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Old 13-03-2012, 21:35   #1
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Looking for recommendations on this passage departing in about 4 weeks.

Option 1 is Mallaca Straits, Singapore, Through Indonesia, then Australia West Coast.

Option 2 is Indian Ocean, west side of Indonesia, Australia Direct.

Boat is a 42 LWL 53 LOA ferro. Boat can be reasonably expected to make 4-5 knots in good breezes. Skipper has about 6 months experience on the boat but no real open water experience. There will be 2 additional crew with limited sailing experience.

Boat is extremely stout with 3 Atlantic crossings and a Pacific crossing under her belt. The boat will do fine and the Skipper is doing all the right things to make the boat ready.

Skipper would like to avoid Indo fomalities and option 2 would be planned nonstop. In option 1 it would be planned Singapore Oz non-stop.

My preference would be the Singapore route as there seems to be more friendly place to stop if required. I think stops in Indonesia should be planned for either route but that's me.

I know surfmachine hangs out on he west side of borneo and he describes it as remote with nothing between there and Langkawi. So what's the west side like and more importantly what is the west passage going to be like. Time estimate?
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Old 13-03-2012, 22:53   #2
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Had friends who did option 2 on a 45 ft steel boat and said it was the roughest passage they ever made (including the North Pacific to Japan and up the Red Sea).
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Old 13-03-2012, 23:49   #3
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Jimmy Cornell just published Ocean Atlas. This will be the best reference you can get for the passage you are planning. I just received mine and can say that it is very good. Cornell’s Ocean Atlas - Cornell Sailing Books

Also, you may want to join Circumnavigation Group and ask your question there. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/circumnavigation/


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Old 14-03-2012, 01:29   #4
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Ahoy, I have never sailed to Australia,so no first hand knowledge of that trip.

Talked to a few who have, and they say go around the top of sumatra, using the NE trades, and head south, gaining as much easting as the wind allows, running on a reach using the SE trades, until you hit the westerlies, at about Peth's latitude, then turn East and do the down wind run into Perth. There would be an area of variable winds around the equator crossing.

No problems with stopping in sumatra for fuel and food without any crusing permits, I have never been asked for mine, only if you check in at immigration or the port captain. But you would only really stop at Bandah Aceh, if needed.

This route would provide a sailing experience, inside Sumatra and Java, would be all motoring or motor sailing, with heaps of traffic. The old cement boat would get moving out in the trades?

If they go to Darwin, then they have a world of pain in beating down the west coast of Australia, into the near gale force sea breezes that come in every morning and blow from the SW. Not many ports of refuge on the West coast either! I have a friend who has been trying to bring his 36' cement boat back to Perth from Dampier, and has been driven back twice by the sea breezes, he only has a 10HP motor on a 12 tonne cement ketch. Now selling the yacht in Dampier in despair!

Make sure the passage is outside of the cyclone season, still on in the Indian Ocean!!!

Good luck from Keith.
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Old 14-03-2012, 03:42   #5
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Is this a cruise or more like a delivery?

If delivery, then I would think the open sea to the west is better and follow Keith's advice is to stay well off shore until south of the trades.

By the way, we are still getting clycones in the north although I note your departure is still a month away but......

If a cruise, then is it a "ocean passage cruise or a lets see the remote north of WA / NT style cruise"

If the latter, then while the Kimberly coast is stunning in its remoteness, I would endorse Keith's comments below but he forgot to add the issue of very large and irregular coastal tides. Can be done of course but it helps to have a pioneering attitude. There is a reason the WA coast is littered with shipwrecks from the past 400 years - no safe harbours and a very long lee shore.

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.........If they go to Darwin, then they have a world of pain in beating down the west coast of Australia, into the near gale force sea breezes that come in every morning and blow from the SW. Not many ports of refuge on the West coast either! I have a friend who has been trying to bring his 36' cement boat back to Perth from Dampier, and has been driven back twice by the sea breezes, he only has a 10HP motor on a 12 tonne cement ketch. Now selling the yacht in Dampier in despair!

Make sure the passage is outside of the cyclone season, still on in the Indian Ocean!!!

