Eastsail celebrates 30th birthday with heavy investment

Sydney based marine brand Eastsail is set to celebrate its 30th year in business.
Tracey Porter
High profile sailing and yacht charter group Eastsail will celebrate its 30th birthday with a significant capital investment aimed at introducing a new generation of sailors to its unique offering.

A $1 million-plus upgrade to the Rushcutters Bay-based business will include the purchase of five new boats, bringing the group’s total fleet to around 20 vessels.

The new acquisitions include two Dufour Grand Large 335 yachts (designed for comfortable cruising), two Dufour 36 performance cruiser racers (for racing and cruising) and an Arvor 23 Weekend cruiser (for self drive charters), all of which will be christened at Eastsail’s 30th birthday commemorations on October 20th.

Eastsail’s Deb McCawley, who founded the business on the day Australia II won the America’s Cup in 1983, said each boat had to meet new federal government safety requirements before being cleared to take to the water. In addition Eastsail also elected to install new safety features as well as some 'toys' including sophisticated instruments, upgraded propellers and custom Australian-made high tech spectra sails to enhance boat speed.

Sailing and yacht charter group Eastsail has poured more than $1 million into the purchase of new boats.
Tracey Porter

Ms McCawley said there were a number of factors that proved now was the ideal time to plough additional resources back into the business. These synergies included the forecast improvement in the economy, the high Australian dollar and renewed interest in sailing as a result of the success of the Aussie sailors at the London Olympics and the recent America’s Cup, she said.

'It’s also about celebrating our birthday with our loyal client base and assuring them, as well as our loyal staff and suppliers that we are here for the long haul and that we believe in the future of our business,' Ms McCawley said.

Since launching three decades ago Eastsail has continued to go from strength to strength, more than trebling its fleet and growing from just two staff to a team of nine fulltime and 30 part-timers. Ms McCawley said like most small businesses Eastsail had faced a number of challenges during its 30 years of operation, including increasing government compliance issues, at least two global recessions and the fluctuating dollar impacting inbound and tourism markets.

However these had been far outweighed by the success the business continues to enjoy with an exemplary safety record, a loyal local customer base, being chosen as the sailing provider of choice by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and the Rolling Stones and numerous accolades including being awarded the New South Wales and Australian Tourism Awards for Business Excellent in Adventure Tourism in both 2001 and 2008, she said.