Martin Lyall

Man wearing a red shirt and sun glasses while stirring the wheel of a boat

“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 complementary 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 boat shares, we’re delivering lifestyle dreams. David and I often strategise 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.”

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 he loves 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.”

Meet the rest of the Smart Boating team.

Contact Us

If you hear the sea calling you… don’t wait another minute, contact Smart Boating today!

    Pick your dream boat

    Yachts, motor cruisers or catamarans, the choice is yours…

    Sydney’s Middle Harbour

    RYCK 280

    Discover the world from beyond the waves with the high-quality “Surf and Fun” RYCK 280 – a sophisticated German-made performance vessel to suit a range of water enthusiasts.



    Palm Beach PB32

    The Australian-designed PALM BEACH PB32 affords classic styling and efficient performance in a sleek, compact and very comfortable package.

    Pittwater + Whitsundays

    Hanse 418

    The beautiful new lines, straight stem and extra-long waterline of the Hanse 418 are key to a fast, safe and comfortable sailing experience.