Should you join a trailer boat club? If you like meeting new people, sharing common interests and learning more about your craft, it’s worth considering. We investigate what you need to know about joining, and take a look at some of Australia’s best.
Why join a trailer boat club?
Every boating club will be different, but most will offer you the opportunity to socialise with fellow boating enthusiasts, access special member offers or even store your boat in a club berth. You might find that in a built-up area, the only way to access the water is through a club.
Here are some of the benefits available to you as a member of your local boat club.
- Boat ramps.
- Loading/unloading pontoons.
- Short-stay marina berths.
- Secure parking for your car and trailer.
- Hard standing and/or boat storage racks.
- Kitchen, shower, toilet and laundry facilities.
- Outdoor entertaining area with gas barbecues.
- Sullage dump point.
- Licensed restaurant, bar and clubrooms.
- Tuition, training and information.
- If you sail a yacht, joining your local boat club will give you access to organised events, weekly or novelty races, and regattas.
- For the fishing enthusiasts, a club will keep you informed about tournaments, demonstrations and local knowledge.
When you need spare parts, you’re ready to upgrade to a new boat or you want to sell a boat, your local trailer boat club might be the first place you go. Many offer listings and classifieds either online or on site via noticeboards that are likely to be viewed by local enthusiasts.
How to join up
Many clubs have websites with details of membership, but possibly the easiest way to find and join a trailer boat club near you is to ask other boat owners you meet at your local boat ramp. There are often a range of memberships available, from associate or casual through to family.
Some of the best
Darwin Trailer Boat Club has been a Darwin institution since 1954. Now housed in an architect-designed clubhouse overlooking Fannie Bay, the club hosts a range of events including the Coopers Blue Water Classic, and offers workshops for young boaters or fishers.
Operating since the 1960s, Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club has a world-class marina with over 300 berths, long-term dry boat storage, shipyard, fuel and gas, and a two-storey clubhouse with restaurant and bar. The club offers courses such as MROCP Licence or Know Your Marine Radio, and leases a patch of South Stradbroke Island for club members to enjoy overnight or for day stays.
Based in Sydney since 1895, the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of NSW is reputedly the oldest fishing club in Australia. They fish estuary, beach, rock, deep sea, game and freshwater and hold regular competitions and social gatherings.
The Victorian Game Fishing Club is based in Edithvale, with extensive boat ramp facilities in several freshwater and coastal locations.
Established since 1949, the West Australian Game Fishing Association co-ordinates activities and tournaments for its member clubs throughout Western Australia.
For a detailed directory of other fishing clubs, events and competitions around Australia, take a look at Fishnet.
Even if your local trailer boat club has none of those fancy amenities, it’s still likely to offer friendship, support and knowledge that you might find invaluable.
Whether you join a trailer boat club or not, here are some ways to Keep Your Boat and Trailer Safe.