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The 2013 BIA Melbourne Boat Show, which will take place June 14-17, will offer a free boat-handling course to everyone who buys a boat at the show. It is the ninth year that the show has offered the free course since the Boating Industry Association of Victoria introduced it in 2005.

BIA general manager Steven Gill said more than 600 boat buyers had taken the course to enhance the safety and enjoyment of their boating.

“Our boat-handling course has been a real winner with buyers of every type of boat, from a tinnie to a luxury cruiser,” Gill said in a statement. “In a minimum three-hour course they cover maintenance and reversing of boat trailers, safe and efficient launching and retrieval, close-quarter maneuvers and coming alongside. They will also learn use of fenders and lines, safety gear, weather and sea state, and after-use care of a vessel — everything they need to know to make the most of their new boat.”

Gill said the course was part of a broad focus on safety on the water, including navigation simulators and the latest advice from Transport Safety Victoria.

The 53rd annual Melbourne show will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. It is open from 10 a.m. each day until 9 p.m. on June 14, 8 p.m. on June 15, and 7 p.m. on June 16 and 17.

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