Good luck from Keith.
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Old 14-03-2012, 05:14   #6
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

option 2 with a stop in ache
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Old 14-03-2012, 05:43   #7
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Just an aside, has the owner got a confirmed berth in Perth as they are pretty rare to find.
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Old 14-03-2012, 08:10   #8
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

A mate and i done that trip.. We went option 1. It was September when we sailed down the Mallaca straits, wind was on the nose all the way, i mean all the way to Perth!!
Back in those days we didn't have a engine so it made sailing tough in light airs, heaps of fishing boats, ships and fishing traps unlit at night.
We sailed though the Bangka islands (not close to Indo), then headed south to the Sunda strait.
Got sucked out of Asia with a nice out going tide(we had pancakes that morning),and the open ocean was bliss...
Wind still on the nose and sailed to Christmas island and finally had a good rest up.
Checked in at exmouth... but had to stop again at Carnarvan for inspection...
Down the west coast.. you begin to freeze.. and you wonder why you left Thailand.
No matter which way you go you will need some luck from the wind god...
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Old 14-03-2012, 10:28   #9
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Many thanks for all the advice. Particularly the wind planning for option 2 from Keith. It is always tempting to pick the rhumb line and make things hard but of course in a sailboat the toughest lesson is learning that you often go right in order to get left.

I will start monitoring weather, any good tips on the best weather sources for this route?

BTW - The boat is a purchase, the couple are "cruisers" but they are not really interested in sightseeing. More interested in getting back home. In one piece of course. So in that rerspect moree like a felxible delivery. There is no calendar deadlines per se.
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Old 14-03-2012, 11:05   #10
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

No need to by expensive books, I am always amazed when people recommend purchases over free info:

For winds, currents, waves, look at the Pilot Charts for the Indian Ocean = Pub109, free, it should give you an idea where to go when. Download all pdfs on:

Maritime Safety Information
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife
No need to by expensive books, I am always amazed when people recommend purchases over free info:

For winds, currents, waves, look at the Pilot Charts for the Indian Ocean = Pub109, free, it should give you an idea where to go when. Download all pdfs on:

Maritime Safety Information
Excellent! That really brings Keith's recommendadtion to life visually. Slogging down the coast from the north looks tiring...
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:50   #12
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Boat can be reasonably expected to make 4-5 knots in good breezes.
Ouch. Feeling your pain, my friend.
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:24   #13
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

My feeling is that they should consider an option 3 - not going at all.

I mean, why sail a boat in marginal condition with inexperienced crew on a long trip through difficult weather to an expensive unattractive destination with poor to no facilities where it won't be used, but may be subject to official "interest".

The boat is currently in one of the world's great cruising areas. Is the need to go to Perth really that strong?

If they want to cruise checking out some of Malaysia's marinas or the better parts of Indonesia would be a lot of fun and if they want to go to Perth then jumbo jet is going to be faster, cheaper and safer.

If they don't need the boat anymore why not sell it where it is?
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:51   #14
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My feeling is that they should consider an option 3 - not going at all.

I mean, why sail a boat in marginal condition with inexperienced crew on a long trip through difficult weather to an expensive unattractive destination with poor to no facilities where it won't be used, but may be subject to official "interest".

The boat is currently in one of the world's great cruising areas. Is the need to go to Perth really that strong?

If they want to cruise checking out some of Malaysia's marinas or the better parts of Indonesia would be a lot of fun and if they want to go to Perth then jumbo jet is going to be faster, cheaper and safer.

If they don't need the boat anymore why not sell it where it is?
The boat is not in marginal condition. Don't know where I said that. It is slow because it is a slow boat.

The boat was purchased in Thailand. They have been cruising the area for about 6 months at my advice to gain knowledge of the boat, experience and to fix any warts that come up. They have done good prep on themselves and have been in a couple of good blows and have been in a couple of tough anchoring situations. They know how to short sail and hunker down. Their experience bag ain't full but it also ain't empty.

They are from Perth so they are sorta going home. As an avowed Asian I wouldn't head to Perth either. Too much to see here.

Not to say I am not slightly concerned about the dedgree of difficulty of sailing the Indian ocean. That's why was originally advising them to sail Mallaca straits. The waters are more protected until you get south of Indonesia. However the slog from there to the Oz west coast looks very tough.

Looking at the pilot chart and receiving Keith's advice makes the Indian ocean look more attractive from a winds standpoint.

Here are a couple of shots of Ann. She ain't pretty but she has certainly been to sea and has the experience, including a 30 day single handed Atlantic crossing.
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Old 14-03-2012, 21:33   #15
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Re: Passage Plan - Langkawi to Perth

Travelling North to South is certainly not impossible, just unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Also, you are coming into the best time of year when the screaming S/W breeze tends to calm down a lot, and the end of cyclone season in the north. If you are really just on a delivery run, you can make the run at night under motor from 10 pm to 10 am and should generally avoid the worst of the S/W. Anchor and sleep during the day.

The fremantle sailing club has a great book with cruising advice and anchorages, but as pointed out most of the anchorages are shitty south of exmouth.

As for officialdom, make sure to sort out the details of your Australian check in well in advance. We have reputedly the most draconian attitude towards small vessel entry anywhere in the world.
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