The Oceana Power Boat Club (OPBC) was granted the right to operate from its Granger Bay site in 1974 by the then Minister of Transport and has provided a valuable role for boaters from all walks of life in Cape Town. It was previously run from Three anchor Bay with no clubhouse.
The club, located at Granger Bay within the V&A Waterfront environs, is the only slipway for small craft. It has provided a valuable service to boaters for more than 46 years. It was developed by a few founding members, headed by the late Tony Fraquet, whom reclaimed the land and used all the old Cape Town buildings such as Alhambra theatre to build the breakwater. They begged, borrowed and stole, and succeeded in building a small harbour and vibacrete garage for a clubhouse. Slowly over the years the club was improved until it is what it is today.
Along the 150-kilometre coast of the western seaboard, the only small-craft launch sites exist at Hout Bay, Yzerfontein and Granger Bay (the OPBC). There are more than 7 000 registered boat users along this seaboard, and the OPBC alone facilitates thousands of non-member launchings each year.
Cape Town is world renowned for its winds, anathema to small-craft boaters. Studies, real-life experience and the endorsement of a variety of professional bodies confirm the high safety factor of the existing OPBC slipway.
Cape Town and its environs is home to more than 20 businesses that derive their income from boat-related sales and repair activities. The OPBC provides a vital launch facility for the testing and demonstration of boats.
The launch facility at the OPBC provides a service to a number of governmental, institutional, law-enforcement and rescue services. At the same time, the needs of the recreational power boater – the very reason for the establishment of the club – should not be ignored.
Fishing, and the livelihood derived from fishing, has been an integral part of Cape Town life since 1652. The V&A Waterfront has styled its development along the ‘working harbour’ concept, a key element of its allure and charm. There is no single event or transaction that better epitomizes a typical Cape scene than the negotiation and sale of a snoek from a fisherman just returned from the sea to an eager buyer.