Fathers Day comes around once a year and the sons and daughters of the world run around looking for the right gift for dad, hopefully he likes it!

The new slippers will likely last until the next Fathers Day, but what are the chances he’ll say “Hey, remember that time we had that great time unwrapping those slippers?”? Have a quick think about the physical items you’ve given your dad and how often they’re truly memorable. Some of the best gifts are experiences, especially if it is shared. Time together, doing something new, creating memories.

With that in mind, Red Balloon were kind enough to take us out sailing to test a potential gift idea for Fathers Day – on an Americas Cup yacht. To test this properly it was a father and son occasion.



Sailing on an Americas Cup yacht is a pretty interesting experience, firstly – we hadn’t sailed before however been on plenty of motorised boats. Meeting at Sydney Harbour on a rather wet day we began to board this rather large and not so luxurious yacht. A short safety briefing and we were coasting away. The experience on a yacht like this can be as laid back as you like or you can get hands on with the crew.

Son, Dad, Grandfather

Son, Dad, Grandfather

The crew running the yacht love a bit of help to raise the sails, turn the sails and even “drive”. We took turns doing all the above and more. It gives you a greater appreciation for sailing and the one thing which surprised us most was the silence of sailing. It is so therapeutic gliding through the water, wind in the sails and hearing nothing else. No motor. The yacht hits speeds around 10 knots with ease and the experience feels very safe. The crew do an amazing job looking after you, coaching you and sharing stories.


Given that we were sailing with dad onboard we found the experience really special and one we’ll talk about for years to come. Working together to shift the sails and run the grinder is a real bonding experience. We endured the rain, cheered for the sunshine when it came and admired the amazing Sydney surroundings.


Our journey finished at a lunch destination and we certainly had worked up an appetite. The feedback from dad has been overwhelmingly positive, something we would both do again. Red Balloon offers this experience for $129 and it’s really worth it. If sailing is definitely not your thing we do recommend the gift of an experience this year, a shared experience is even better, because lets face it – dad can buy his own slippers.