Take care when buying second-hand boats

EVERY year at Agfest, Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) has the privilege of engaging with thousands of Tasmania’s boating enthusiasts from around the state. This year, one of the highlights for MAST was the significant interest in our showcased vessel, the “half-boat” Monica.

We cut the boat in half to clearly demonstrate the potential pitfalls associated with older fibreglass boats. The Monica, a small, old fibreglass half-cab vessel with which many Tasmanians are familiar, serves as a prime example. Older boats may conceal structural issues such as rotten transoms, bulkheads, and floor timbers, underscoring the need for a thorough inspection when considering the purchase of a pre-owned vessel.

We also discussed buoyancy requirements with numerous visitors at our stall. We were pleased to learn that our demonstrations influenced at least four individuals to reconsider purchasing older second-hand boats. Many boats can be retrofitted with buoyancy, but it is important to have a clear understanding of the process. Our consistent advice to prospective boat buyers is to take someone with you who is knowledgeable about boats.

Last year, MAST introduced new legislation to improve the transfer and registration process for recreational vessels. The changes centred around ensuring the vessel is not unsafe. Older vessels may have been modified since their construction and could pose safety risks due to alterations such as engine upgrades, added fixtures, and increased weight from equipment like pot haulers, larger fuel tanks and auxiliary motors.

Under the new legislation, both the buyer and the seller are required to declare that the boat is not unsafe when registering or selling a vessel. Both the seller and purchaser must notify MAST of the transfer within 14 days. –

Another highlight at Agfest was MAST’s display of the latest range of EVDS (Electronic Visual Distress Signals) devices. These devices, available at any of our Boat Safe partners, are an alternative to the two traditional red and orange handheld flares, provided a GPS-enabled EPIRB and a VHF radio are also carried, and offer several advantages:

  • · Emitting a white light that meets specific intensity requirements.
  • · Capable of automatic signalling S-O-S for at least 3-5 times per minute for 6 hours.
  • · Equipped with an independent power source (batteries).
  • · Floating with the lens surface at or above the surface of the water.
  • · Featuring a waterproof switch.

A significant benefit for the Tasmanian boating community is the ability to test EVDS before going out on the water – which you can’t do with the traditional flare. While MAST continues its annual collection and disposal of outdated flares, this incurs a significant cost of approximately $30,000 annually. With the increasing adoption of EVDS, the use of traditional flares is expected to diminish over time.

Peter Hopkins,
MAST Recreational Boating & Safety General Manager

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Local Weather

COVID-19 Advice and Links

Latest headlines

Filter by topic

New Norfolk News Archive

RSS Tas articles feed

Logo of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News

Subscribe to free daily news email

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )