I’m writing to you this month from New Zealand, where I’ve been travelling around and doing quite a bit of boating on some of the world’s most beautiful waterways, lakes and fiords, as well as meeting with a wide variety of boat owners and marine industry stakeholders. It’s noteworthy that, while the physical environment over here is quite different to that we enjoy in Australia, we seem to share a common bond in our national passions for spending time with our friends and loved ones out on the water.

They tell me that NZ has the second highest rate of boat ownership per capita in the world, and why wouldn’t they? Look around these islands and you’d do well to imagine a more exciting or diverse place to get out amongst it. To those who love the outdoors and have never been to NZ, do yourselves a favour; put down your copy of CM Magazine, get in touch with your travel agent and get yourself over here to check it out at your first available opportunity.

I stopped off in Queensland on my way to NZ to check out the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and the AMIF Australian Marine Awards. What better barometer of the vitality of the Australian marine scene could one see than the success of these superb events? Some of the biggest and best boats ever seen in Australia were on display, as was the very best that our own world-class manufacturers have to offer.

While I was in Queensland, I was invited to address the conference of ANZSBEG ­– the Australian and New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group ­– made up of representatives from government boating agencies and maritime safety authorities from both sides of the Tasman, the boating industry and rescue organisations, who come together to coordinate a strategy to improve boating safety through education.

The members of ANZSBEG include those with responsibility for the development and implementation of government policy on boating safety, organisations responsible for national marine training standards, people who manage the network of organisations involved in small craft search and rescue, those who represent the interests of people making their living out of the boating industry and representatives of boat owners and users.

The ANZSBEG members were very interested to hear Club Marine’s perspective on issues such as driver education and changing trends in boat ownership and usage patterns and, more specifically, an overview of the factors that drive our claims experience. It remains clear that large numbers of boats in Australia and NZ go uninsured each year, potentially exposing boat owners to significant liability and leaving injured parties unable to seek adequate compensation for loss of life, limb or property; and whilst the cost and complexity of the insurance claims we receive continues to increase every year, perhaps up to 80 per cent of boating accidents are never reported to the appropriate government authority.

I know I’m preaching to the converted by saying this here (given our readers are already members of Club Marine), but we believe that a well-trained, well-equipped and adequately-insured boat owner is a safe and happy boat owner; and we support the work being done by ANZSBEG and other agencies to promote these issues to boaties, regardless of whether they cheer for the Wallabies or the All Blacks.

As winter approaches, don’t forget to carry out some basic maintenance to protect your boat while it’s not in use over the next few months. ‘Winterising’ your boat, including charging up batteries, securing storm covers and carrying out routine end-of-season servicing on your engines can save you cost and drama when it comes to putting the boat back into use next season. Talk to your local Club Marine dealer or repair centre to get all the best advice about preparing your boat for winter, and don’t forget to check out our list of exclusive benefits made available to Club Marine members by our agents – many of whom offer very attractive discounts for having work done during the winter months. Go to www.clubmarine.com.au and follow the links to the Club Card Member Benefits Scheme in the Clubhouse section, or call us on 1800 335 169 for more information.

Safe boating, and carn the Wallabies.


Mark Bradley
Publisher and CEO
Club Marine Limited

E-mail: ceo@clubmarine.com.au