The weather didn't play ball this season for the Whanganui Manawatu Boating Club, until lockdown came around and it turned frustratingly good.

"Summer's been quite windy for the period of January and February which is a bit of a shame," Andre Lewer from the Whanganui Boating Centre said. "It's definitely come right now but yeah everyone's pretty over the lockdown and ready to get out and have some fun I think."

While many industries are suffering the impact of Covid-19, Lewer expects the boating industry to quickly bounce back. The signs are already there, with record numbers enjoying great conditions since the move back to level 2.

"It's going to drive people a lot more to use their boats, especially when there's good weather coming up. I think people took it all for granted really," Lewer said. "I think things are going to come right."


With plenty of good weather likely before winter takes hold, Whanganui Coastguard are urging people to register with them.

"They should call us and put in a trip report so we know where they're going how many people they've got on board and what time they expect to return," Coastguard volunteer Bruce Peterson said.

"It's for their own safety. We don't want the family ringing up in the middle of the night and saying my husband hasn't come back."

While boat owners don't need a WOF for their boats, regular maintenance is vital. Lewer recommends servicing boats annually and it's best to do it in winter.

"Summer is busy and you might miss out on a good fishing day," he said. "Winter is a good time to get sorted for the next season."

And there are some double-checks everyone can do themselves like the canister in an inflatable lifejacket.

"If it looks old replace it, for the price of them it's cheap. It's your life at the end of the day that you've got to look after."

The message for boaties heading back out? Don't scrimp on safety and as always, be prepared.


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