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Running the gauntlet of
New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour
I am writing to make your readers aware of the problems
they may encounter if they want to have friends on board their
boat during New Year’s Eve. Specifically the use of your dinghy
to pick them up from the shore or jetty and later dropping them
off after the fireworks. Doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?
I have a 12m yacht which sleeps five people but normally
have a few more aboard for New Year’s Eve in Sydney. I usually
anchor the day before at either the Zoo or Farm Cove. Last year
was Farm Cove. During the course of the day friends arrive to
watch the fireworks and basically enjoy the whole spectacle which
is New Year’s on the Harbour.
I pick them up in my inflatable from the Farm Cove jetty at
the Opera House. There is a sign there stipulating that the jetty
will be closed to the public at a specific time. So I made sure
for it to pick up goods at a wharf and then be towed to the ship
and unload onto the ship, or more often than not the reverse
occurred – the ship was unloaded – particularly during WW2.
My father was the skipper and as a child I had great fun during
school holidays going to “work” with him. The American ships were
great – friendly crew and heaps of chocolate etc from them :-) !
The Penguin was owned by HP Stacey whose workyard was in
Weston Street, Balmain East which is now parkland.
Trevor (Sonny) Haines, AO, LLB,
Potts Point, NSW.
Passing of the grand shipping ports
Last month Mr Tom Ware of Parramatta wrote an exceptionally
poignant and erudite letter on the demise of the great shipping
ports ofthe world(Afloat Nov’13).
As a seaman for twenty years (including four years as Master)
and then working for a further twenty years in Sydney Harbour
(including six years as Harbour Master) I was enthralled and
impressed with the clarity and perceptiveness of the letter.
Mr Ware has managed to put into words the feelings I had
in the years leading up to my leaving the Port Authority. When
I first came ashore in 1972 Sydney Harbour was a bustling and
busy shipping port. By the time I left in 1991, to join the Maritime
Safety Authority, the shipping functions of the port were being
rapidly erased and shipping being moved to Botany Bay.
Thank you Mr Ware for expressing so eloquently the feelings
of many, many people. Well done!
The disappointing boat show
Reading Bruce Nicholson’s letter in October A fl o a t about boat
shows struck a chord with me. For several years during the 1960s
I was employed as a salesman at a prominent marine retailer at
Blakehurst in Sydney.
We were required to have comprehensive knowledge of all
of the products we sold, ask as many questions as the customer
did, make recommendations which may either sell the customer
down to a smaller rig if we believed it was not suitable for them,
and sometimes sell them up for the same reason. The sale was
never about the money, but about providing them and their
family with the best possible boating experience. As a result,
we had many long term repeat customers, who became friends.
The last thing we ever mentioned was cost: we sold the
experience, not the price.
In the late 1970s I moved to the Gold Coast and started a TV
boat show which ran each week for 23 years.
Over that time I received more and more contacts from
viewers who said that they had gone to their local retailer to buy
a boat as a result of seeing how much fun it was on the show,
and had, as soon as they walked through the door, been offered
a discount price, and that the salesman knew little more about
the rig he was trying to sell them than the price. They had come
back to me for advice.
As a result I wrote a book called Chris Conroy’s Boating, The First
Step intended to help people to know what they should buy, and
for marine retailers to give to customers to help them.
The retailers were not interested, hence Bruce’s Boat Show
I rest my case.
Willow Vale, Qld.
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