TSPS held its first-ever open seminar at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan on February 16. The theme was Boating in Japan, and featured eleven different speakers talking on ten topics related to getting out on the water in Japan. Topics ranged from government regulations and licensing to dinghy sailing to how to acquire a vessel and where to dock it. The slides from the presentation can be found here.
After Commander Sutton-Kirkby kicked of the evening with a warm welcome to the 34 people in attendance, Jeff Canaday gave an informative presentation on regulatory requirements and the pros and cons of both power boats and sailboats. This was followed by Chris Pitts talking about group ownership, perhaps the most affordable (and popular) way of having a stake in a boat. Per Knudsen looked briefly at buying a boat in Japan before Mike Snyder took the mic and addressed the methods and what turned out to be considerable costs involved in importing a boat into Japan. Later, when Mike asked the participants whether anyone was planning to import a boat into Japan, one quick reply was, “Not anymore.”
Mike then passed the mic to the team of Hiina Goi and Yukina Ota from Yamaha Marina Club Sea-Style. Together, they provided information about their company’s offerings, including boat rentals, nation-wide services, and costs of membership and rental fees. TSPS Bridge member Bill Van Alstine then talked about his experiences using Sea-Style services. On the whole, he said their services are reasonably priced and that one great benefit of renting is being able to walk away from the dock free of the many concerns of boat ownership.
Jeff Canaday retook the mic and talked about boating education and that while getting a Japanese license is step one, the key to safe boating is in knowing how to deal with challenges of being on the water outside the marina seawall. He spoke about the USPS being at its core a boating education organization and then reiterated that the TSPS mission is to provide courses that educate people on safely navigating the waters in and around Tokyo. Jeff then passed the mic to Mark Smith, an RYA-certified instructor and dinghy sailing advocate. Mark provided information on how people in the Tokyo area can get involved in dinghy sailing. Commander Sutton-Kirkby, after thanking the speakers, then announced it was time for refreshments and that the buffet was open.
After the buffet platters were emptied and thirsts quenched, the commander reconvened for a Q and A session with a panel of presenters taking questions from the participants.
On the whole, it was a good first effort at an open seminar and TSPS thanks everyone that attended and those who presented. There will in all likelihood be more of these seminars planned over the next few years. Try to attend.