate business owner, what do you enjoy most about running B.A. Boat Hire?
We enjoy meeting so many different people, seeing the kids’ faces when they return with their fish, and hearing all the stories that go with them. Just seeing people enjoy the water and boating as much as I do is really great. We make it accessible for people who don’t own their own boat, and who might not otherwise get the chance to have the experience.
You have 2 quite different boats. Which is best to hire for which situations?
Our 4.8m Bluefin Weekender was a hit from the start – fantastic entry level boat, licensed for 4 and is very popular for small groups. It’s a perfect boat for getting out onto the crabs, squid and whiting. The Bluefin can also be towed away to your destination, however does have some geographical limitations.
The 6.5m Amara centre cabin, is built for the hire industry with a capacity of 6 people. The walk around cabin has ample room for a jam-packed day of cruising or fishing. Boating experience is recommended for this vessel due to its size. The Amara can be towed away also, and has a bigger geographical reach than the Bluefin.
When we booked, we dropped you an email to set the booking up. Are you thinking about getting an online booking system?
As the business grows, this is something we will look into. We are currently working on a booking calendar showing availability. We do prefer a phone call as it’s easy to ask/answer any questions and more personable.
Are the boats suitable for families with young kids?
Absolutely, both vessels are suitable for families. We provide life jackets for all children 12 years and under. We have had a few families hire the vessels for a whole day on the water. They can have a bit of a fish in the morning, and take a packed lunch with them. And then the kids have a swim close to shore in the afternoon. We are always happy to see the little ones onboard and enjoying the experience.
Are people able to do towed watersports from either boat?
This is done so at your own risk. Our Terms and Conditions make it very clear that our insurance does not extend to cover watersport activities.
Do you have any advice for someone who already owns a boat, but is considering selling and hiring in the future?
Best to get in contact with us – it really is a great choice. We have a growing group of regular customers who have done just that. We are working on a regular’s discount, so watch this space!
What’s the best advice you could give to someone who has not hired a boat before and a little unsure?
Please give us a call and we can explain the easy process of hiring. Providing you have a boat license; we can get you out on the water. Both vessels have mandatory safety inductions onboard to ensure the operator understands the vessel’s operation and safety equipment.
For someone who perhaps is not feeling overly confident, can you go out on the water with them?
Definitely. If you have just got your boat license or it has been a while since you have been out on the water, we would recommend our personalised on-water tuition. This 2 hour hands-on experience will give you the confidence to take your friends and family out on the water. We also now offer skippered services on our Amara for those looking for a driver.
Where do you see B.A. Boat Hire in the future?
We are fast becoming the go to boat hire company in Adelaide, which is great. As we are growing, we are listening to what our customers require – as the demand increases, we will add more vessels. We now offer skippered services and will be looking to start a charter service in the near future. We are also looking at a regular’s discount which is exciting.
In the height of summer, how far ahead should people try and book? Do a lot of people book ahead and wait to see what the weather does?
We get asked this question a lot! We always recommend booking in advance, as summer days book out quickly. A lot of people tend to wait and see what the weather is doing before booking, but that is sometimes too late because we are already booked. Our advice would be if you know your dates, best to book them in early to avoid disappointment.
We are always keeping an eye on the weather. Our policy is that if we need to cancel due to bad weather, then we will transfer your deposit to another mutually agreeable date.
How does someone book a boat with you and get themselves out on the water?
Bookings can be made via our website by filling in the Contact Us page with the preferred dates and preferred boat, and we will get back to you. Also, find our FAQs section that may answer any questions you may have.
You can also give us a call. This is the easiest way we can discuss the hire process and answer any questions you might have.
Thanks Ben for taking the time to get to know you and your amazing South Australian business. Adelaide has needed a reliable and safe boat hire service for a long time and you and the team are absolutely leading the way!
Want to read more about what to expect? Check out our post about spending a day out on the water in the B.A. Boat Amara Centre Cabin.
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!