An AMA with Nick Burham (AKA Aquaholic) - Complete

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Whether you’re a boating magazine aficionado or a YouTube yacht tour junkie, chances are you’re familiar with the wit and wisdom of Nick Burnham.

One of MBY’s longest-serving and most prolific contributors, Nick set up his own YouTube channel in 2016 after fulfilling a lifelong dream to drive the original Miami Vice boat.

AQUAHOLIC has since gone from strength to strength, racking up roughly 4 million views per month and attracting a loyal following of more than a quarter of a million subscribers who can’t get enough of his access-all-areas tours, which cover everything from humble cuddy cruisers to 60m superyachts.

So who better to kick off our new series of Ask My Anything sessions here on the YBW forum?

Nick will be joining us from 19:30-20:30 (GMT) to answer questions about his career, getting into boating journalism, sea trialling boats, judging the annual Motor Boat Awards, boat ownership, and of course, the secrets of his runaway YouTube success.

“I think it’s fair to say that boats are my life – the rest is just details,” Nick says. “I look forward to chatting boats and anything boat-related with you very soon.”
 

Nick Burnham

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Hello everyone, I’m delighted to be YBW’s guinea pig and host the very first YBW forum Ask Me Anything.

I’ve been obsessed with boats since I was a small child, owned, sailed and raced a Mirror dinghy at the age of 14, and later a Laser dinghy. More recently my focus has been on motor boats and I’ve owned an Avon RIB, Monterey 218LSC sports boat, a Skibsplast 660D cuddy cabin cruiser and now a 26ft Jeanneau 805 Leader which I’ve owned for about four years.

I entered the marine industry as a yacht broker aged twenty for five years, then ran a yacht brokerage for a further fifteen years. I then became a freelance marine journalist specialising in motor boats, writing, videoing and photographing for Motor Boat & Yachting, Motor Boats Monthly, Practical Boat Owner, Boat International and others, something I’ve been doing for over a decade now.

In 2016 I started AQUAHOLIC, a YouTube channel dedicated to my love of all boats, from kayaks to superyachts - if you’re floating, you’re boating! In five years I’m very proud (and somewhat surprised) to say that it’s now the largest yacht tour channel on the Internet, with over a quarter of a million subscribers and around four million views a month.

I think it’s fair to say that boats is my life - the rest is just details. I look forward to chatting boats and anything boat related with you.
 

jakew009

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If you had your time again, would you follow the same nautical career path, or would you pursue a different career that left you with enough disposable income to get your boating fix?
 

seastoke

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Did you used to go on the cruise in company for trail boats you had a rib and did you go to Milford Haven.
 

Nick Burnham

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If you had your time again, would you follow the same nautical career path, or would you pursue a different career that left you with enough disposable income to get your boating fix?
I think I'd do the same again. A wise man once told me 'Find a job you love and you'll never work another day in your life'. I think my career is pretty close to this!
 

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What regret/lost opportunity would you change in your career/life if you could?

What is your favourite/ideal boat for yourself?
Not a lot. Maybe I wish I'd moved out of sales and into journalism sooner as it suits me better, but I enjoyed my time as a broker, so it's not a regret.

Favourite/ideal boat is the one I have - a Jeanneau 805 Leader, because it offers as much as possible (offshore cruising, good facilities) with sensible(ish!) running costs.
 

Nick Burnham

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What is the advice you would give to a teenager(or younger) that would like to get into sailing?
Yacht clubs are a great place to start. There are often racing yacht owners looking for enthusiastic crews. Also, my favourite motto, 'if you're floating, you're boating'. Buy an old dinghy and row it if that's all you can afford, but just get out there.
 

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What to look for when choosing a Marina / Mooring?
Facilities, location and cost obviously. But also check how exposed it is in bad weather. Some people only visit when it's nice and have no idea what kind of a pounding (or not) it's getting in bad weather.
 

finchtimr

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Hey Nick,

Long time fan of the channel. Thanks for putting out some great content.

Three questions, two practical ones for now and one for the future dreams!

Firstly, I like your 805 Leader, particularly from a running cost view. Anything else worth looking at?

Secondly, I spend a lot of time in Torbay, do you know any day charters for hire without captains for 1 or 2 days?

Thirdly, the fun question, fly bridge or sports boat e.g. Princess v40 or f45 and why?!

Keep up the great work!
 

Nick Burnham

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What’s your worst/scariest boating related incident?
Losing an engine due to a fuel supply problem on a lee shore in strong winds and knowing that the engine that was still going was being fed from the same fuel tank... Fortunately it didn't stop!
 

Nick Burnham

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Hey Nick,

Long time fan of the channel. Thanks for putting out some great content.

Three questions, two practical ones for now and one for the future dreams!

Firstly, I like your 805 Leader, particularly from a running cost view. Anything else worth looking at?

Secondly, I spend a lot of time in Torbay, do you know any day charters for hire without captains for 1 or 2 days?

Thirdly, the fun question, fly bridge or sports boat e.g. Princess v40 or f45 and why?!

Keep up the great work!
When I was looking for a boat, the Jeanneau 805 Leader was such a clear winner that I eventually stopped looking for anything else and just looked at 805 Leaders. But the Bavaria 28 Sport probably came closest as it also has a wide beam.

No I don't. Bareboat motorboat charter is a bit risky in the UK, I don't know anyone who does it.

For me, sportscruiser every time as I like the feeling of speed you get from being close to the water, it's more sheltered than a flybridge and the cockpit is bigger/better. But maybe if I had a boat in the Med where it's hotter and I wanted better accommodation I'd go flybridge.
 
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