Martin Lyall

Martin Lyall


“As a kid, I grew up swimming competitively and training for upwards of three hours a day was a major part of my upbringing. When I wasn’t in the pool I was surfing. In fact, most mornings you’ll still find me out there. I have a real affinity with the water . . . it’s continued throughout my life.

After school I’d planned on following Dad into architecture, but early on at university I realised it wasn’t for me. I wanted to get into advertising and so I knocked on the door of every agency in town until I got my start. Advertising led into the publishing industry, which led to 20 odd years of film and television distribution with Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, travelling around the world for months at a time.”

Martin Lyall was a passionate SMART Boating share owner when the opportunity came up to buy the SMART Boating business.

He’d been friends with David Grice for a long time and they had complimentary skills to bring to the table.

“There are some things I”m more suited to than David, and vice versa.  We work brilliantly as a team and complement each other’s skill sets.  David is a real ‘yachtie’… a true sailor with years of racing experience, while I’m more motor.”

So you could say this new role is literally a ‘sea change’.

“It’s a business like no other. We know what we do adds significant value to people’s lives. We’re not just selling a boat share, we’re delivering a lifestyle dream. David and I often strategize about where we can take the business and how we can continue to deliver incredible opportunities for people to get out onto the water more often and more affordably. We have a real ‘can do’ approach to SMART Boating.”

Martin Lyall

David and Martin have made big changes to SMART Boating since they became co-owners.

They’ve expanded the fleet, not just in terms of numbers, but in terms of possibilities and locations.

You’ll now find a diverse range of new yachts, powerboats and catamarans, all thoughtfully selected, fully spec’d and loved.

When Martin is sitting in his floating office, literally on Clontarf Marina, he looks over at the peak hour traffic going over the Spit into the city and wonders how he did that for so many years.

It’s a good feeling. He doesn’t miss the corporate life and this new chapter is exciting and rewarding.

“I’m lucky, I’m doing something I love, and I’m learning new things
every day. 

Additionally, we are building a great team here at SMART Boating. We
accomplish most of the turnaround and maintenance tasks in-house so
invariably it’s our dock staff who are greeting and interacting with our owners as they head out and return . . . so people skills are paramount as well.”

Martin’s enthusiasm for boat share is infectious. It’s not just a business to him – the opportunities it provides to individuals and families gives him immense pride. Sharing a boat is something he talks about with real passion – and there’s an authenticity to his relationship with every SMART Boating boat owner.

He still surfs every morning and is a self-confessed golf tragic. Martin loves to make people laugh, and seeing happy people.

“When owners and families come down to one of our marinas, they’re happy and positive.  Why wouldn’t they be? They’re about to step onto a beautiful boat that’s ready to go and spend time doing something they love, as well as spending quality time together.

We’re not only selling the dream, but more importantly, we’re delivering the reality, and each owner is our focus.”

Find new boat share opportunities here.

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