The coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives and that includes our boating time. Initially being safe meant adhering to the boating restrictions in your state around lockdown measures and stay at home orders. As we’ve moved out of lockdown and into a post-COVID phase, being ‘safe’ now involves following processes, procedures and practices to ensure our own safety and the safety of our boating guests.
The Chief Medical Officer has flagged that many of the measures implemented during the coronavirus crisis will be with us for some time and many, permanently. In particular around social distancing and hygiene measures.
This will mean that many boat owners will have to rethink how they go about their boating and some will be considering if they need to change the type or size of their boat to ensure a safer environment for themselves, their family, friends and guests.
Authorities have warned about saying any environment is ‘safe’ but that measures can be implemented to make an environment ‘safer’ against the risk of COVID-19.
We’ve been staying across the coronavirus pandemic narrative and government directives and have compiled this list for your consideration:-
- Download the government COVIDSafe app. The Australian Government launched the COVIDSafe app in late April as an additional resource to assist in tracing coronavirus contacts. It is voluntary, but the message from authorities is that the more people that sign up the more effective this tool will be and it is in our own interests.
- Don’t allow anyone showing COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms onto your boat. This has been a long-running message that anyone with these types of symptoms should self-isolate and take steps to get tested. If you’re in the habit of inviting friends onto your boat for fishing, water-skiing or any other boating activity, it may be worth keeping this in mind.
- Hand hygiene has been especially stressed throughout the crisis and this needs to be maintained, in particular around refuelling, handling bait, your catch and in other public places. Keeping hand sanitiser readily available on your boat is advisable.
- Cleaning your boat – especially after entertaining guests. Most boat owners take pride in maintaining their vessel but now greater attention is required. The Government has upgraded safeworkaustralia.gov.au with information around different industries and includes information on what cleaning products are best for what services.
- Cleaning boating equipment. Further to above, remember to clean all your gear properly also.
- Social and physical distancing – on your boat, at the ramp, when buying bait and supplies and at the club after boating. Keeping a 1.5m distance at all times on a boat is a challenge, but one that boat owners, especially yachts and sail boats will need to address.
- If you like to have a large number of people on your boat and don’t feel comfortable in successfully maintaining the 1.5m distancing, talk to us about a boat loan on a bigger boat.
- Erecting signs on your boat to remind guests and crew about physical distancing and hygiene may prove useful reminders.
- For those working in the boating industry referring to safeworkaustralia.gov.au us probably a good idea to give you information on specific industry guidelines and compliance.
- Buying a boat. Boat dealers were prompt in transitioning to contactless processes and will most likely continue this practice while implementing other measures as advised by the authorities to ensure the safest working environment for their staff and customers.
- Industry requirements. As a boat-owner, it may be advisable to know what you can expect when engaging with others in the boating industry. With your maintenance team, the marina and wharf staff, boat dealers, boating supplies outlets, the bait and tackle shop and refuelling suppliers. Many businesses have included information about their COVID-19 business practices on their website and you can always give them a call in advance of a visit.
- Charter boat operators that rent and hire boats on a bare-boat and crewed basis are advised to seek out specific directions.
- Visiting your local yacht or motor boat club. When clubs reopen, they will be required to adhere to certain industry measures in the post-COVID era. This will depend on individual state regulations and you should refer to your individual club for specific information on what is expected of you as a member and what changes are being implemented.
For business that operate in the marine environment, addressing issues around the workplace will be essential. Referring to www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au may assist you and no doubt the Boating Industry Association and other professional bodies will be distributing a range of information and resources.
With large gatherings flagged as not being permitted until ‘sometime in the future’, charter boat and function boat operators may have to rethink their business model.
Sourcing a Boat Loan
Jade Boat Loans has been ‘business as usual’ throughout the COVID-19 crisis and we continue to provide cheap boat loans and marine finance for both private and business boat purchases.
Our service is contactless and we maintain the recommended COVID-19 best practices in our working environment.
If these unprecedented times has you thinking about getting into boating for the first time, or upgrading to a new boat, our consultants are always ready to discuss arranging a great easy boat finance package for you.
If you’re ready to talk cheap boat loans, call Jade Boat Loans 1300 000 003 and have an initial discussion with one of our consultants.