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Sydney to Melbourne by 14ft Cat

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Ok, so talking to a friend i said it would be possible to sail a Windrush 14 cat from Sydney to Melbourne...

a rough trip plan would be:

Sydney to Wollongong

Wollongong to shoal haven

shoal haven to ulladulla

ulladulla to moruya

moruya to narooma

narooma to tathra

tathra to eden

eden to Mallacoota

Mallacoota to Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance to Seaspray

Seaspray to Manns Beach

Manns Beach to Walkerville

walkerville to Phillip Is.

Phillip Is. to say Chelsea

I reckon you take a minimum 3weeks freeze dried food, a water distiller or something, hiking tent, sleeping bag, a few changes of clothes not too many, full offshore safety kit inc a small sea anchor & a tackle box of common bits incase u break something.

You'd get a new main cut so you have reefing options and a furling jib. and a new set of stays cut in a larger dia. wire...

Also if u could take another friend on a 2nd 14 for safety in numbers...

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Now here's something that i can help with for a change.

In my experience travelling into remote locations, you need to choose your locations (done that) and make a list of available things from that location. being unfamiliar with the destinations, but knowing that you are following the coast, you should be able to get most of what you need along the way. Emergency suppies are essential, as for the unforseen (bad weather, equipment failure etc...) can bite you, so to overcome an element of this, i would also have a mean of communication, such as satellite phone ((rentals available) of a 2 way radio (HF will require a resricted radio operators certificate of proficency, courses at local coast guard).

If you call in at a set time every day, there is always someone watching your back. You seem to have everything else under control, keep your items carried to essentials only, buy what you can on the way and carry for short distances, this will keep boat weight to a minimum and hopefuly give you more room.

Take 2 boats, always better with 2.

I wish i could go with you, but I'm going to try and do Lake Eyre in July.

Best of luck, take heaps of pics and let us all see how it goes,


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Wow, that's some story.

I would have to say that a trip to Melbourne wouldnt be as extreme as that because your not trying to carry enough gear and food to get you across the Atlantic. Nor do you have to sail while one sleeps.

All that aside it would be one hell of an Adventure...

Something to put in the bank of ideas, so that when i have more ocean yachting experience i could have a much broader/educated perspective of such a journey.

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Read the next article on kim's webpage about jesse martin , his brother and father and their 1000k cat trip off Far North Qld.

Having a shark longer than their 14 foot cat rub itself on the keels when they are 35 kilometres offshore was one highlight.

Whatever happened to Jesse? whats he doing now?

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Back in 88 a couple sailed from Sydney via Darwin to Freemantle in a 16 ft cat. The book about it is called ‘Keeping Australia on the left’. A reasonable read and I would love to do the Cairns to Gove section. They used a ‘Catcan’, to generalise, it was two sea kayaks with a Hobie 16 tramp and rig. If it got into trouble you could quick release a hull and paddle off on it. The problem was it didn’t point real well.

Search the web, An Olympic class sailor has sailed a Lazer from Sydney to Hobart in multiple legs.

There is a bloke from the Douglas Sailing Club who plans to sail a NACRA 4.5 Adventurer from Cairns to Darwin in the near future. I’m no expert but if it is planned well it could be undertaken.

Jesse Martin now does boutique charters in a cruising cat on the North coast of PNG, they look good.

[This message has been edited by NACRAJON (edited 29 March 2009).]

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There was also a pair that sailed a Hobie 18 from Cairns to Cape York, that was an interesting story. Found it on one of the Hobie www sites a couple of years ago but I cant seem to locate now..?

The story was almost written like a manual for anyone wanting to do a long cruise in tropical waters on a beach cat. If anyone know where to find that story again let me now.

Jessie Martin & Co Imajica website www.theimajicaexperience.com they don’t do any charters right now, Imajica heading to Australia for maintenance.


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B=Michale Blackburn sailed his Kaser across Bass Straight.

Adrian Beswick and Josh Phillips just sailed across Bass Straight on a B14


Rod and Jason Waterhouse with Kerli Corlette sailed from Sydney to Hobart on a Hobie Tiger in March 08.


2 sailors from Kurnell Cat Club who were fairly new to sailing, sailed a Nacra 5.8 from Cairns around the top end of QLD.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi from Mallacoota.

There's a guy here with a Hobie 16 that regularly uses it to travel up the coast, such as to Bermagui. He once attempted the entire east coast but the hulls started to delaminate, suspected cause the constant pounding through swells.

The coastline here is rugged, remote, and has a long history of shipwrecks. Strong south-west winds with huge swells have driven boats onto the east-west running rocky coastline.

In nice weather though, there are some amazing sights. Red River, deep in Sandpatch Wilderness, would be a great stop. For more on this area see "Walking the Wilderness Coast" at http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm

Entry to Mallacoota's lakes from the sea is possible, but involves a run through surf into a shallow inlet. I've not risked fragile Paper Tiger rudders on it, but the Hobie's do it OK. Once in the lake, free boat parking on the karbeethong foreshore. Contact me if you want to meet locals, billet: tonyquoll@yahoo.com

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I remember some years back in Darwin meeting a couple of young guys (can'

t remember their names) who were sailing from I think Cairns to Broome, and if all went well were hoping to circumnavigate mainland Australia. They were on 2 cats... hobies I think. Carried camping gear in the hulls and just found a cove/beach to pull the boats up on to each night or if bad weather came in. They had made it to Darwin and later heard they got to Broome.. not sure if they continued or that was it. Impressive I thought. They were around 18 from memory and were loving the adventure.

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  • 6 months later...


Freaking nuts... taking a 20ft cat across the North Atlantic...

I mean one of them just stepped off Banque Populaire V (130 odd ft of racing tri) that just set the North Atlantic record at under 4days and a new 24hr record of 908Nm!

One has to ask y you'd do that then go, hmm i wonder if i can do it on a 20ft cat... Took them around 18.5days to do it. And their ONLY capsize was 100 odd metres from the finish with all these spectators around... hahaha

Bloody nuts though.

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