Home' Afloat : AFLOAT December 2015 Contents Take monthly with water December 2015 7
Letter of the month
The Editor ’s choice for letter of the month will
receive a 28" Yachtsman’s Waterproof Bag.
Made from tough double
coated PVC fabric with
seams sewn and tape
welded the Burke bag is
This month’s prize goes to
from Ryde, NSW.
Got Something to Say?
PO BOX 709 WILLOUGHBY 2068
web forum: www.afloat.com.au
Please keep your letters short. Letters longer than 250 words are
liable to sub-editing at the Editor ’s discretion.
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for more information.
Delphia Yachts Pty Ltd
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Having to live with wakes
The letters column of your November edition focused heavily
on the wakes of power boats and the damage, distress and
discomfort they cause. Yes, the drivers of these boats are the
culprits and Maritime are copping a serve over what is seen as
inadequate policing, but I think the crux of the matter lies deeper.
Go to the boat show or a power boat retailer and pick up a
brochure for almost any powered craft. Likewise, pick up (and pay
for) any glossy boating mag other than the one you are currently
reading, and take notice of the tests and evaluation of new power
boats and their marketing.
In both instances, all the boats are photographed at speed,
banking impressively, looking comfortable on smooth uncrowded
water, and there is usually a decorative dolly bird included. To
the boating newcomer, this all represents excitement, a sense
of prosperity, and potential for family fun.
But the cold-shower reality for those boating on Sydney
Harbour, Pittwater and other estuaries is that many of these
mostly European designed craft were not intended for use on
crowded or enclosed waters.
On the Mediterranean, once the breakwater is cleared, the gin
palace throttles can be opened to forty knots for a passage run.
Here in Sydney, the equivalent might be a zip up to Pittwater, but
the open throttles bit is only appropriate outside Sydney Heads.
Such a jaunt is easily threatened by the fact that although the
sun is brilliant, the average mid-summer nor’easter gusts above
20 knots with seas to suit.
It is not until after a person purchases one of these wave
makers, that it becomes clear that to obey the rules and keep
everyone happy, their gin palace or smart express cruiser is
pretty much restricted to chugging about, bow up and stern half
submerged, trailing an accompanying cloud of diesel fumes. And
to boot, it’s the usual story – family members grow squeamish,
the dolly bird is sunburnt, the seagulls make off with the prawns,
and the champagne ends up in the bilge.
One can visualise the new boat owner opening the throttle
in disregard and hell-for-leathering it back to the dock.
Now let’s consider NSW Maritime. In my experience, their
officers generally do an excellent job. The work involves an amount
of policing, but I don’t see that they actually have police powers
or capability. I suspect they are frequently given the finger salute
by heavy-duty offenders who can comfortably outrun Maritime
and outsmart a fine.
So what’s the point in all of this? No doubt power boat
marketing has a part to play and inexperienced people are being
sold boats that are unsuited to the water ways on which they are to
be used. And of course, there are other people, possibly deemed
experienced, who just plain couldn’t give a you know what.
Unfortunately, there is a top-heavy presence of the offending
style of craft and the people to which they appeal, and I suspect
that you and I are just going to have to live with the wash.
Make all enclosed waterways
no wash zones
Further to your editorial and subsequent letters about excess
wash. As someone who has had glasses smashed, drinks spilled
and several (carefully prepared and looked forward to) dinners
end up on the cabin floor due to big boat wash I agree that it is
time to do something!
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