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  • Trade-A-Boat

Just why is editor Jeff Strang quoting Lewis Carroll?


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax,
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."
? Lewis Carroll

About now you are probably thinking the excessive seaborne isolation, or more likely the manic workload has addled my mind. Be assured that as of right now I am still of sound mind and body. But I do have a few different topics in mind for quick comment and it seemed like an interesting intro.

On Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet

In January’s I wrote an editorial commenting on the type of action occurring in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary (above and in print). I copped a lot of flak from those assuming I was anti-Sea Shepherd or, even worse, pro-whaling. Just to set the record straight, I am vehemently anti-whaling and support Sea Shepherd’s goals. My concerns are around the potential consequences of a major maritime collision in that pristine environment. Well things have certainly escalated down there now. Regardless of who is in the wrong – I am not there so I don’t know – let’s hope it settles quickly and all involved – the people on both sides, the whales and the clean ocean and ice – stay safe.

On Australian VHF radio licenses

Trade-a-Boat stalwart and veritable genius with a piece of no.8 wire, Aussie Bray made this comment in his January column: "Since marine VHF radios don’t require an operator’s licence, just possibly such crews are unaware of their obligation to monitor channel 16."

Well I am pleased to say we received an email from ACMA (the Australian Communications and Media Authority). They had this to say in clarifying ownership and the use of VHF Marine Radios: "In Aussie Bray’s Cruising Around column Paradise Islands (Jan 2013 edition), he stated that "marine VHF radios don’t require an operator’s licence…" On reading the article, the ACMA and some of Trade-a-Boat’s readers thought it might be useful to clarify the licensing and operation arrangements for marine VHF radios.

"The ACMA is the Australian Government’s regulator for matters to do with marine radios on small commercial and recreational vessels. Use of marine VHF radio is covered by a class licence so owners of marine VHF radios do not need to hold an apparatus licence for their radios. However, the requirements of the class licence are that marine VHF radios must be operated by a qualified operator or under the supervision of a qualified operator. A qualified operator is someone who holds a marine radio operator’s certificate of proficiency or a marine radio operator’s VHF certificate of proficiency. These requirements apply for all operators regardless of which State you live in. For more information on how to obtain your certificate of proficiency go to the Australian Maritime College website at"

To clarify – the operator needs to be licensed, or at least supervising an unlicensed operator. Thanks ACMA.

An interview with Bill Barry-Cotter

I recently had the great pleasure of chatting to Australia’s most influential boatbuilder. To say he is interesting is an understatement and I found his insights to be, well, extraordinarily insightful. He is also quite controversial. I quizzed him on a range of topics including his opinion on shaft and pod drives, the future of the Australian boatbuilding industry given the high dollar and the cost of doing business here, and most importantly — what makes the perfect peoples’ boat?

We will run this interview sometime before the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. Believe me, you will be surprised.


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