Baz's Blog

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Turning 21 + 10 laws of boating + Tom's top tests

Baz's Blog
Baz's Blog

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When I took on this job I thought, you know, how hard can it be? We go fishing every second day and maybe write about boats occasionally. Or someone would. It didn’t quite work out that way though, in fact TrailerBoat is churning along at a frantic pace. If I don’t watch out, this could turn into a full-time job.

Cop this for starters. We’ll soon be celebrating our twenty-first birthday at TrailerBoat and we’re going to pull out all the stops and bring you the best issue of this magazine since the last one. In issue #260 and #261 (on sale September 22 – that next week…) we ripped out the biggest trailerboat shootout of all time, and in #262 (on sale October 20) there’ll be a follow-up on how all that panned out, including comments — learned and otherwise — from readers and forum scribes and what they thought about 70 pages of Australia’s Greatest Boats.

That September issue (#261) by the way is packed with more boat tests too. Nothing unusual there, but we’ve also got a detailed piece on how to buy a boat without losing your shirt, written by the indomitable John "The Bear" Willis. On top of that, we’re running an educational feature on anchoring, because we know for a fact that many new boaties fail to understand the technical side of how, where and when to use an anchor. This is a serious safety issue for all of us. A lot of people get into trouble trying to do the right thing here, but lack of knowledge on this crucial subject often lands them in what has been aptly described as "bad water". And that’s why we’ve asked The Bear to lend a hand.

We’re keen to chase up blokes who have pimped their tinnies too. You’ll see a good example in the upcoming issue (#261) in the form of TrailerBoat tester Kevin "Froggie" Smith’s highly modified TABS tinnie. And we’ll do it again in issue #262. After receiving a call from Melbourne boatie Kevin Girstun, who apparently spent a wad of dough pimping his Quintrex 430 Escape, we met Kevin at Patterson Lakes and photographed his immaculate little boat. You’ll like this one. It has just about everything you can put on a 4.3m runabout – and it looks trick!

Our October issue (#262) will also have a buyers’ guide on choosing a sound system for your boat, a major consideration with younger boaties who want the whole heart attack when it comes to entertainment systems, in either fishing boats or play boats. And if all that isn’t enough to keep you in on the sofa for hours, check out our feature on the mako debacle and the latest developments in that particular argument.



Ignorant of boats in a former life, editor Ashenhurst attempts to make up for it by presenting, in point form, his most recent observations on the boating life.

#1: No two boats are the same because no two fishermen will ever agree on what makes a good fishing boat. Even if they’re twins and work for their father’s boatbuilding company. This is an immutable law cannot be changed.

#2: A funny thing about most trailerboats is that their engine is on the outside, not the inside. As soon as you know that you can drive, float, or just bob up and down until you reach a foreign country.

#3: Snapper follow squid, mako follow snapper, tiger sharks follow makos and white pointers follow tiger sharks. So big boats are better than small ones. And two motors are better than one, but not as good as three.

#4: Boats are expensive because nothing else can do what a boat does. You can’t go to sea in a shopping trolley.

#5: The most expensive part of a boat is the bit your wife won’t let you have. Usually that’s a motor.

#6: Nine times out of ten your motor won’t quit, but when it does you’ll be surrounded by white pointers looking for tiger sharks. You can see that in colour without a sounder.

#7: A good boatie knows every inch of his craft and is fluent in critical design considerations such as where the beer goes. Other characteristics, like stability, and why some boats handle like two drunks on a trampoline, are also important. But not as important as where the beers goes.

#8: Real boaties are fluent in arcane marine language, even when it’s meaningless. Examples: "flare of the forequarter bit", "a complete module rebated into the inner thingie", "centrally located on the side", "fibreglass modules made of steel", and "why didn’t the silly sods put the beer cooler on the dash?"

#9: Boaties must be expert fishermen. They have to know about every kind of shallow and deepwater fish, and how to lure them aboard with nothing more than a dry martini and the promise of a good night out. Some fishermen are too old to handle a good night out but fish don’t know that.

#10: Boaties must be skilled seamen. Skilled seamen only go out when it’s rough and display their prowess in the stylish way they activate an EPIRB. Fish like it when it’s rough because it makes fishing more difficult. And sometimes fishermen fall overboard. Big fish like that most.

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