Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sea Safety and Survival

I completed the Yachting Australia Sea Safety and Survival Course in Jan. Small course of six was good. One guy spent years building a wooden yacht and on his maiden cruise north parked her on a reef at night and had to Mayday everyone off just south of New Guinea......he was a bit vocal and had a few strange ideas. Got to let some flares off and fire off a liferaft which was good as Rogue Wave has one. Overall I must say I have retained most of my previous Air Sea Rescue knowledge when it comes to safety.

If time and funds permit I will try to fit in my combined RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Theory qualification.....although over 10 days it will be difficult to fit in with work given my Long Service Leave has been approved for Aug-Dec.

Malaysian solo

Plans are progressing well for the solo sail back from Penang. Formulating how to get gear over cheaply and ahead of time is a challenge when balanced up with a crazy workload that pays the bills.
Rogue Wave is now officially an Australian Registered Ship so I can legally bring her home........ or take her around the world.....don't tempt me, I had a crap day at work!! Insurance was another challenge that has now been sorted through Fastnet Insurance UK. They specialise in solo racers and will cover me during the voyage and up to 250M off the Australian Coast at a very competitive rate. Excellent to deal with and very prompt service.

Standing rigging will most likely be manufactured in Brisbane and I will freight over to Penang - jury still out on this until I measure and get a quote from the rigger in Langkawi. He buys all his gear from Allyachtspars however Langkawi is duty/gst exempt so should work out cheaper, depending on freight again.

I have been entering my voyage plan into my new SeaPro 3000 Navigation software and I am reasonably impressed as I stumble my way through. Not top shelf software but up there, and a little clunky in some areas but pretty damn good overall. It takes ENC and Navionics charts so I have more backups than you can poke a stick at......In the cockpit I use an RC400 Raymarine Portable Chartplotter (12v + lith battery backup) with Aust East, Aust Wide and SE Asia Navionics Compact Flash Chart Cards and at the Nav Station a Lowrance Globalmap 5200 with Nauticpath SD Aust Wide Chart, 15" Laptop with Raymarine Route Planner and Seapro 3000 Performance Sailing weather routing software and a 10" Netbook with the same software. The bloody Netbook has an amazing 11 hour battery life and uses very little recharge power. The Seapro software has a Performance Sailing option installed whereby I can insert my yacht performance polar diagram and it computes best VMG and target speeds. I can even specify sail combo. For weather routing it will be very useful to avoid trouble spots. Reports from the software give distance, estimated time and fuel used plus a million other features that will occupy me at sea.

The rudder bearing will be replace this month and then in May I plan to head over and slip her, step the mast, Service the engine and impeller and prepare the hull for antifoul in August. Then I return in Aug it will be mast and new rigging in, new 2 Blade folding prop on, chartplotters wired in, HF Radio in, Autopilot fitted and antifoul on. Victual and head off for a few days test sailing.