Set sail for expo
Those with a penchant for pulling strings and setting sail should train the bow on the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club for this weekend's second annual Pittwater Sail Expo. Held on the well-manicured lawns, sprawling car park and teetering gangways of the club, the expo has attracted an impressive fleet of new-generation yachts from Bavaria, Beneteau, Dehler, Dufour, Hanse, Hunter, Island Packet, Jeanneau, J-Yachts, Lagoon, US Yachts, Seawind, Sunbeam and X-Yachts, among others. Dinghies, sailing courses, club events, marine goods, services and charter holidays add to the mix. See rpayc.com.au/pittwater-sail-expo.
Fishing for top prize
Anglers are ready for the
20th-anniversary Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament in Port Stephens next Friday to Sunday (March 22-24). About 1000 anglers aboard 450 boats will compete for about $80,000 in prizes ranging from different species to lucky draws, with the big one being an Evinrude E-TEC powered Savage Jabiru 385 Pro with a Lowrance sounder and Club Marine insurance. The lucky-draw package is worth more than $18,000. Register at tbft.com.au.
Longline of the law
Negligent navigation (the master was asleep at the wheel), operating a vessel without a NSW certificate of survey and unqualified crew led to $4500 in fines for the owner of the trawler/longliner Challenge that ran aground near Shark Island at Cronulla in February. The 100-tonne, 23.5 metre, steel-hulled vessel with Queensland registration was carrying 6000 litres of diesel. The water police rescued four crew members and the vessel was successfully refloated.
Roads and Maritime Services checked 628 vessels for compliance during Operation Bluewater, a recent statewide offshore safety campaign, issuing a total of 33 penalty notices and 26 formal warnings, with 11 penalty notices for not carrying the required safety equipment for offshore boating. There were seven fines for not wearing lifejackets when legally required to do so, six fines for not carrying sufficient lifejackets for the number of people on board, and boating safety officers also found several crew had difficulties putting on a lifejacket when asked to do so. Overall there was a 90.6 per cent compliance rate, which leaves room for improvement. The score might have been much worse but for weekends of lousy weather.