by Clyde Batty
Getting ready to pilot a boat for the first time can be a daunting experience which is why an integral feature of this year's Melbourne Boat Show will be the availability of Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) approved training courses run by the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard.
Melbourne Boat show
Clyde Batty, General Manager of Boating Industry Association Victoria said the course covers topics that are relevant to those who are new to recreational boating, as well as those with experience who are wanting to refresh their knowledge.
'Knowing how to recognise and respond to the dangers involved in boating throughout Australian waters is paramount to avoiding a critical incident,' he said. 'The course also includes information on planning a trip on the water, launching your boat, and understanding markers and speed limits so it is a great way to increase confidence for anyone piloting a boat or watercraft.'
For a very affordable $90 plus an additional $20 for PWC training - proceeds of which go to the Coast Guard to do its vital voluntary work - participants will take part in a 3 ½ hour interactive session followed by testing. Successful participants will receive a TSV certificate of completion which they can then present at any Vic Roads office to obtain a Recreational Boat Operator License.
One of the Coast Guard’s top trainers, Squadron Commodore Barry Cordwell, will deliver sessions on each day of the Show being held July 5th to ninth at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Pre-bookings can be completed online at www.biavic.com.au/melbourneboatshow/at-theshow/
Features-attractions. Bookings can also be made at the show by visiting the Organiser’s Office.
In addition to obtaining a license, boat owners need to be aware of their responsibilities regarding vessel registration. To assist with enquiries, representatives from the Shipping Registration Office of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will be on hand, as well as search and rescue officers from AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia). There will also be AMSA representatives available to discuss the National System for Commercial Vessel Safety, with the System’s reforms commencing on 1 January 2013.
After all legal responsibilities are taken care of, recreational boaters then have to work out which craft will be best suited to their needs. The Show is a one-stop-shop that allows visitors to step aboard everything from wakeboards to large sailing boats making it the perfect venue for those new to the pastime.
Crowds at the Melbourne Boat show
Webbe Marine will be exhibiting four models of Sailfish Catamarans including the new release ‘Shelf Runner', as well as the Reef Runner, 2800 Platinum and 3000 Weekender whilst Hobie will be unveiling a new fishing kayak to the Victorian public, the lightweight and compact Mirage Pro Angler 12 for anyone who want to fish lakes, rivers, or open ocean with no boundaries. At 54.4kg fully rigged, the 3.66m long, 0.91m wide hull, sports a 227kg weight capacity and delivers new levels of innovation packed full of must-have angler features.
To keep the new toy in place, Anchor Right Australia will have their unique range of Australian made products including the Super SARCA Anchors which offer a unique and revolutionary design featuring superb holding power on a variety of bottom types including mud, sand, gravel and rock, eliminating the need to carry two or more anchors to do the same job.
For those interested in tow sports, dealers including Regal Marine will be displaying Malibu Boats as well as Tabs plate alloy for inland and offshore fishing, whilst BRP Australia will have a huge range of products from Sea-Doo including the RXP-X 260 RS, designed to redefine nimble with sharp, precise cornering, a race-proven Rotax engine and revolutionary new T3 Hull.
Regal Marine will also have the Sea-Doo GTR 215 and Sea-Doo Wake 230 on hand, whilst MasterCraft will feature their newly launched X30 on display for the first time in Australia. This awesome new model features a host of new and exciting innovations not seen in any other wakeboat before.
To get that new Jet Ski to the water, Barca Trailers will have custom made trailers featuring solid aluminium checker plate floors, mag wheels, choice of colour and galvanised frame. Barcas offers a choice of single or double trailers and sit down or stand up ski trailers.
With tow sports becoming such a huge industry over the past decade, the Melbourne Boat Show will have a special area dedicated to the various versions of the sport that have ultimately placed Australia in the top four ranked countries in the world.
In fact, Australia boasts the current Women’s World Barefoot Champion as well as past champions and record holders such as Glenn Thurlow - the first person to jump over 200 feet 61 Meters, and more recently, Emma Sheers and Karina Nowlan - equal word record slalom holder and Tim Bradstreet 2012 International Water Skier of the year.
In addition to Melbourne hosting one of the biggest world class pro events each year at the Moomba Masters, Australians will participate in events this year in the USA, Korea and Mexico, and in 2013, Australia will host the Junior World Water Ski Championships at Mulwala. Visitors to the 2012 Melbourne Boat Show can get a taste of these exciting sports, and meet Daniel Watkins, multiple world wake board champion for Tige Boats as well as three time World Champion Andrew Adkison who will be on the MasterCraft display stand on Friday to Sunday of the show.
Flying in direct from the Pro Tour in the USA, Andrew will be on hand to sign autographs and talk wakeboarding to all those looking for tips.
More at www.biavic.com.au/melbourneboatshow/