Archive for August, 2009

Movable car system

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
Here’s the illustration from The Boating Bible that I mentioned in this week’s newsletter:
With this sliding car system the jib sheet can be adjusted in any conditions and under load.

With this sliding car system the jib sheet can be adjusted in any conditions and under load.

Maintaining a proper look-out

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Rule 5 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) states:

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

This rule would seem to be common sense. Who would want to have a collision, whether with another vessel, rocks, debris or the land? And yet, how often do we read of vessels of all shapes and sizes that have failed to maintain a proper look-out?

As skipper, when you’re out on the water, you must get your crew to watch out for anything that may hinder your progress. When they see something of concern, they should tell you its position and distance off. You can then assess the risk of collision and alter course, if necessary.

When racing, this is a standard part of a yacht’s routine. When cruising, it is no less important.

And if you are sailing at night, your look-out must be even more alert, as the navigation lights on buoys and vessels can merge with lights on the shore and become hard to identify.

Great Australian Bight

Friday, August 7th, 2009

My post about the Round Australia Race and Rally reminded me about my own voyage across the Great Australian Bight some years ago.

Cliffs along the Great Australian Bight

This photo was taken on our way across the Nullabor Plain to Perth. I’m glad to say that our delivery trip, which included a stop-over in Esperance to replace a lost mast, kept us well clear of these terrifying cliffs. There is no break in them for hundreds of miles.

I must restate my admiration for the skill and courage of Captain Matthew Flinders, who charted this coastline in 1802.

Round Australia Ocean Race and Round Australia Rally for Cruisers

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Some months ago an enterprising West Australian, Bob Williams, ran a survey through to find out what yachties wanted if he were to organise a Round Australia Ocean Race and Round Australia Rally for Cruisers. He received 550 responses!

From these, he devised a Provisional Notice of Race and Rally and launched the event on 24 June this year. 94 reservations have already been received.

The race starts in Fremantle, WA in July 2011 but competitors may also join the event at one of nine ports of call. The timing is designed to take in the Sydney-Southport Yacht Race and both Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks.

There are details on the race and on the rally.

The race will take three months while rally participants may take up to 12 months to complete their circumnavigation.