Article by Justin Spangaro

Are we there yet? It has been a long cold winter, but spring is just around the corner. It’s time to check the batteries, give the stainless a nice shiny polish and get ready for a season of fun on the water. Or if you are an eager crew, check in on your skippers with a friendly hello and let them know your casting-off services are soon to be available.

Let’s take a quick look at what is in store for Recreational Boaters for 2022-23.

The season will kick off Saturday 6th August after the AGM with a “Boarding Party” in the marina. If you are a skipper of any sort of boat and want to roll out the welcome mat to visitors to stop by, simply turn on your anchor or running lights (or post a welcome sign). Members are invited to take a stroll around and check out the boats.

The next event will be a “caffeine run” to Williamstown on the morning of Sunday 28th August. Cruise over and join fellow members in the Pelican’s Landing café for a morning coffee or brunch, then back in time for Squadron Sunday. This event will repeat in September, and if popular perhaps on subsequent Squadron Sundays as well.

As we get into October, the weather starts getting better and we will be heading up the Yarra for a Friday night out along the Southbank riverfront on the 7th of October, with plans to make arrangements to tie up alongside a destination. This will be suited to boats that can pass under the bridge, but people with taller boats can moor up at Melbourne City Marina and catch a ride up the river if needs be.

In the works is a Recreational Boating GenOA day, with an opportunity for GenOA members to join up with recreational boaters to have a fun day out on the water, or possibly at a destination like Williamstown or a beach. Dates to be confirmed, but get in touch if you are interested.

A weekend winery tour to the Bellarine Peninsula (Portarlington) is planned for late October, with bus transfers and dinner at a winery.

Then off to the races! Derby Day by the river, dress in your finest and arrive in style via the Maribyrnong river tying up to the docks at Flemington race track.

In late November the weather should be fine and we have the Rec Boating Big Beach Day Out. Nothing better than a day at the beach, when you don’t have to navigate traffic and parking. Keep an eye out for last minute date changes to pick the best weather.

As the Christmas festivities in the city start to build, we’ll be having Christmas at Southbank on a Friday night in early December. Invite your work friends down to join the fun.

New Years’ Eve fireworks at Docklands will be a spectacle to enjoy, and nothing could be better than doing it from the water and away from the crowds. And stay aboard…the New Year’s Day Recovery Beach Boat Party at Port Melbourne beach will be the perfect place to kick off 2023.

The big cross-bay outing in January is to join the Festival of Sails in Geelong on Australia Day weekend as a “spectator fleet”. The Festival of Sails is a fantastic, fun event with live music all weekend, lots of racing to watch and a party atmosphere.

February sees a Rec Boating family day. Bring anything that floats for a “floaty boaty” fun time.

Before the end of the hot weather, there will be another big beach day out in February.

And if you have not attended a “progressive dinner” at Docklands before keep an eye out for those run about every three months, they are a great fun social event in a lovely location.

Recreational Boating is open to all types of boats and boaters, sailboats, sailors and power boats alike. One thing everyone has in common is that they love being out on the water. Power boats make it very accessible (even for social members) and a lot of owners welcome new crew. We will put systems in place to help match crew with boats for recreational boating activities. Feel free to reach out to the Recreational Boating Group to help you get connected.

And, if you want to be involved or have ideas or suggestions contact Justin Spangaro – we always need volunteers to help make a few light arrangements around Recreational Boating events or take on an event as party leader. It is a great way to get to know the community.

Article by Justin Spangaro