Club Marine

Paul WilsonOn this very page a year ago I predicted that within twelve to eighteen months we would be transacting up to 25 per cent of our entire account on-line. Well I was wrong; we actually hit 30% after ten months!

What this means, and without giving away the size of our account, is that somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 people have confidently taken out a new policy or renewed their policy online. No filling in cheques, no envelopes, no postage, no trips to the post office, no hassles, just an instantaneous and convenient fulfilment of a task that would normally be an intrusion on precious time and resources.

To say we have been overwhelmed by the take-up of our internet option is an understatement. I’m almost scared to predict what we will be transacting on-line this time next year, but as a challenge for us all let me predict a figure of 50%!

Is it possible? Who can tell, but I’ll certainly be reporting the results on this page in December 2005.

In this issue we take a look at what is available on the market in regards to PFDs or Personal Floatation Devices. The wearing of PFDs has become quite a hot issue with what appears to be little chance of reconciliation between the two main opposing opinions – that is, compulsory wearing of PFDs or not.

Some bureaucrats would have us wearing PFDs at all times whilst aboard any type of vessel, whether or not that boat is in motion. Whereas some still believe that it should be up to the individual.

I tend to take the attitude that an ounce of prevention can save a whole lot of pain down the track, and take a more practical approach to the wearing of PFDs. All children under ten years of age should wear a PFD at all times. Except of course at night when sleeping, or if the boat is moored or anchored and responsible adults are present and the weather is calm.

On the other hand, all people should wear a PFD when onboard a boat which is underway at night, crossing a bar at anytime of day, or when weather conditions indicate it is appropriate to do so. And of course it is always the skipper’s ultimate responsibility to decide when that time has come and to ensure that these rules are adhered to.

We all know people who are “too cool” to wear a PFD, but how cool do you think you’d look when you’re being dragged from the water, face down?

Don’t be a mug, wear a PFD, and set an example for others!

In this magazine you’ll find our usual Christmas catalogue full of quality clothing and accessories. There are a number of new items but I’m particularly keen on the summer weight vest. This is a great accessory to have in your gear bag, and is genuinely waterproof and snug with its hi-tech micro fleece lining. And as a bonus, it doesn’t look too bad either!

Our sunglasses are the famous “Fish” brand with polarised lenses. A true benefit for boating on sunny days to cut down on glare.

Get your orders in early to ensure pre-Christmas delivery.

Also in this magazine is a preview of the historic 60th Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race commencing this Boxing Day (inclusive of a feature on the youngest team, Team Uni Melbourne, to participate in the race); a look at the golden age of flying boats; a cruise down the 400-kilometre Clarence River in New South Wales, we delve into the fascinating world of whales, and the fast-growing activity of whale watching in Australia.

Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety is our top priority!