Co-Founder & Director

BASCO Boating, Singapore

Who is Dione Schick?

Dione is a 58 years young Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and boating industry entrepreneur. She has been involved in the leisure marine industry for more than 35 years along with her partner and husband William, and has been researching and planning since the 90’s on how to transform the traditional boat brokerage model to one that is more client-focused, service-based, results-driven, and yet at the same time provides a consistent and reliable income for client-focussed digital boat brokers who can work from anywhere, make a consistent income helping boat owners to sell their boats online.

You are the Co-Founder of BASCO Boating. What is BASCO Boating, Dione?

BASCO’s vision is to be the most reliable and effective boating platform in Asia-Pacific.

It is our mission to empower members of the boating community to lead a more fulfilling boating lifestyle with the most comprehensive boating knowledge and efficient boating services.

We strive to address issues faced by the boating community in the traditional boat brokerage by investing our time to understand our clients and their needs so as to provide accurate information and present our best practices to help them achieve their innermost dreams about life at sea.

And with our digital boat brokerage, we help boat owners to sell their boats 33% faster and at half the costs, with our revolutionary program called BoatSellProTM – cheaper, faster, better.

What leads you to this?

In 1995, after 11 years of running our award-winning boating dealership and marine service centre in a small town in New Zealand, we had to close it down. It had become obvious the traditional boat dealership and boat brokerage model was ready for an innovative approach, and the current model did not work very well.

For example, the service given to potential boat buyers by the service team and the pre-sales team was usually not compensated, as nothing was earned until a boat was sold, and with the long sales cycle, it was not unusual for more than one-year’s support by the service team, only to see the new boat deal getting closed at a boat show, an opportunistic boat salesman who happened to be there on the day, collecting all the commission.

All the months and hours of answering questions, sharing expertise and case studies, and spending time with the buyer were often lost to that opportunistic salesperson on the day. Globalisation, including how boat buyers became increasingly mobile, travelling to the boat yards, to the national and then international boat shows, it was understandable for a buyer to then close on a good boat deal right there and then. The model had to change so that the value provided by the boating experts, the boating professionals and the service team was somehow paid for along the way.

Being a chartered accountant, a consultant all my working life, a project manager and helping clients solve problems by working together on projects and achieving predetermined results, I knew this could be done with boat sellers and boat buyers, and this is what led me to this.

Recently, the dramatic increase in rental and purchase price of properties opens a new possibility on the Singapore residential front. Tell us all about it, Dione?

The dramatic increase in rental and purchase prices of properties in Singapore has made it increasingly difficult for many people to find affordable and comfortable housing. Being hit with rent increases of 50%-100% and despair and frustration from being unable to do anything about it, has led some individuals and families to explore alternative living arrangements, including living on a boat.

Living on a boat in Singapore can be an attractive option for several reasons. First, it can be significantly cheaper than renting or buying a traditional residential property. Boats can be purchased or rented at a fraction of the cost of a house or apartment in some areas, making it an attractive option for those on a tight budget.

In addition to affordability, living on a boat can provide a unique and enjoyable lifestyle, with the ability to travel and explore various parts of Singapore and the surrounding region. Many boat owners enjoy the sense of freedom and independence that comes with living on the water.

However, it is important to note that living on a boat comes with its own unique challenges and considerations, such as limited living space, ongoing maintenance and repair costs, and the need for specialized skills and knowledge to operate and maintain a boat.

Overall, while living on a boat may not be the right choice for everyone, it can be a viable alternative for those seeking an affordable and unique housing option in Singapore.

Living on the water sounds like a dream but how different is living in a boat from being in a residential building?

Living on the water in a boat may seem like a dream for many people, but it is a lifestyle that comes with its own unique set of challenges and differences compared to living in a traditional residential building. Here are a few key differences to consider:

Space : Boats tend to have much less living space than residential buildings. This means that you need to be very mindful of how you use the available space and be creative when it comes to storage solutions.

