With leisure boat sales on the rise, the Whitsunday region is experiencing unprecedented levels of new visitors this year, many of which are experiencing our spectacular backyard for the first time. In addition, the annual migration of cruising yachts is upon us, with those boat owners deciding to ‘holiday here this year’ and return to Australia’s premier cruising grounds.
With a desire to add value to the visitor experience, this year, Coral Sea Marina has launched the Coral Sea Academy, an EduTourism experience with a mission to engage with people wanting to get out on the Whitsunday waters and immerse themselves in the region’s marine environment.
With so many new people to boating, an all-new Coral Sea Academy series of events has been created – the Better Boating series. Over the course of nine weeks, these events will provide the perfect opportunity to encourage better boating practices through a series of informational, fun and engaging sessions.
“The Coral Sea Academy was created with a desire to provide an experiential EduTourism experience for our marina guests but has since grown to include the local community and other domestic travellers visiting the region,” explains Joscelyn O’Keefe, Marketing, Sales and Service Manager at Coral Sea Marina.
“With the thousands of yachties that either live here or visit each year, we felt the Better Boating series was a platform for people to come together and learn more about sustainable boating practices. It is so important to us as a business that we educate visitors on how they can boat safely, enjoy their time on the water and preserve and enjoy the incredible marine environment that is on our doorstep.”
Whether you’ve been sailing for decades or you’ve just purchased your first tinny, Coral Sea Academy’s Better Boating series targets every experience level. The sessions are all free, informal and designed to be enjoyable for all who attend.
From boating basics such as knot tying and safety at sea, through to navigation and radio or tender operation, these sessions allow people to increase their boating knowledge, learn additional skills, gain confidence and network with like-minded crew.
“Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday often see plenty of incidents that could easily have been avoided with better planning and preparation”, Mal Priday, President of Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays explains.
“The Better Boating series is a great opportunity for boaters to receive an educational experience in an informal environment so they will be better equipped with knowledge that could potentially help them have a safer and more enjoyable experience whilst out and about on the beautiful Whitsunday waters. It may allow them more peace of mind and let them enjoy their Whitsundays experience to the fullest.”
The Better Boating series kicks off on Tuesday 20th July, from 6pm at Coral Sea Marina’s private guest lounge, The Lookout Lounge, with “Ropes and Rum”, hosted by Mainstay Sailing. The event will be take place in a relaxed setting with the opportunity to learn some basic rope work and splicing whilst enjoying an evening overlooking the marina.
“No matter your experience, the Better Boating series will provide the perfect opportunity for like-minded boaters to get together, network, have some fun and learn in a relaxed setting,” says Ron van Schaik, Marketing Manager at Mainstay Sailing.
“Mainstay Sailing has been helping boaters for years expand their knowledge, and to do so again as part of the Coral Sea Academy, whilst also providing something unique and informal, is the perfect way to provide the best tips on better boating practices.”
These events will be held weekly and include themes such as “Sea Survival Sundowners”, “Tender Time”, “Boating Basics”, “What to do in an Emergency”, “Radio Ga-Ga” and “Basic Navigation”. All events are free to attend and will include a variety of formats, including practical, networking, and educational.
These are open-door events where all are welcome. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register their interest via whitsundaytickets.com.au.