Gone fishing with Craig Harris

WATER LOGGED: Six boats ended up under water at the weekend's Mulwala Cod Classic.
WATER LOGGED: Six boats ended up under water at the weekend's Mulwala Cod Classic.

WELL, what about the opening of cod season? Yeah, what about it you say. The weather was pretty much blergh, a few hardy diehards still went fishing and a couple were rewarded with some good fish,

I did hear of a cod over a metre at Mulwala on Friday. I don’t know whether it was before the Mulwala Cod Classic started, but still a great fish. The biggest news from the comp was the amount of boats that sank while moored at the jetty overnight – there are around six owners of boats who now have an expensive repair/clean up bill or an increase in their insurance excess.

There was also a brand new ski boat picked up Friday week ago, maiden voyage to Blowering, managed half-an-hour of fun before the weather went blergh and the boat hasn’t been seen since.

It got me wondering as to why the boat, being a 2017 model, didn’t stay afloat. I did some investigating and found the following – “In July 2006, the NMSC’s Australian Builders Plate was introduced requiring manufacturers of new vessels to provide buoyancy in all of their vessels under six metres.” So, if you have a boat over six metres it may not have floatation in it which makes safety equipment all the more relevant, so this weekend is going to be all about safety. 

We are still getting customers coming into the shop grumbling about having to have required safety equipment, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why.

Here’s the list: a life jacket for every person; a fire extinguisher (only required if you have an electric start motor, electric trolling motor, battery, gas or fuel stoves); paddle or oars (in vessels under six metres unless a second means of propulsion is fitted); bilge pump (if the boat has decks making it difficult to use a bail bucket to remove water); anchor; rope and chain; a working torch that floats, a bail bucket; and a safety label.

So for everyone with a boat, make sure that you have all your safety equipment in good condition and serviced regularly (if required) and you know where everything is just in case things turn pear shaped – which can happen in a heartbeat.