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Old 31-05-2016, 10:38   #16
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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You're an experienced strait hopper now, maybe you can do a delivery 😜

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Well Hoppy, I've now done something approaching shy of 4000 miles playing in Bass Strait over the five years. I will be the first to admit my experience of the Port Philips Heads is nil. As is my solo experience. But 'all' of my sailing has been in Bass Strait. Four times now to Flinders, twice the 200 miles on the long haul. I've been out in no wind and out in a steady 35 knotts with 2m seas on a return from Deal Island.

Would you deny me some local knowledge?
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:45   #17
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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Is there any cell phone coverage for Deal Island and Refuge Cove?

When I sailed there, the only mobile phones came with a car attached to it or were in a briefcase.

Maybe to OP has to accept a distance relationship or arrange transport.


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Not in refuge cove no. Though you can climb the gab and use a phone with an aerial. My iPhone wouldn't work but my sone used a piece of wire in his phone and got reasonable reception in the gap.

Once out of Refuge you can pick it up crossing to Deal. You loose it as you enter Deal between the islands.

Bass Strait has pretty good internet reception for text and email if you have an external antenna. Voice calls you loose from about 20 miles. Vhf is pretty damn good everywhere. When you loose Tamar Sea Rescue you seem to be able to pick up Melbourne Radio or Coast Radio.
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:06   #18
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

Tophat, capable boat, trip like this easy. Check Tophat website, Bob Lovelance on Sundowner just completed 360 around Aus. My Aquarius 23 has crossed a few times.
winter means lots of motoring, Spring tiny windows, Feb - Apri. great time.
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Old 31-05-2016, 14:46   #19
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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Tophat, capable boat, trip like this easy. Check Tophat website, Bob Lovelance on Sundowner just completed 360 around Aus. My Aquarius 23 has crossed a few times.
winter means lots of motoring, Spring tiny windows, Feb - Apri. great time.
More impressive is

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In February 1974, Jan and Ian Mitchell, cruising novices, set off to circumnavigate the world in their Top Hat 25 foot yacht, Caprice. Many adventures later, they returned to Sydney in November, 1977, with two year old Jamie (born in Durban, South Africa) and Jan pregnant with their second son. Four and a half months later, David was born. Ian looked after the children while Jan wrote articles for yachting magazines. She also wrote the cover story for an August edition of Women’s Day. This book contains a compilation of those fourteen articles plus one from Ian about their shakedown voyage, published in Australian Sailing. Jan has added many more photographs of their trip and a history of the Top Hats. The Mitchells write about seasickness, gales, learning to navigate, coping with strong currents, repairing a rigging failure at sea, friendships with others in the cruising community, the joys of tropical islands and more. These articles were widely read in 1978 and inspired many would be sailors to buy a boat. Some set out to sail the world. We hope their story will inspire you too


http://www.amazon.com/Two-Top-Hat-Ci.../dp/1475049560

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Old 31-05-2016, 14:53   #20
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

Ian and Jan's circumnavigation was an epic, and the book is worth reading.

It predates a later adventure... when they were pitchpoled in their later boat Osprey-A, a Brolga 33. Where did that happen? In Bass Straits, IIRC!

Jim
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Old 31-05-2016, 14:56   #21
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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G'Day cyrilg,

Well mate, here's an opinion that you probably don't want to hear:

The trip would be advisable if:
1. You were an experienced sailor.
2. If the boat was sound and you had lots of miles in her.
3. If it was not early winter.
4. If you had time to wait long periods for decent weather (perhaps you do, I dunno).


The TopHat is a competent little boat, and in the right hands in the right weather can easily make the trip, but at your stage of learning and at this time of year, it is a bad call IMO.

Do tell us where the boat is located, for that will influence how you would shape the voyage should you undertake it. And if you do, there are several of us here who might help you in planning.

