With a new date and plush venue, confidence is warming up for Melbourne Boat Show which started today.
Some people still shudder at the memory of Melbourne Boat Show when it was held in the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens … shudder with cold that is. Held in the dark of winter, a frosty breeze would whistle through the halls and hardy punters would have to don their beanies and mittens to go and look at boats.
But now, fortunately, there’s ‘Jeff’s Shed’ – as the palatial Melbourne Exhibition Centre at Southbank – is known, as well as a new date.
The show runs from today till June 13, encompassing the Queens Birthday weekend. It hasn’t changed the weather, however, with lows of around six degrees being forecast.
According to BIA Victoria general manager Clyde Batty, the venue will be packed to the rafters with an exciting array of cutting-edge models and the latest marine technology.
Melbourne based Streaker Boats will be showing a variety of new vessels including the Streaker 5250 Sports model, which desiger Leon Savage describes as ‘a good, honest boat that will serve families exceptionally well for many, many years.’
It’s rated to carry six adults and features a carpeted cockpit and a roomy rear lounge, complemented by a walk-through windscreen. Standard items include a bimini, marine stereo, navigation lights, bilge pump, boarding ladder, bait board and ski pole.
Packaged with a Yamaha 130hp V4 Saltwater series oil-injected outboard it comes in at under $45,000.
Streaker will also be showcasing the Raptor at the Melbourne Show, a pocket rocket with a 200hp Mercury OptiMax Sport Jet in its belly. Although small in length (4.4m) it can seat three while reaching speeds in excess of 90 km/h.
If you’re toes are curling up at the thought of icy cold water, you’ll be interested in the Boatcatch, a coupling device that allows boat owners to launch or retrieve a boat onto its trailer without setting foot on the boat ramp. A sliding pin secures the boat on the trailer until the hull is in the water and the engine is started. A tug on a pull-cord releases the boat so the driver can depart. On return, the skipper simply drives up the trailer and the pin mechanism will automatically fasten the boat.
Designer Greg Staples was a professional abalone diver who towed a 23-foot Edencraft Formula over 12,000 miles yearly and launched everywhere from surf beaches to ramps.
‘For me, saving time on the water meant more money in my pocket, but for the recreational boater the device means having more time on the water.’
Show visitors can expect to see the latest in sounders, GPS/chartplotters, LED lighting and marine sound systems as they stroll the halls.
GME will have the G-Series navigation and fish finder units, including a chart plotter, fisher finder and combo unit all with a 5.6 inch colour display, as well as the G-Com handheld waterproof VHF radio and the GD9600 DVD/CD marine stereo system.
Mark Harnett of Lowrance and Simrad will be conducting a Q&A session on interpreting sonar and electronics, covering equipment such as sounders, GPS, autopilot, VHF and engine integration.
Additional sessions will be held on lure fishing, boating guides and destination fishing by Parks Victoria, understanding how to use your fish finder, and importantly, new regulations presented by the Victorian Water Police Squad.
NSW Maritime staff will work closely with the Marine Safety Victoria team to promote safe boating.
NSW Maritime acting regional manager Steve Brown said the joint efforts of both agencies were important in improving safety on the Murray River.
‘Promoting safe and responsible boating is the focus, especially when it comes to wakeboarding, water-skiing, speed, wash and towing issues,’ he said.
‘A large number of people who go boating on the Murray are from Victoria so the joint approach of both the NSW and Victorian agencies is an important safety partnership.
‘Between 1 December 2009 and 13 February 2010, four fatal boating accidents and seven serious injuries occurred on the Murray River.’
A plan to improve safety on the Murray River is now underway. Key safety messsages to be promoted at Melbourne Boat Show include prop strike prevention, towing safety tips, responsible boating tips and the new lifejacket rules in NSW.
On the entertainment front, meanwhile, there’ll be Flathead Fred’s Fun Fishin’ Show for kids, Yahama Super (fish) Tank, cooking demonstrations with Club Marine and much more. Open:
10am - 9pm every day except Sunday 12th, 10am - 7pm
Admission Prices Online $25.00 - 2 Day Pass (Only available online)
$15.00 - Adult (1 Day Pass)
$10.00 - Concession (1 Day Pass)
$2.00 - Children under 16 (Must be accompanied by an adult)
FREE - Children under 5 (Must be accompanied by an adult)
Melbourne Boat Show website