Prepare to set sail The October long weekend marks the official start of the boating season. Given that the same weekend is the RAN International Fleet Review, attracting a veritable armada of warships, tall ships and spectator craft to Sydney Harbour, there's a certain urgency to pre-season boating preparations. The major causes of breakdown at sea are engine failure, fuel shortage or contamination, mechanical issues and battery failure. Trailers and moorings also need maintenance. Roads and Maritime Services is a rich source of information about pre-season preparation. See maritime.nsw.gov.au.
Free discovery day
Discover Sailing Day on Sunday, October 27, offers a free dip of the toes and hoist of the sails to help foster greater participation in sailing. You get a short sail with an experienced hand, get to look around the host sailing club's facilities, and discover its sailing courses for big and little kids. Greenhorns as young as five can take part when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Contact the Discover Sailing Host at your local sailing club for details. More is available at discoversailing.org.au.
The Western Sydney Tinnie & Tackle Expo follows interstate trends in hooking up with the 4WD and Adventure Show to create a richer outdoor-lifestyle experience. The timely annual event, to be held at Sydney Dragway in Eastern Creek, will offer plenty of keenly priced fishing kit, trailer boats, paddle craft and water toys, as well as fishing and cooking tips, camping information, 4WD gear and off-road demos. Given our passion for big 4WD tow vehicles, the synergy between the shows makes sense. The combined event will run October 18-20. Details at tinnietackleexpo.com.au.
Not everyone embraces marina development, but the piscatorial world appears to be fine with it. At least that's the suggestion after Marmong Point Marina on Lake Macquarie was recently awarded fish-friendly accreditation. The award, developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries in collaboration with the Marina Industries Association and the Boating Industry Association of NSW, aims to create better working practices among marina operators. Marmong Point Marina is the third such accredited facility in NSW. Not that marinas and fish are strangers ... just throw some chips in the water to find out.