In 2017, the “Corio Princess” was purpose-built by Charles Neal to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility aids. Its flat-level deck – similar to a houseboat – is built on two pontoons, providing it with a greater degree of stability and a smoother travelling experience.
The covered vessel is just under 12m x 4.6m, and houses an accessible toilet, galley kitchen, and licensed bar, with enough space for 8 manual wheelchairs and 2 motorised wheelchairs on board at one time. There is also enough seating for 46 passengers, though the average number of passengers on each charter is 20.
Due to the size of the vessel, lifejackets are not required to be worn unless in case of emergency, though they are located on board in the toilet, central lockers and wheelhouse. There is also a life raft that can accommodate 30 people on board.
At the beginning of 2020, Charles, himself in a wheelchair, became very ill and it was then that Tracy and Brian leased the boat and took over the business of Geelong Fishing Charters with the view to making it a more family-friendly option and endeavouring to cater to everybody. New fishing rods and reels replaced the older ones, a selection of baits was offered, the range of food included with each charter was expanded upon considerably, hot milo and hot jam donuts were added, and the odd dolphin-spotting was thrown in (on really calm days!).
A loyalty programme rewarding regular fishers a free 4-hour fishing charter worth $80 after 9 adult tickets had been purchased was started and being available 24/7 meant that the business flourished.
Despite two closures due to Covid-19 restrictions in place, Geelong Fishing Charters has enjoyed a busy, but enjoyable season to date which can be seen in the pictures and reviews on the facebook page.
Geelong Fishing Charters currently offers gift vouchers (which are fully transferable, do not have any expiry dates, are subject to weather and availability, and are not redeemable for cash) for any of the charter options below. All charters include bait, tackle, food, unlimited hot drinks and all legal-sized fish caught, cleaned, filleted and bagged for you (bag limits apply):
*2.5-hour short fishing charter ($50 adults, $25 10-15yrs, kids u/10 free)
*4-hour recreational fishing charter ($80 adults, $40 10-15yrs, kids u/10 free)
*6-hour Gummy Shark fishing charter ($120pp, 12+ years only, max 9)
*3-hour Snapper fishing charter ($80pp, 12+ years only, max 10)
*6-hour Gummy/Snapper fishing charter ($120, 12+ years only, max 10)
*4-hour private charter up to 20 people ($1400)
Gift vouchers are available which make great birthday, Father’s/Mother’s Day, anniversary and Christmas presents!
Tracy and Brian look forward to welcoming you aboard the Corio Princess!