Sail into Summer with Better Boating Skills

22 September 2023

Recreational boaters in Victoria can brush up on their skills before summer, thanks to a series of free clinics hosted by Better Boating Victoria (BBV), backed by the Andrews Labor Government.

Held at Portarlington, Nagambie and Docklands, the clinics will feature lessons in trailer reversing, vessel handling and boating basics, and are designed for boaters of all experience levels with all equipment provided.

Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny said the free clinics were made possible thanks to the reinvestment of recreational boaters’ licence and registration through the Labor Government’s Better Boating Fund, with the Docklands sessions being run in partnership with Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV).

The Portarlington clinic will be held at the Point Richards boat ramp, coinciding with the Hooked on Bellarine fishing festival on Sunday 8 October. The Nagambie clinic on Saturday 21 October will be held at one of the state’s go-to regional boating hotspots, while the Docklands clinics on Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October will be a feature of the 2023 Melbourne Boat Show.

Experts from Peninsula Boat Training will be overseeing the courses, providing attendees real, hands-on experience alongside important theory.

Each event day will include a women’s-only session, with leaders from the Women in Recreational Fishing and Boating Network on deck to provide expertise and support.

Boaters can find out more and book in for a free session by heading to

Quote attributable to Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny

“While we’re overseeing the state’s biggest ever construction program, a big part of improving Victoria’s recreational boating experience is ensuring they have the skills they need to enjoy a day on the water and these sessions will help to ensure that’s the case ahead of the peak summer boating season.”

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

We look forward to welcoming keen boaters at Nagambie’s free clinic. It’s a great way to learn all the basics of trailer reversing and makes for a handy refresher for those who want to revisit their skills.”

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Sheena Watt

We are excited to be partnering with BBV for this year’s Melbourne Boat Show. It’s set to be a fun day out on the water – and what better way to learn new skills than in the heart of our city.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant

“These clinics are a great chance for boaters to revisit existing skills or gain confidence in new ones in an encouraging environment without the pressure of a busy boat ramp.”

Quotes attributable to BIAV President Steve Walker

“The sessions would be a feature of this year’s Melbourne Boat Show, which brings together retailers and industry groups from across the country.”

“It’s vital that boaters feel confident in their skills to ensure a memorable experience on the water and we’re looking forward to partnering with BBV to offer these clinics in the heart of the city as part of the Boat Show.”