Jeff Gittus is a recently retired business owner and one of the first people to purchase a boat berth at Hidden Harbour Marina. He lives in Melbourne and enjoys escaping the city on his boat fishing around the southern end of Port Phillip Bay. We recently grabbed 5 minutes with Jeff to find out more about the process he went through to buy a boat berth and what he is using it for.
Were you familiar with Safety Beach and the Mornington Peninsula?
I’ve been boating for 40 years down on the Mornington Peninsula. I’ve also recently bought land for a holiday house in Martha Cove.
What do you use the berth for?
I really love to fish and have one of my boats berthed there.
I found out about Hidden Harbour Marina through word of mouth – I have friends in the Martha Cove area. I was one of the first to buy – I bought off the plan 3 years ago. A friend of mine also bought one at the same time as we’re both keen fisherman.
What made you want to look into it?
I was spending $12k a year on leasing. It’s better to spend that on your own berth, which will increase in value over time so your money is working for you.
It’s the best area to be in – with access to southern end of the Bay. When I’m boating it’s because I want to get away from the city, the Northern end of the bay doesn’t interest me. Docklands always seems to be a bit windy.
What questions did you have during the sales process and were you looking at other options?
I didn’t have too many questions – I just knew it was a great opportunity.
I did have a rental berth in another marina but I’d rather have a free hold berth than lease one.
The first thing is location – access to the southern end of the bay. In Port Philip Bay you really need to get your boat out of the weather and Hidden Harbour is so protected.
It’s nice and easy, you don’t have to battle the crowds at launching ramps. Fuel, water, power – all the facilities and very convenient parking.
24 hour Security – that’s a really big thing when you don’t live near your boat. You want to make sure it’s looked after.
What would you say to others considering buying a berth at Hidden Harbour?
I think it’s a great idea. It’s a great location and you’re better off putting your money in something that will appreciate in value.
Do you know the other berth owners?
Yes, it’s a great community down at the marina. The other day I stopped by the marina, walked down the jetty, and met a new owner. We had a great chat.
There is a sense of community in the whole Martha Cove area that has developed – I’m a member of the Martha Cove Fishing Club which is another great community-based benefit.
What’s the harbour like?
Coming in and out of harbour is very easy – no shallow bars. Plus the harbour itself is very healthy – it’s clear and you’ll often see fish, which is a great sign.
What are the ongoing costs?
We have an owner’s corporation and they are very good – very approachable and always improving facilities. Everything is very new and in good order. We get a quarterly bill from them and also a small amount charged from South East Water.
What are your tips for boating around Port Phillip Bay?
Snapper season has just started – there’s some great fishing. I never fish around town. I want less people and fewer boats.
There are not a lot of places to get out of the weather in Port Phillip Bay. You want to make sure you have a safe place for your boat.
The southern end of Port Philip bay has great appeal to both holiday makers and those who want to live near the water. Peninsula Link makes it so easy and accessible now. Mount Martha, Safety Beach are just beautiful, especially in summer. It’s also great to head down to Sorrento and Portsea.