Dan of Lekker Boats talks about his passion for social boating in Sydney.
Lekker Boats is a fresh company that offers their guests amazing boating experiences around the hottest spots in Sydney. We recently spoke to Daan, one of their visionaries and founders, to hear his thoughts on what makes Dutch boats so unique, what the Lekker way of life really means, and where his favorite spots in Sydney are.
Tell me more about why you first started your company, Lekker Boats. Was it something that you and your team always dreamed about?
We started Lekker Boats with 3 people: Meindert, James, and myself (Daan).
*Meindert is Dutch and started LekkerBikes about 5 years ago in Australia after he travelled here. He did a course in English, and wanted a bicycle to get from his home to the course. More people got interested, and thats how he started the company.
*I am Dutch as well, and besides my studies, was busy with designing and constructing furniture and interiors of cafe’s. I love being on the water, and spent my time on boats during the summer in Amsterdam, so that is why I first started building a few boats in Holland. I always had dreams of living, surfing, and having a boating company in Australia.
*James is the supporter for our idea, a genius mind, and the investor to make it all happen!
I was speaking with Meindert on the phone while he was in Sydney enjoying “the good life” (and I was in Amsterdam enjoying the rain). We were both dreaming about designing a typical Dutch handmade boat for the sunny, beach-y lifestyle and market in Australia – something completely different than what was on the boating market in Sydney. Something stylish, but fast. Something Dutch. Something very Lekker!
This is why Lekker Boats and Lekker Bikes are a part of LEKKER DREAMING.
How would you describe Lekker Boats to everyone?
First off, Lekker means tasty, sexy, or good in Dutch!
Lekker is a lifestyle brand. Lekker wants to show that transportation can be comfortable, sexy, classy and very convenient. Lekker likes to stand out as a unique company, that is why we are fresh, original, and have a new look on existing products in well known industries.
You write on your website that Lekker Boats “introduces a different type of boat to Australia with a strong dutch heritage.” Why is this Dutch heritage important to you? What do you love about Dutch boats?
“With our beautiful lakes, rivers and many other waterways, Holland is the ideal place for yachting. The use of the word “jacht” started about 400 years ago and from that moment there was a continual growth in demand for yachts, resulting in work for many shipyards throughout the country. They all started as small businesses, building small yachts. Some of their yards developed eventually into big and important shipyards for megayachts. Around these smaller and bigger shipyards, an infrastructure of suppliers, naval architects, stylists, interior designers, and subcontractors developed. This created a healthy competition which caused the best ratio between technology, quality and price. Because Holland is such a small country, and became a specialist in yachts, the Dutch yachting sector started a few years after WW2 with its export. The Dutch trading spirit and expertise in shipbuilding is built up over centuries and created this “super yachting hub”. – Mulder Design
As a Dutch company we have access to all this knowledge, skill, and competency, and we gratefully make use of these resources. We are proud to be part of this history as a Dutch boating design and building company.
We love that you offer boat rides for wedding parties! Do you have any fun stories about this?
Once we were with a group of friends out at Manly, which is north Sydney. We were having a great time at Collins Beach, which is an incredible environment with big rock jumps and clear waters that are good for snorkeling as well. At about 5pm we dropped off a few people at the wharf in Manly when we saw a newly wed couple who needed to get to the other side of Sydney Harbour, to Watsons Bay, because their wedding party would be there. But, the traffic was stuck on the Harbour Bridge and the ferries wouldn’t go any more at that time. We beached the boat, took the newly weds on board, and raced them to the other side of the Harbour to the party where all their friends were. They saw the amazing city from the water and with the romantic music, everybody in the boat at that time felt the love! When we drove them up the beach right in front of the venue, they were on time, very happy and all their friends were completely surprised.
We love the way that you describe your company’s services: social boating. What does social boating mean to you and your team?
Great to hear you like our social approach! We really feel our boats are a very social experience. This because they are open, and literally every square cm is accessible and of use for customers. The captain is positioned in the back of the boat, which even makes him/her a part of the group.
Besides the features of the boats, we love to involve our clients in our tours so they can be the DJ, they can decide where they want to go, or if they want to go for a swim they can jump in! We like to give them the experience that they own the boat and can do what they want. That makes it a very enjoyable trip. If the music is on, we would like to have our guests dancing on the top of the benches.
What do you and your team love to do when you’re not planning amazing boating experiences?
If we are not busy with planning trips or having trips with customers we go out ourselves, organize a party with our friends, raft up with multiple boats, or go on a beautiful and exciting camping trip with a boat. We love to discover areas where we’ve never been. For instance, the Hawkesburry River is this enormous park with wildlife, stunning beaches, rock jumps and rope swings, and there are also loads of fish in the waters.
Where do you personally love to travel with your boats?
We go mostly around Sydney Harbour. Sydney Harbour is recognized as one of the most amazing waterways in the world. This truly is a wonderful place with dozens of beaches. Some are busy, some are really quiet and private. With an incredible view of the city, you can have a picnic on the whitest beaches while it looks like a Vietnam jungle in the background.
What advice would you offer to couples who are planning their honeymoons in Australia?
Australia is an amazing country with lots to see and enjoy. One of these must sees is Sydney. I would recommend anyone to visit Sydney and experience a metropool, which is surrounded by water. These waters are the playgrounds of the adults (children as well of course). The water, parks, and beaches are the lungs of the city. It is where the people escape to for their lunch times, and during the weekends. It is also how the Aussies can maintain the Australian way of life in a city with 4,5 million citizens.
Do you have any favorite spots in Australia to visit or eat at?
Watsons Bay and the fish markets are my favorite places for a nice drink and food. The fish markets are a crazy, busy place where the fish are traded. If you like fish, this is the place to be. Watsons Bay is one of the most beautiful locations, and a rare venue right on the beach in Sydney Harbour. Its easy accessible via the boat, has great food and a fun, beach clubby atmosphere.
If you could choose one of your own Wanderable Experiences to enjoy, which one would it be and why? Who would you invite?
I would love to go to Greece with my girlfriend and do the Private Mykonos Round Tour. Yes, again a boat, I’m just in love with my girlfriend and the sea! I think it’s beautiful, and I hope we could do some fishing, bonfire on empty beaches, and snorkel in clear waters. I’m sure this tour must be great!
Thanks again to Daan of Lekker Boats for the amazing story and tips on exploring Sydney! Check out their beautiful Dutch boats for yourself.