Mobility : Boats are mobile, which means that you have the freedom to move around and explore various locations. However, this also means that you need to be prepared for the challenges that come with living on the water, such as changing weather conditions and the need to navigate unfamiliar waterways.

Maintenance : Living on a boat requires ongoing maintenance and repairs, much like living in a residential building. However, the challenges and costs associated with maintaining a boat can be much higher than those associated with maintaining a traditional home.

Community : Living on a boat can be a wonderful way to build a strong sense of community with other boaters. However, it can also be more difficult to build relationships with people who live in traditional homes and buildings.

Overall, living on a boat can be a rewarding and unique lifestyle choice, but it is important to be aware of the differences and challenges that come with this lifestyle.

What makes Singapore conducive for boat-living?

Singapore’s tropical year-round climate is one of the many factors that make it conducive for living aboard a boat. With temperatures averaging around 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) and high humidity, the city-state’s weather is ideal for those who enjoy warm and balmy tropical nights aboard their boats.

The warm weather also allows boaters to take advantage of the many water-based activities and attractions in Singapore. The country has a range of beaches and coves that are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and diving. Additionally, the waters around Singapore are teeming with marine life, making it an excellent location for fishing and other water-based activities.

Apart from the weather, Singapore’s excellent infrastructure also makes it a terrific location for living aboard a boat. The city-state has a well-developed transportation network, with easy access to shopping centres, medical facilities, and other amenities. Boaters can easily stock up on supplies, access medical care, and enjoy the many attractions and experiences that Singapore has to offer. But it is important to note that some marinas do not allow it and also that you must understand the rules and regulations so you can own and use your boat legally.

Furthermore, Singapore has a stable political environment and a low crime rate, making it one of the safest places to live in Asia. Boaters can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their boat and belongings are secure while they explore the city-state.

In conclusion, Singapore’s warm tropical climate, excellent infrastructure, and safe environment make it an ideal location for living aboard a boat. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a boating enthusiast, Singapore offers a range of experiences and attractions that are sure to keep you entertained and engaged but be sure to check out the rules and regulations to own and use your boat legally.

Walk us through the reasons why people choose to own a boat?

Owning a boat is a dream for many people around the world, and there are a variety of reasons why people choose to make this dream a reality. For some, owning a boat is a status symbol, a way to show off their success and wealth. For others, it is a way to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some peaceful time on the water. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that owning a boat has become an integral part of the modern lifestyle.

One of the primary reasons why people choose to own a boat is for recreational purposes. Boating is a popular activity that allows people to enjoy time with family and friends while exploring new places and experiencing the natural beauty of the world. Owning a boat also provides access to a wide variety of water sports and activities, including fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and more.

In addition to recreational purposes, owning a boat can also provide a sense of freedom and adventure. Many people enjoy the challenge of navigating the open waters and exploring new destinations. A boat allows people to travel to places that are inaccessible by land, and provides the opportunity to discover hidden coves, secluded beaches, and other beautiful locations that are only accessible by water.

Lastly, owning a boat can also be a practical choice for some people, particularly those who live near the water or work in industries that require access to boats, such as fishing, transportation, and tourism.

Overall, owning a boat can provide a variety of benefits and is a popular choice for those who enjoy spending time on the water, exploring new places, and experiencing the freedom and adventure that comes with boating.

For the longest time, owning a boat in Singapore is seen as elite, so perhaps you can give us a little breakdown of the costs associated with owning and maintaining a boat here.

Owning a boat in Singapore can be an expensive proposition, with a number of costs associated with purchasing, maintaining, and operating a vessel. These costs can vary depending on the size, type, and age of the boat, as well as the owner’s specific needs and preferences.

One of the most significant costs associated with owning a boat in Singapore is the initial purchase price. Boats can range from a few thousand dollars for a small dinghy to several million dollars for a luxury yacht. In addition to the purchase price, there are also other costs to consider, such as registration fees, taxes, and insurance.

