17 Jan 2008




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Should You Scuttle your Yacht when abandoning?

Abandoned catamaran, three months and 1000 miles later  .
Two incidents this week put the focus on two of today's prime issues in blue water sailing. (The top one being the question of when they will design boats with keels that stay on). The poor sailor who apparently caught on fire and somehow ended up overboard was not responsible in this case, but his sailing boat then travelled 2500 miles alone to Hawaii. Many other boats also have been known to sail long distances after they are abandoned by their crew without being scuttled.

In the other incident, a solo sailor, somewhat curiously, called his local pub back home for help when he was incapacitated on an Atlantic crossing. He was in no state to sail the boat with an apparent broken collar bone, but this is not the case with many other sailors who abandon their boats. The old adage of 'you should step upwards to get into the liferaft' seems to be much abused these days, as is the equally old adage that the boat should then be scuttled to avoid causing a hazard to other vessels. What do you think?

The inaugural Brisbane to Gladstone Rally of Discovery is on this year, a great opportunity to sail in company up the Queensland coast and have some fun along the way.

How good are you at doing your own forecasting at sea? Ken Batt this week offers some reliable answers that could help have the right rig in place BEFORE the storm hits.

The one piece of gear that makes the difference between a good and a bad night's sleep when at anchor is not the chain, the snubber, the sentinel or the technique of anchoring, though these are all obviously important, but the right anchor. Des Ryan compares some of the 'new generation' of anchors.

Lots of other news – the incredible Francis Joyon has had a difficult week, in danger of losing his mast, but is now heading for home and a new solo round world record – maybe under 60 days!

Yachties with their yachts in Fiji cyclone holes for the cyclone season are now up in the air about their legality, as Fiji has suddenly changed the rules! There's a delightful story of a couple sailing the North Queensland coast in a demountable trimaran that 'lives in the shed' when they are not sailing ... and if you are anywhere near Geelong in March remember the Wooden Boat Festival is on again.

If you have something to say, email me by clicking the link at the end of the Magazine...

Have a good week, and

Sail safe...


Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor



Shot Cruising Sailor Kills Intruder on Yacht
Achadtaya Chuenniran, Bkk Post/Carl Parkes,
Phuket, Thailand:An armed man, thought to be a foreigner to Thailand, died from deep cuts he sustained during a fight with the New Zealander owner of a boat, according to police. The fight took place on board a yacht moored at the Chalong pier around 11.30pm on Wednesday. The owner of the yacht, who had sailed from New Zealand with his wife and children, was identified as Pierre Alain Oberson, 50... [more]


Joyon Heading for Brest
Event media,
Taking advantage of a (relative) calm in the weather and a cleaner swell, yesterday Francis Joyon went back up the 32-metre mast of IDEC, for the fourth time in five days. During the last week he has spent much time checking his boat after discovering that he was in danger of losing the mast. His three previous climbs were to attempt repairs. Reassured, he has now increased his speed.... [more]


Sailing a Unique Trimaran in Queensland Tropics
Nan Bailey, Water Gardeners International,
Our yacht Iceni is a 9 meter Farrier trimaran, which has folding floats so it can go on a trailer. It took my husband David five years to build the yacht and the trailer to fit it. He launched her in late June of 2005. In between trips, she lives in the shed. In December 2005, we embarked on a several weeks sail up and down Queensland Australias east coast. Dave calls us 'Grey Nomads of the Sea'.... [more]


Local Pub SOS before Abandoning Yacht
Nancy Knudsen,
Yet another yacht is afloat in the Atlantic after a British yachtsman was rescued, curiously, by calling his local pub to raise the alarm. It raises again the question of whether one should scuttle a yacht when abandoning it, so that it doesn't become a potential hazard for other vessels.... [more]


Inaugural Brisbane - Gladstone Rally of Discovery
Ian Grant,
Here's a wonderful opportunity for cruising sailors to join other cruisers in a non-competitive sail up the Queensland coast. Queensland Cruising Yacht Club will host the inaugural Brisbane to Gladstone Rally of Discovery cruise to celebrate the historical 60th anniversary of Queensland’s premier blue water classic.... [more]


Join Mariner Boating on Tonga Kalia Yacht Rally
Media Services,
The easy pace of life in this South Pacific billabong will be your holiday tonic during a cruise that will add just a little racing to ten days of island style feasting, whale watching, snorkeling, diving, fishing, kayaking and lazing around on pure white sand beaches.... [more]


The 'New Generation' in Anchors
Des Ryan,
'It's very confusing!' was the understated comment of a cruising friend who recently started to compare anchors to make a new purchase. If you had to choose ONE piece of equipment as the most important for safety, the anchor would be up there without much challenge. It protects you when you are most vulnerable – close to land, and is the one which will give you a good night's sleep - or not... [more]


Yacht Sails 2500 miles alone - Skipper missing
H.G. Reza, Los Angeles Times/Sail-World,
A yacht recently discovered floating off the coast of Hawaii appeared to have travelled from the Californian coast to Hawaii on its own. The previous owner of the boat said that he had sold the boat to Darrin Bunker three months ago in Dana Point Harbour, and Bunker had told him he was heading for San Diego.... [more]


UK Motor Boat of the Year Awards - The Winners
www.ibinews.com,
Motor Boat of the Year Awards took place in London on Monday, to coincide with Collins Stewart London Boat Show at Docklands. The awards are designed to reward the best motorboats on the market, taking into account aspects from design to value for money... [more]


Geelong Wooden Boat Festival Labour Weekend, March
Bob Appleton,
The 2008 program will once more include the Grand Parade of Boats, a magnificent cavalcade of sail, the Concourse d' Elegance and racing on the bay for the Corio Bay Couta Boat Cup. Add to this the Corio Bay Classic Wooden Yacht Cup and the opening event of the Passage Races from Melbourne and Portarlington and it's a weekend that can be only be described as 'Spectacular'!... [more]


Fijians could lose Millions - New Three Month Law
Fiji Times/Sail-World Cruising,
The allure of Fiji for the cruising sailor has had a severe blow with the sudden announcement of a three month limit on cruising yachts. Previously visiting yachts had the option of leaving their boats in specially constructed cyclone holes for the duration of the season. Alarmed industry players say that the country stands to lose millions of dollars to neighbouring countries as a direct result... [more]


Moreton Bay Marine Park Draft Zoning Plan
Queensland Government,
Details now available on Moreton Bay Marine Park Draft Zoning Plan. Acting Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Desley Boyle, said staff from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be available to talk to people in detail about the plan.... [more]



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