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Old 03-02-2012, 14:28   #1
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Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Hey all, I'm new to this site and I thought I would see if someone could help me out.

I'm currently a med student, taking sailing classes through my school on j-22s in Newport harbor, Ca (very protected). Eventually I want to hit the open ocean (obviously).

I recently found out that I'll be in Australia over the summer (their winter) from mid June-July, conducting research at UNE. While there I thought that I could get some sailing in and turn my trip from boring research.... To something fun. I'd like to do a multi-night sailing adventure, but maybe I'm just dreaming big. I've been to a few charter websites and have gathered that the barrier reef makes sailing a bit easier, so Hopefully that's true.

My questions:
Is it feasible for a beginner (started sailing in September, 3.5 hrs per week) to sail in Eastern Australian waters during their winter? Would it even be worth my time trying to sail during their winter? I imagine it can't get too cold.

What would be my best bet for renting a boat, for the least amount of money? (I'm still a student mind you!). Doesn't have to be fancy (and the smaller the better I'm sure for my skills).

If the answers to the above questions don't squash this plan; do you have any suggestions for locations to sail to? I'll be in Newcastle area, but would be willing to start off at a different location if needed.

Sorry for the long post; and feel free to bash my niaviety when it comes to sailing. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:04   #2
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

You should definitely go sailing while you are there. I chartered a 40ft catamaran out of Airlie Beach with no ocean sailing experience at all, and I mean NONE! I had sailed 12 foot Hobies a few times on a lake and never had a lesson in my life. So I know you will be fine with the training you have. You sail around the Whitsunday Islands. The sailing is easy and the diving and snorkelling is great so grab a few buds from your class and set out for a week. Look online for the names of the charter companies there. It's all line-of-site sailing and you can use the diesel any time you need to. Don't worry about not knowing everything there is to know before you go. You can stay in radio contact at all times with the base if you have any questions and they can come to your yacht with a speed boat in a pinch. After a day or two you will feel right at home onboard. That is where my love of sailing started so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Common sense and an adventurous spirit is mostly all you need.
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Old 05-02-2012, 18:16   #3
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Why not try to get on a delivery from Sydney or Brisbane up to the Whitsundays.

Lots of those happening that time of year.

Cost you nothing and you could learn and enjoy.

Send me a PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 19:04   #4
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Winter in the Whitsundays is probably min 24+c and warm water,

Newcastle is 1000 miles south of the Whitsundays,

Newcastle can get pretty cold, 10+C

The sea at Newcastle can be very wild. It is the Tasman Sea, I Wrecked my boat about 50 miles north of Newcastle, Its still at Port Stephens,

Inside Port Stephens is a good place to sail, fully protected, very nice peice of Gods country, Good Scenery,

Havent been to Newcastle, But it is also a deep water port and protected from the Ocean. They would probably have good sailing in there,

Or south to Sydney Harbour, Good sailing,

Keep in mind that the water Temps along that coast are very cold, Newcastle, Sydney.

Cheers,
Brian,
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Old 05-02-2012, 19:20   #5
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

There's lots of yachts in Lake Maquarie. Might pay to hang around some sailing / yacht clubs around the lake and sign on as crew.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:29   #6
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Whitsundays definitely seem like a great choice (I told some of the other students joining me on the research trip, and they are now excited about joining me now they've seen photos of the whitsundays)

It looks pricey to bareboat charter for my budget, but when is the next time I'll be down in Australia?! However, if any of you guys have any tips on how to find a good deal, or know money saving tips, I would be glad to hear it.

Some have suggested I try to sign on as crew, and I'll definitely look into that. But how likely is it that someone would be want to take on 2-3 people for crew (sailing whitsundays, sydney, or Newcastle)
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Old 14-02-2012, 22:19   #7
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Hi haleth,

What I mean by deliveries is that boats will be going from Sydney and Brisbane (in particular) up to Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach for race week. They need to be "delivered" and you might get a ride on one of them.

You should also look at the crew wanted/available forum in Cruisers Forum. Thjere are a couple of entries there that might suit you.

daniel
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Old 15-02-2012, 00:36   #8
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

I'm told off season you can bargain with the Whitsunday charter companies - go to more than one, let them know you are looking for a bargain, and choose the best deal. It's to their advantage to keep their boats generating revenue.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:18   #9
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Hey there I sail out of Newcastle and the yacht club notice board is the best place to start put your name and phone number down and hang around your bound to bump into somebody looking for a crew!
The same goes for lake macquarie or port Stephens just go in and have a few beers and talk to some people you'll find someone!
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Old 03-03-2012, 15:53   #10
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

G'Day Haleth,

Could you enlighten us as to where you will specifically be? The east coast of Oz is a big place... And further, do you want to have one period of sailing or access to weekly (or whatever) sails in whatever your local area may be?

Armed with this info we might be able to link you up with specific organizations or people who could help you out... otherwise you will continue to get advice about sailing in areas that are on the order of a thousand miles apart!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:51   #11
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

I looked at the most recent edition of Afloat ( a free magazine) in it there as an advert for a trip from Sydney to the Whitsundays on a charter boat. they wanted $69 a day. for 2.5 weeks I think.

I imagine they would do it in stages.

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Old 10-04-2012, 20:06   #12
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by DtM View Post
I looked at the most recent edition of Afloat ( a free magazine) in it there as an advert for a trip from Sydney to the Whitsundays on a charter boat. they wanted $69 a day. for 2.5 weeks I think.

I imagine they would do it in stages.

Call me 0411 104601
Do they have Yacht stops in the Middle of the Tasman Sea,
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:17   #13
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Do they have Yacht stops in the Middle of the Tasman Sea,
Sure - called Lord Howe Island!
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:33   #14
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Re: Beginner Sailing off Australia's East Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by DtM View Post
I looked at the most recent edition of Afloat ( a free magazine) in it there as an advert for a trip from Sydney to the Whitsundays on a charter boat. they wanted $69 a day. for 2.5 weeks I think.

I imagine they would do it in stages.

Call me 0411 104601
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
Do they have Yacht stops in the Middle of the Tasman Sea,
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Sure - called Lord Howe Island!
I am not sure if you guys are serious or this is all tongue in cheek but for the OP's information such a trip will be coastal sailing with plenty of harbours along the way.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:11   #15
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I am not sure if you guys are serious or this is all tongue in cheek but for the OP's information such a trip will be coastal sailing with plenty of harbours along the way.
Light hearted of course. Well, as another light-hearted aside i did know someone in a very heavy, very fat double ender who sailed from Hobart to Mooloolaba and was having such a hard trip against the South-going current that he went OUTSIDE the current (hundreds of miles out into the Tasman) and did stop off at Lord Howe. He reckoned he got half way to NZ on one tack! That boat was HEAVY!!
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