Once the boat is purchased, ongoing maintenance costs can be quite high. This includes regular servicing, repairs, and upgrades to ensure the boat is in good condition and operating safely. Other expenses associated with boat ownership in Singapore include mooring fees, fuel costs, and storage costs.

In addition to these costs, there are also regulatory requirements to consider. Singapore has strict regulations around boat ownership and operation, which can lead to additional costs, such as licensing and inspection fees.

Overall, owning and maintaining a boat in Singapore can be a significant financial investment. However, for those who enjoy spending time on the water and exploring the nearby islands and coastline, the benefits of boat ownership can be well worth the expense.

Would love to have your insights on the current buying and selling system for boats in Singapore. Also, do tell us of any limitations, Dione.

The current buying and selling system for boats in Singapore involves a number of steps and can be a complex and time-consuming process. Boat owners looking to sell their vessels typically need to engage a broker or dealer to help them find a buyer, prepare the necessary paperwork, and handle negotiations. Meanwhile, buyers need to navigate a market that can be opaque and difficult to access, with limited information available on the boats that are currently for sale.

One of the key limitations of the current system is the lack of transparency and information available to buyers. Many boats are sold through private networks, making it difficult for potential buyers to find the boats they are looking for and compare prices and features. This can also make it difficult for sellers to find the right buyers and achieve a fair price for their vessel.

Digital boat brokers like BASCO Boat Guru® can help solve these limitations by providing a platform that connects buyers and sellers in a transparent and efficient manner. Through an online marketplace, boat owners can list their vessels for sale, and buyers can browse a wide range of boats and access detailed information about each one, including specifications, photos, and pricing information. Digital boat brokerage has lower costs, boats sell faster and more efficiently due to increased emphasis on marketing packages.

BASCO Boat Guru provides a range of digital tools and services that make the buying and selling process easier and more efficient. This includes features such as digital paperwork management, secure payment processing, and logistics support for boat transport and delivery.

Overall, digital boat brokerages like BASCO Boat Guru have the potential to revolutionize the boat buying and selling process in Singapore, making it easier, more transparent, and more efficient for buyers and sellers alike.

How do you see this industry evolve in the region?

The boating industry in Singapore is expected to continue to evolve in the coming years, driven by a range of factors such as changing consumer preferences, advances in technology, and evolving regulations.

One of the key trends that are expected to shape the future of the boating industry in Singapore is a growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable boats. As consumers become more conscious about environmental issues, there is likely to be increasing interest in electric and hybrid boats that produce lower emissions and have a smaller environmental footprint.

Another trend that is likely to drive the evolution of the boating industry in Singapore is the increasing use of digital technology. Boat owners are increasingly turning to digital platforms to manage various aspects of boat ownership, such as booking mooring spaces, managing maintenance schedules, and connecting with other boaters. This is expected to lead to the development of new digital tools and services that cater to the needs of boat owners and help to streamline various aspects of boat ownership and operation.

Finally, as the government in Singapore continues to promote the development of the marine industry, there is likely to be increasing investment in infrastructure and facilities that support the boating industry. This includes the development of new marinas, the expansion of existing facilities, and the creation of new regulations and policies that promote the growth of the industry.

Overall, the boating industry in Singapore is expected to continue to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions, consumer preferences, and technological advancements, providing new opportunities for growth and innovation.

What are your plans going forward?

BASCO Boating as a Singapore-based digital boat brokerage we are looking to expand our services and offerings in the coming months and years.

One of the key goals for the company is to continue to grow its online marketplace, connecting boat buyers and sellers in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. BASCO Boating is also looking to develop new digital tools and services that make the boat buying and selling process easier and more efficient.

Additionally, the company is exploring opportunities to expand its operations into other areas of the marine industry, such as yacht chartering and boat financing, and we’re really excited to soon launch our digital boat broker training certification for aspiring and experienced yacht brokers to become digital boat brokers, to help more boat owners sell their boats 33% faster and at half the costs, while working from anywhere and making consistent income. Our goal is to provide opportunities and employment for younger people in Singapore to get access to join the leisure boat industry by becoming client-focused digital boat brokers and advisors who serve first and sell second, helping our clients achieve their innermost dreams about life at sea.

