It’s boaties beware for online sales
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.”