Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
Yachting Australia services for recreational boating
Many of the day-to-day activities of Yachting Australia and it’s Member Yachting Associations (MYAs) go to providing indirect support to recreational boat owners, either through supporting the club framework of which many are a part, or by ensuring the rights and interests of the boating community are properly represented.
This brief summary highlights some of the specific activities that go to ensure the recreational boat owner continues to enjoy their freedom afloat. Those with a genuine interest should read the Strategic Plan for Yachting Australia.
Membership and Insurance
The benefits of membership, and particularly the personal accident insurance offered as part of Silver and Youth Membership are designed with all those involved in yachting, power or sail, in mind. Personal Accident cover offers added protection for the individual while afloat and on yacht club premises. A number of members are already grateful for the cover offered by Yachting Australia membership.
The Yachting Australia Master Policy continues to offer insurance cover to clubs at very favourable premiums. Cover can include public liability, directors and officers cover and business interruption. Qualified club officials and instructors are also covered by Yachting Australia under this policy.
Yachting Australia has also negotiated a special policy offering travel insurance for those going boating overseas. Not only are the rates very competitive but likely risks are also covered. Many policies currently offered on the open market specifically exclude boating.
One of the key issues identified in the development of the Strategic Plan was the need for a better system for the exchange of best practice ideas and information. Yachting Australia and the MYAs are striving to improve communication to help facilitate this.
The national database developed as part of the National Membership Scheme is the engine that drives the Yachting Australia and most MYA websites. These websites are a key source of information for those involved in any form of boating.
To draw attention to current issues on the website Yachting Australia now distribute monthly member e-news. The distribution list is growing daily.
All club members involved in recreational boating benefit from the general support provided to yacht clubs. This includes comprehensive details about clubs on the national database that can be accessed through the Yachting Australia and MYA sites. The Yachting Australia website is now one of the most frequently visited boating sites in Australia. Clubs also have access to specific initiatives such as access to the Risk Management framework available through the website.
Yachting Australia and the MYAs are developing an increasing number of services to Yacht Clubs. These include Management improvement initiatives and on line management tools. Further details are available in the Strategic Plan.
National Training Schemes
The National Training Schemes offer introductory and development courses in disciplines including windsurfing, small boat sailing, yachting and powerboat handling. Under the Scheme, instructors are accredited and centres recognised. Yachting Australia qualifications are accepted throughout Australia and many parts of the World. Many affiliated clubs are recognised to run courses under the schemes.
Yachting Australia represents the interests of all yachtsmen and recreational boat owners to a number of government and statutory authorities. These include:
The Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR) Consultative Council
An arm of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) AusSAR is the coordinator of Search and Rescue throughout Australia, around the coast and many miles offshore. AusSAR was the body that responsible for the coordination of the many rescues which resulted from the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Through the Consultative Council, Yachting Australia contributes to the p olicy and direction of AusSAR on behalf of the boating community. Issues being addressed include the changes to the monitoring of HF Radio as a result of the changes in maritime radio communication and strategies to change the standard for the 406 EPIRBs to reduce the likely cost when the existing 121.5 beacons are phased out (by 2009).
The Australia and New Zealand Safe Boating Education Council (ANZSBEG):
Consisting mainly of representation from those responsible for boating safety in each State and Territory (normally Department of Transport or equivalent) the organisation exists to coordinate boating education. Yachting Australia is a full member of ANZSBEG.
Yachting Australia continues to promote the message of 'education and not legislation' in relation to boating safety. With licensing becoming more likely, Yachting Australia will be coordinating a campaign to ensure that licensing is not simply a fund raising instrument for government and that there is some educational benefit. There must also be mutual recognition of license throughout Australia.
National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) Industry Forum:
The NMSC is a statutory body consisting of representatives from the each state and territory. Yachting Australia is represented on the Industry Forum that considers and has input into issues coming before the MNSC.
Recently Yachting Australia has made direct representation regarding the standards for safety equipment for small boats and the minimum competencies for the handling of small powerboats. This work is ongoing.
Yachting Australia is represented on a number of the Standards Committees including those responsible for the development of new standards for harnesses and lines, PFDs, flares, anchors, electronic charts and the small boats code.
Yachting was legally represented at the Coronial Inquest into the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. This helped to ensure that the recommendations that resulted were measured and resulted in no greater impost of yachting than was necessary.
Representation and the subsequent activity resulting from the recommendations has cost Yachting Australia an estimated $140,000 which was found from Yachting Australia reserves. The collective cost to recreational and racing yachtsmen could have been many times greater.
Increased interest in the environment is generally positive for the boating community. However some developments are of concern and must be closely monitored. Yachting Australia is represented on a number of groups and has had input into the Commonwealth Oceans Policy. The monitoring of environmental issues is perhaps the fastest growing area of Yachting Australia's general activities.
- Phil Jones, CEO