CHRIS Parsons is the happiest man on the planet.
That’s because the Channel 7 Queensland Weekender presenter is the new face of #GoBareboating! in the Whitsundays.
After spending eight days cruising around the islands and managing to come back in one piece, the bareboating ambassador is “incredibly proud” of his new role.
Mr Parsons’ appointment is a massive coup for the Whitsundays bareboating industry, which is working together to put more bums on boats.
#GoBareboating! Alliance spokesperson Joscelyn O’Keefe said the new #GoBareboating! campaign would show people skippering your own boat was fun and easy and nothing to be afraid of.
She said people’s first reaction to bareboating was often, “So what, you’re just letting me have a boat and I don’t need a boat licence and you let me go off into the deep blue yonder?”
“That’s something we need to break down and show people how safe it actually is and what measures we have in place to ensure people’s safety when they’re out there,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80, as long as you’ve got some boating experience and you’ve got a sense of adventure, then we can help you with the rest.”
Mr Parsons, who admitted his nautical experience was somewhat lacking, said he was at first a little anxious about being left in charge of someone else’s boat.
“I was apprehensive, as I assume most people would be, but coming back after eight days, it’s just so achievable,” he said.
The Whitsundays charter boat industry represents more than 1800 beds – or in boating terms more than 1800 berths – with more than 1000 of those in the bareboat fleet.
It’s a figure that operators Queensland Yacht Charters, Cumberland Charter Yachts, Whitsunday Escape, Whitsunday Rent a Yacht and Charter Yachts Australia – traditionally fierce competitors – are hoping to grow through the joint campaign.
Ms O’Keefe said the plan was to “communally grow” the number of people interested in bareboating domestically and internationally.
BARE ESSENTIALS: Channel 7 Queensland Weekender presenter Chris Parsons (centre) is spearheading a new campaign for bareboating in the Whitsundays, working with (from left) Tineke Vrind (Queensland Yacht Charters), Zan Schubert (Cumberland Charter Yachts), Joscelyn O'Keefe (Whitsunday Rent a Yacht), Rose Wildy (Charter Yachts Australia) and Alita DeBrincat (Whitsunday Escape). Photo: Matthew Newton
SMILE: Channel 7 Queensland Weekender presenter Chris Parsons is the new face of bareboating in the Whitsundays.