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Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron looks to future

by Bob Wonders on 18 May 2007
Beaumaris Yacht Squadron Club House John Firth
Powerboat-world.com editor Bob Wonders takes a close-up look at Melbourne’s Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron, a very active club with a very high boating participation rate.

No doubt the stalwart members of the prestigious Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron are already thinking ahead to 2009. For that year will see the squadron celebrating its 50th anniversary since its formation on the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay in 1959.

Superbly situated and nestling into a cliff face abut half-way between Ricketts Point and popular Mentone Beach, the squadron’s club house was extensively re-built to the tune of one million dollars-plus in 2002.

It is not visible from the road and features a design to blend in with the natural landscape.
Current Flag Officers include Commodore Wally Nicolson, Vice Commodore Peter Barnes and Rear Commodore John Firth.

Commodore Nicolson is set to stand down at the squadron’s annual general meeting on May 30 having served his three-year term.

'That’s it for Wally, the rest of us all move up a step,' Rear Commodore John Firth explained.

This year, the squadron inducted 32 new members, the most ever achieved in a year.

There’s a lengthy waiting list for intending members, many of whom have had their name down for more than three-years.

Looking at the membership role, the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron must be a very happy group indeed, for among its 665 members are a considerable number boasting in excess of 40-years service.

As John Firth pointed out, the squadron’s charter is to promote the sport of boating and to create a social environment where boating activities are involved.

Of the 665 members, a quite astonishing 510 are boat owners. 'I’d say a significant number of those boats would be trailerable powerboats in the 4-7.0-metre range,' John added.

In addition to its social program, the squadron promotes two broad areas of recreational boating, the focus being on boating activities and fishing.

Members are encouraged to participate in all activities and there is a packed program of competitions staged through the year, every year.
'Many members take part in both boating and fishing competitions, but there are always those who just do their own thing and good luck to them,' John said.

Events named Nav Ralliers, perhaps best described as orienteering on water, is extremely popular with squadron members competing in their own events and events run by sister clubs that are members of Boating Victoria’s recreational boating division.

Boating Victoria managed a competitive series comprised of member clubs major events, including the squadron’s prestigious Ricketts Point Regatta. 'Our Ricketts Point event regularly attracts upwards of 50 boats and it is a highly competitive field,' John explained.

The squadron’s fishing committee also organises competition with other clubs and John Firth says these are so well attended that supervised parking is necessary from as early as 3.30am! 'Just the right time for a shot of overproof,' he added.

The squadron takes pride in being ‘environmentally responsible’ and actively lobbies for responsible fishing and specifically designs its competitions so that they discourage needless catch.

A special emphasis is placed on helping newcomers join in squadron activities.

Trailing is offered willingly and free of charge and many novices spend time afloat with experienced crews, particularly when taking part in the navigational rallies.

Members enjoy some excellent facilities, with two double boat ramps, one south facing the other east to cater for varying weather conditions, a functional fish cleaning facility, boat washing area, barbecue and parking areas.

‘On Deck’ a monthly magazine listing all forthcoming events as well as general squadron news is regularly mailed to members.

Within the squadron’s clubhouse, members and guests enjoy uninterrupted views over Port Phillip Bay from the glass enclosed bar and restaurant, where social events and celebrations are a regular occurrence.

Looking ahead, the club has big plans. 'It’s actually a 10 to 15-year plan,' Rear Commodore Firth explained. 'There’s a State Government Action Plan for the bay area and our ambition is a floating marina facility with perhaps 250 berths.

'Well, we’re asking for 250 in the hope that we might win approval for 200. 'Look for a larger slice of the pie and you might come away with a smaller, but quite acceptable slice,' he chuckled.

The squadron has already had a number of marina designers examine the site, but as John Firth said, plenty of work remains to be done.

Nevertheless, the promotion of recreational boating along the shores of Port Phillip Bay is in very good hands indeed thanks to the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron.

If the squadron’s long-term plan reached fruition I’d be prepared to bet it will be a well-designed, environmentally sensible facility.

Location

Foreshore Beaumaris 3193 Vic Australia

Postal Address
PO Box 45 Black Rock 3193

Contact Number
Tel: (03) 9589 5156
Fax: (03) 9589 2019

Email - bmys@bigpond.com.au

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