Free Marine Newsletter

31 March 2014

Shipmate news 01 April 2014

New report suggests boat pooling

Welcome to another edition of Shipmate News and as usual another good mix of marine news from around the country.

But firstly, a report that came across our desk last week had some less than complimentary things to say about boaters and boating in general, with yacht clubs, and to a certain extent marinas, singled out for particular criticism.

The report released by the Federal Committee for Ethnic Affairs and Community Integration, (an advisory body to the Minister for Immigration) on the successful integration of migrants and minorities into the broader Australian Community, singled out a number of sport and recreational bodies, including yacht clubs and marinas in particular, as being ‘exclusionary’ when it came to membership.

The report called for an enquiry into the operation of yacht clubs and marinas, in particular membership demographics and what, if any, provisions are made to encourage a balanced membership reflecting the make-up of the general Australian populace.

According to the report; “membership of yacht clubs should reflect society and include a fair and balanced proportion of women, ethnic minorities, indigenous Australians, people who like boats and those that don’t.

One option suggested that ‘pooling’ of all boats within a yacht club or marina, with members sharing boats in some sort of rotational basis, would be a much fairer system of boat ownership and go a long way towards removing any perceived ‘status’ symbolism and would make clubs and marinas more inclusive.

Among the recommendations was that any local, state, or federal government ‘consideration’ to clubs, including grants, sponsorship, tax-free status, special rent considerations, and any other ‘benefits’, be conditional on clubs meeting membership quotas provided by the Minister from time to time.

The report suggested that those clubs that don’t meet their ‘quota’ should have an Administrator, (appointed by the Minister), to take over effective control of the club and oversee all finance and club processes in order to assist them to meet their obligations”.

But it wasn’t just yacht clubs that came in for criticism, marinas also featured with the report indicating that they operated in a prejudicial manner by effectively excluding anyone without a boat from accessing the full extent of their services.

The report included a statistical analysis proving yacht clubs (and marinas) are discriminatory. Statistics showed 96.8% of yacht club members and marina clients enjoy boats or boating, 7.5% only do it for their partners and 8.5% were undecided. A follow up report is due next year on 01 April and we’ll keep you posted.

Now to other news and recently a couple of new books came across my desk and I thought both worthy of a mention here. The first is Jeff Webster’s update of his popular boat buyers guide ‘Second Hand Boat Secrets’. The new Collector’s Edition includes detailed reviews on 70 popular and classic used boats and I’d suggest it’s worthwhile reading for anyone thinking of purchasing a used trailer boat.

The second is the ‘Boating Survival Guide’ by well-known and respected boater Doug King. It covers a range of topics from buying a boat, handling and navigation, anchoring, safety and maintenance and much more. It’s a comprehensive book that goes beyond the basics but not in a highly technical way, it’s full of tips hints and explanations and covers the things you need to know and will make your boating safer and more enjoyable. See more details on both further in this edition.

That’s it from me but just a reminder that you’ll find us on Facebook so make sure you visit and like us soon, here’s the link: www.facebook.com/shipmatemarinedirectory

Cheers. See you out on the water

John Zammit


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