Best book you’ve read this year

I’m not an avid book reader but am actively involved in learning more about all things digitally and do lots of videos about digital marketing and business automation.

The last music you downloaded

“I Wasn’t Expecting That” by Jamie Lawson

The music that changed everything for you

“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

When you need to feel inspired

Take a walk, head to the beach or ocean, and listen to the crashing waves

Things you’ll always have in your fridge

Eggs, avocado, salmon, and dark chocolate!

A typical day for Dione Schick

Up around 8 am, and 3-4 times a week, pull on trainers and head out for a 3-4 km round-trip walk, generally to the coffee shop.

Start working around 9.30 am, touch base with my virtual team, check appointments for the day and prepare.

Spend an hour on strategy (and thinking about the business) and how to polish different aspects or promote the next steps.

After lunch, I’ll typically take 2 to 3 meetings. Our focus in 2023 is to help boat owners to sell their boats 33% faster and at half the commissions, so I’ll be talking to boat owners about how we can help them best.

Around 4pm I head to the gym a couple of times a week to keep my strength in shape and then we usually have quite an early dinner around 6 pm and before and after that, it’s a few more emails, messages and WhatsApps in between.

Then, me and my hubby would chill on the bow of the boat in the evenings (at the moment, we are in between boats) and usually quite early to bed, around 10 pm.

What have you come to appreciate the last 2 years

That I am so lucky to have created the lifestyle for ourselves (even after I got made painfully and unexpectedly redundant a few years back), where we can operate our global boating business online, and from aboard our boat, with a virtual workforce, so we can work from anywhere and have the ability to get up and go and visit our family, or travel, at any time.

A boat you’d like to own (or a “dreamboat” you’ve already owned)

Sea Kiwi was our dream boat, a 61’ flybridge power boat that was also a fabulous liveaboard. Lots of space, entertaining, and so big and comfortable to provide memories of a lifetime for our teenagers and ourselves.

Definition of success to you

Achieving peace, and for me, that has come from successfully putting enough of the pieces of the puzzle together in my life, like my relationship with my husband of 37 years, our family and the children we have raised (and first grandchild 5 months ago), our priceless memories of our life on the water without family, achieving career success through my forensic accountancy profession and the great Singapore corporate opportunities, enough financial success to do what we want to do, and now our established boating business which gives us time and freedom to travel to spend time with our family.

Biggest inspiration comes from

The sea and living on the water

One gadget you can’t do without

These days, my glasses!

Country you can’t wait to go back to


Favorite podcast(s)

Hustle & Flow

Something you’ve recently discovered

That pet-sitting is a great way to see a country without having to pay a fortune in hotel costs.

Philosophy in life

You’re only important to a handful of people in your life, so be important to those you are important to, and arrange your work, life, and time so you can be with them when they need you, and when it matters.

Best things about Singapore

*The warm weather, like being on summer holidays all year around (I was originally from NZ, in the Southern Hemisphere, it was cold)

*Being able to become a Singapore citizen, which is the best

*The opportunities available to us and our family (work, study, travel, culture, land latterly, business building opportunities and great govt support for business)

*Lower tax rates.

*Having full-time live-in help when our three children were growing up and having healthy home-cooked meals on the table at dinner time.

*Proximity to other countries (NZ is so remote, nowhere to conveniently go, so many places to conveniently travel to in Singapore)

Favourite movie


What’s in your glass and plate for cocktail hour

A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and something vegetable

Indulgence you’ll never forgo

Dark chocolate

Work of an artist you collect or would (collect) if you could

Eugenia Gajardo, a Singapore artist who sadly passed away recently, I bought her book but never got to buy her artwork, mostly abstract and fabulous work.

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