The whale migration season occurs in a northerly direction off the Australian coastline in the May through November period each year, offering amazing sighting opportunities but also presenting potential risks to boat owners. From November, whales can then be seen heading back south. These magnificent creatures migrate from the colder southern waters to the warmer northern waters from the start of winter. According to reports, they could be up to 35,000 whales making the mighty migration this season, which apparently is quite a lot more than usual.
Boat owners heading offshore, especially for fishing, should not ignore the risk and should be aware of what to look out for to avoid a collision with a whale. While you may think the chances of a collision is extremely rare, it is certainly not outside the realms of possibility and if it does occur, the outcome can be disastrous.
Often reports come in of a boat colliding with a whale or large fish such as a sunfish. But there was a recent report of the opposite – whale breached onto the front of a smallish boat. In early June, a boat crashed onto a boat off the south coast of NSW, leaving a teenager, reportedly with critical head and neck injuries and the boat seriously damaged. His boating companion, believed to be the teenager’s father, was praised by authorities after he alerted authorities and then skippered the boat which was taking water safely to the wharf to meet the waiting paramedics.
This is just one example but it highlights a number of key factors when considering buying a boat:
- Ensure you select a boat that is suited to the activities and waters of preference.
- Ensure your boat is equipped with safety equipment.
- Know what to do if you sight a whale in your vicinity.
- Know how to manoeuvre the boat appropriately when in the vicinity of a whale.
We provide some hints and guidelines on these topics to assist you to have a safe and enjoyable boating experience.
Choose the Right Boat and Marine Equipment
When buying your first or your next boat, it is imperative that the type of boat suits the waters you will boating in and activities to be undertaken. The boat in the whale collision described above appeared to be a trailer fishing boat and while extensively damaged, was strong enough to survive the incident to make it back to shore.
Boats are rated according to their capabilities and capacity. If you plan to fish offshore, make sure you select a vessel that is strong and reliable and rated for offshore boating. While most boats have single outboards, if venturing far offshore, it may be worth considering have dual outboards in the event one is rendered inoperable.
If you’re wondering about the price – the price of upgrading to that ‘better’ boat or the cost of having two motors, we recommend you use our boat loan calculator. This loan tool allows you to calculate repayment estimates on any boat and any loan amount.
If considering that bigger boat or with large horsepower engines to power you to the rich, bluewater fishing grounds, simply input the purchase price as the loan amount along with your preferred loan term and the interest rate we are currently achieving.
If you want to compare single with dual motor options, simply calculate repayments for both amounts to make your decision. With the historic low-interest rate market and our Jade policy of always achieving the cheapest boat loans interest rates, the outcome could be far more appealing than you think.
We can source no deposit finance so the full purchase price may be able to be covered by the loan. As can much of the safety, electronics and communications equipment required. As becomes extremely obvious from the recently reported whale collision incident, it is essential to have not just the right, but preferably the best gear you can afford. Beacons and communications gear such as a VHF radio can be literal life-savers. Allowing authorities to locate you if you are stranded at sea.
When buying your boat, have the dealer include the equipment you need and request your Jade Boat Loans consultant to include the total as your boat loan.
Hints for Avoiding Whale Collisions
Whales have protected species in our waters and the marine authorities issue strict regulations around boating near whales. There are rules for how close a boat can get and this applies to both professional whale watching vessels and general recreational craft. More info.
While these wonderful creatures can breach without notice and take boat owners by total surprise, there are some guidelines that are recommended.
When in the relevant waters at the relevant times, keep a close watch for whales.
If you sight a whale, use communication devices to advise other boat owners in your vicinity. This can apparently be done by issuing a Securite announcement with a VHF radio. Reduce your boat speed where whales are sighted and where they can be clearly identified, alter course away from them.
Following the guidelines and ensuring your boat is properly equipped can go a long way to both you and the whale population safely enjoying our vast maritime environment.
To discuss a quote for the boat of your choice, speak with us on 1300 000 003
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION AND SPECIFIC DETAILS CONTAINED IN THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND ARE PRESENTED PURELY AS GENERAL INFORMATION AND NOT INTENDED AS THE ONLY SOURCE OF FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR BOAT BUYERS AND LOAN BORROWERS. FOR THOSE THAT CONSIDER THEY REQUIRE SPECIFIC ADVICE, THEY SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. LIABILITY IS NOT ACCEPTED IN REGARD TO ERRORS AND MISPRESENTED DATA AND DETAILS HEREIN.