announcement of the Whittley 660 as the Boat of the Year for 2003
at the recent Sanctuary Cove Boat Show came as quite a surprise
to some. In an industry where there has been a gradual take-over
of manufacturers by large corporations or shareholder driven multi-nationals,
to have one of the few remaining family-owned Australian boat manufacturers
produce a boat crowned Boat of the Year, is an achievement of some
As you will read in greater detail further on in
the magazine, the Whittley 660 was a standout winner.
The company was founded by Jim Whittley exactly 50
years ago, and is now run by his sons Neville and Steve. The win
is a fitting tribute to what has become a boating brand synonymous
with quality build and value for money.
For me, I have always been very impressed with just
how much you get when you buy a Whittley. They truly are small cruisers,
packing real cooking, dining and sleeping accommodation into boat
lengths that would normally struggle to achieve this, let alone
achieve it so well without the boat feeling crowded or cluttered.
So congratulations Jim, Neville and Steve, I only
hope there is a third and hopefully many more generations of Whittley’s
prepared to carry on the family tradition of unique quality boat
On a totally different subject, in a decision that
could have national implications, the Victorian State Coroner, Graeme
Johnstone, has called for the compulsory wearing of personal floatation
devices (PFD’s) during the inquiry into the death of yachtsman
Lindsay Dack, who drowned after being accidentally thrown overboard
during a major yacht race on Port Phillip Bay in December 2000.
Lindsay was not wearing a life jacket when the yacht
he was on was knocked down twice in rapid succession, and although
he was described as a fit and strong swimmer, the Coroner believes
that had he been wearing a personal floatation device he would have
This is a very emotive issue, but the facts are fairly
obvious, if you’re wearing a PFD your chances of survival
are many times greater than if you aren’t. It really is only
In a future issue we will look at and ‘road
test’ the various PFDs available in Australia. Stay tuned
for what could be a life saving exercise.
As always at this time of year, the major state boat
shows are about to commence. Get along and support them, they are
a great opportunity to see virtually all things marine under one
roof. Who knows, the Whittley 660 might just turn your head as it
did the judges of this year’s Boat of the Year Awards.
Also in this issue, we explain the language of dolphins,
pay tribute to the Boston Whaler, cruise the Hawkesbury River on
a Bayliner 305, wrap up the Melbourne-Osaka Yacht Race and Warren
Steptoe looks at the weirdest lures of them all - spinnerbaits.
Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety
is our top priority.