As the old saying goes, there is “nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”.

Now downsizers will find it much easier to live out this seagoing maxim, with a number of retirement communities launching community boats.

Earlier this year, land lease community operator Ingenia Lifestyle announced it had introduced a 4.9m long Quintrex 490 Renegade boat, which is available for use by all licensed boaties who live in its Hervey Bay land lease community.

This means residents are able to enjoy fishing and boating, including being able to make trips to Fraser Island, without the hassles and costs involved in boat registration or maintenance.

Rob and Jacquie Chappell are new Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay residents and have previously owned six boats. They are now keen to fire up the motor of the community boat.

“Whilst we were already set on moving here, we were thrilled to know there would be a boat we could use as we don’t have one anymore,” Mr Chappell said.

“Sharing a boat with a community is a great way to make the most of it. 

“We don’t have to worry about maintenance, running costs or storage – we can just take it out for a ride whenever the weather is nice.”

Ms Chappell said Hervey Bay is a fantastic spot for boating. 

“You’re never more than about two nautical miles from land and you’re not out on the open ocean – people can feel confident that they’re a lot safer,” he said.

Meanwhile, Melbourne land lease community operator Lifestyle Communities has communal boats at seven of its communities across Victoria. These are free for homeowners to use.

“We got our first boat at Shepparton in 2014,” a spokeswoman said. “They are all called “Lifestylin” and then numbered accordingly.”

Comment from our CEO

Downsizing.com.au CEO Amanda Graham said the community boat scheme was another example of how downsizers were able to access great lifestyle facilities when they moved into over 50s communities.

“We’ve previously heard of community buses but now it is exciting to know that community boats are coming on to the scheme,” she said. “This is a great initiative to allow people to enjoy a day on the water without the hassle of having to own and manage a boat.”

“It’s also an example of how over 50s communities are able to increasingly provide facilities and services for their residents to allow them to be healthy and active.”

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