It’s boat­ies be­ware for on­line sales

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - MATT SMITH

FISH­ERS are warn­ing wouldbe recre­ational boat own­ers to do their home­work be­fore buy­ing on­line be­cause of con­cerns over un­safe ves­sels on the mar­ket prone to cap­siz­ing.

The call comes as a grow­ing num­ber of South Aus­tralians are turn­ing on­line to sites such as Gumtree.

The Boat­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of SA, RecFish SA and the state gov­ern­ment depart­ment re­spon­si­ble for ma­rine safety have raised con­cerns about the qual­ity of some of the sec­ond-hand boats on sale.

“You do hear some hor­ror sto­ries from buy­ing on­line,” Boat­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of SA gen­eral man­ager Ge­orge Bolton said.

“It is buyer be­ware when you start buy­ing from the in­ter­net. Un­less the buyer is well aware, they can get caught.”

RecFish SA ex­ec­u­tive offi- cer Danny Simp­son urged buy­ers to en­sure en­gines were re­li­able and tested by a ma­rine me­chanic, and to care­fully in­spect trail­ers.

“And then (in­spect) the hull to en­sure there is no cracks, no splits and no holes,” he added.

“It is mak­ing sure you buy a ves­sel that is fit for pur­pose.”

The Royal Life Sav­ing Na­tional Drown­ing Re­port for 2016-17 found boat­ing ac­counted for more than half of all ocean and har­bour drown­ing deaths last year.

In SA, flota­tion stan­dards have had to be dis­played on boats built af­ter 2006, but not those made be­fore that year.

The Transport Depart­ment was aware of con­cerns raised in other states of boats be­ing sold with­out ad­e­quate flota­tion.

“Most ves­sels that can be towed on a trailer are un­der six me­tres in length,” a spokesman said.

“All ves­sels of this type built af­ter 2006 are re­quired to be fit­ted with an Aus­tralian Builders Plate (ABP) and state the type of flota­tion fit­ted to the ves­sel — ‘level’ or ‘ba­sic’ flota­tion.

“Level flota­tion is pre­ferred, which means the ves­sel will stay up­right if swamped so you can re­main in the ves­sel and bail out the wa­ter.

“Ba­sic flota­tion means that the ves­sel will float in some form if swamped but may not re­main in a up­right con­di­tion. Flota­tion per­for­mance can­not be guar­an­teed on ves­sels which are not fit­ted with an Aus­tralian Builders Plate.”

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