Please select your home edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Rising tide of boaters met with summer safety focus

by Penny Robins 11 Jan 05:53 UTC
The very impressive, stable, fast and fun Waverer 550 Centre Console Hydrofoil © John Curnow

In a year marked by COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds more people have taken to NSW waterways.

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the welcome popularity of boating meant Transport for NSW's Boating Safety Officers had even more reason to ensure on-water safety is top of mind during the traditionally busy summer boating months.

At the end of November, there were 682 additional holders of general boating licences across the state, with an additional 1282 boats registered in NSW compared to the same time in 2019.

"Anecdotally, vessel usage has increased significantly during COVID-19 - including existing vessels being used more often, as well as new vessels out on the water," Mr Hutchings said.

"Starting in March 2020 and continuing right through winter and into spring, statistics show an uptick in both boat licences and registrations, which likely relates to COVID-19 causing an increase in interest in boating as one of the remaining leisure options."

Mr Hutchings said in NSW, there are no restrictions which currently apply to recreational boating when those onboard are members of the same household.

"If those onboard are not members of the same household, they should maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others, as is reasonably practicable and always remember to practice good personal hygiene."

He said it was important new boaties focused on following the NSW boating rules and any local waterway restrictions, such as speed limits.

"Sydney Harbour is for everyone to share, regardless of the size of the boat you are in," Mr Hutchings said.

Robert Sanasi took delivery of his first boat - a modest 5.7 metre motorboat - and was issued a mooring licence after successfully passing the test for his boat licence a couple of months earlier.

"We are empty nesters and recently moved to Lane Cove and it seemed like the thing to do. In March there wasn't much to do, so my son and I got our boat licences," Mr Sanasi said.

"We aren't your typical boaters, though - a lot of people have had boats in the family. Whereas, I have zero boating history, so I've hired a guy for six one-hour slots to teach me gradually what to do on my own boat.

"If you make a mistake on land, the consequences are different."

For more information on safe boating, visit

Related Articles

Affordable Chesapeake on-water boat training
Courses offered evenings and weekends for beginner, experienced and women boaters New boats are everywhere on the Chesapeake Bay these days as families seek activities they can do together while keeping socially distant. With new boats come more first-time boat buyers who may not have critical at-the-helm boat handling skills. Posted on 12 Jun
Sport Fish Restoration program reauthorization
This program funds state-based sportfish conservation and habitat restoration projects The sportfishing industry applauds the recent introduction of the Sport Fish Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2021. Posted on 11 Jun
Pro Polish Wax & Sealant in it for the long haul
Shurhold Pro Polish Wax & Sealant protects against the ravages of sun and a harsh marine environment Waxing a boat is time-consuming, so it pays to use a product that's in it for the long haul. Shurhold Pro Polish Wax & Sealant protects against the ravages of sun and a harsh marine environment, and provides a long-lasting, high-gloss shine. Posted on 10 Jun
Owner spotlight: Sold on Whaler
The Schmids own a 24-foot Dauntless Pro and captain a 42-foot Outrage Emily and Bernhard Schmid have a Boston Whaler habit. It began when the St. Petersburg couple bought a 10-year-old, 16-foot Dauntless, a boat they would enjoy for 10 years. Posted on 10 Jun
Jarrett Bay Boatworks: New construction updates
The layout of Hull 67, the 56' Renegade, includes both a lower and upper helm station Hull 67's layout includes both a lower and upper helm station. The upper helm station is a traditional flybridge setup while the lower helm station is to port with the dinette forward. Posted on 10 Jun
Top 10 baits from Douglas Lake
Some of the top Phoenix Bass Fishing League contenders were able to target an offshore bite The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine All-American on Douglas Lake came with changing conditions and the anglers who were able to make key adjustments landed a spot in the Top 10. Posted on 10 Jun
George Strader new owner of TowBoatUS Port Isabel
24-hour on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters and anglers With more than three decades of experience working on local waters, local fishing guide, banana boat towing captain and water transportation contractor Capt. George Strader has announced business venture as the new owner of TowBoatUS Port Isabel, Texas. Posted on 10 Jun
It ain't necessarily so
Was a time when you had to be really big, or or just plain slow to have one Bulbous bows: There was a time when you either had to be really big, or or just plain slow to have one. Perhaps even with one foot planted firmly in both camps. Posted on 10 Jun
Gearing up for Big Rock
Captain Brent and the crew making the magic happen! The business end of Jarrett Bay Hull 59, Builder's Choice and Harris Huddle with Captain Brent and the crew making the magic happen! Posted on 9 Jun
Maritimo unveils S600 Offshore Sedan Motor Yacht
S600 Offshore Motor Yacht is the first sedan model within new generation of Offshore Motor Yachts Leading Australian luxury motor yacht builder, Maritimo, has unveiled the latest exciting addition to the recently revealed Offshore Series of motor yachts, with the announcement of the S600 Offshore Sedan Motor Yacht. Posted on 8 Jun
Highfield Boats - FBW - FOOTERMarina Exchange FOOTER 1Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 1