Jim
Agree with Jim,

I recently crossed Bass Strait in December 2015 as a first-time skipper (yay, my first sail across the Strait and I was skipper :-) in a Columbia 27 I purchased from some members of the Royal Melb Yacht Squadron and sailed her BACK to Tasmania in late December. I have to agree that now is not the best time to cross Bass Strait as the weather windows are very small (a day or two, maybe three if lucky). If there is a good weather window and the boat /crew are ready then it's worth doing the hop across, but I think the weather window needs to be decent and Jan or Feb are worth waiting for because the weather windows are longer up to a week or more long.

I had the Top Hat as my second option as I like the Tophat's sea going abilities. I went with my Columbia because it had a recent and important a brilliant survey.

My boat albeit older and in need of some TLC still had a fantastic and importantly recent survey that ticked all of the right boxes, including a one year old Volvo inboard.

As a new time skipper and attempting my first Bass Strait Crossing, I installed jack lines (Wichard), installed a new Raymarine EV100 wheel self steering, NEW VHF with AIS, installed my old chartplotter with AIS and updated ALL safety equipment. I purchased charts incase the electronics failed and carried 40L diesel plus topped up my 60L diesel tank.

Then I waited for a 4 day weather window, the correct slack water time at the Port Philip heads and once all was done.... I set sail and had the most amazing and fantastic time sailing my Columbia 27 across the paddock. The crossing took me 52hrs and I did the direct trip across the Strait. My planning had the crossing at 46hrs @5knt (my diesel speed) but some fickle winds at night and on the nose slowed me. I have some youtube videos of the crossing -

I investigated hiring a skipper but because I had confidence in my abilities and had planned and prepared I only needed a crew.
I investigated transport but the cost was prohibitive against the purchase cost of the Columbia, plus I bought the Columbia to go sailing.

Hopefully this helps,
Drop me a message if you want to know more as I still have the charts and my GPS course track. If you plan the trip in the school holidays I'll happily sail over with you? if you're willing pay my return airfare/ferry fare back to Tasmania!

If you want some advice on a recent small boat crossing give me a hoy and I'm happy to share my crossing in a small boat with you.

Cheers, Pete
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Old 31-05-2016, 15:00   #22
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Well Hoppy, I've now done something approaching shy of 4000 miles playing in Bass Strait over the five years. I will be the first to admit my experience of the Port Philips Heads is nil. As is my solo experience. But 'all' of my sailing has been in Bass Strait. Four times now to Flinders, twice the 200 miles on the long haul. I've been out in no wind and out in a steady 35 knotts with 2m seas on a return from Deal Island.

Would you deny me some local knowledge?
RC, so far we don't know where his topper is located. If it was on the Tamar, all is as you say. But, if it is elsewhere, say in the Hobart area or the channel, then he must get up either the east or west coast before arriving at a jumpoff point for the crossing of the straits.

Doing this on a schedule (and we don't know if he is thus constrained) can lead to some iffy sailing. I still believe that for a novice sailor in an unknown boat, it is a bad call. Your mileage and opinion may vary from mine.

Winter can indeed offer some quiet periods, but the contrary is also true. A novice on a schedule could experience some strife, I reckon.

Jim
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Old 31-05-2016, 15:02   #23
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Not in refuge cove no. Though you can climb the gab and use a phone with an aerial. My iPhone wouldn't work but my sone used a piece of wire in his phone and got reasonable reception in the gap.

Once out of Refuge you can pick it up crossing to Deal. You loose it as you enter Deal between the islands.

Bass Strait has pretty good internet reception for text and email if you have an external antenna. Voice calls you loose from about 20 miles. Vhf is pretty damn good everywhere. When you loose Tamar Sea Rescue you seem to be able to pick up Melbourne Radio or Coast Radio.
I guess phone reception in either of those places were going to be unlikely unless they put a tower to specifically cover those places.
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Old 31-05-2016, 15:11   #24
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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Originally Posted by CruiserPete View Post
Agree with Jim,

I recently crossed Bass Strait in December 2015 as a first-time skipper in a Columbia 27 I purchased from some members of the Royal Melb Yacht Squadron and sailed her BACK to Tasmania in late December.

The boat albeit older and in need of some TLC still had a fantastic and importantly recent survey that ticked all of the right boxes, including a one year old Volvo inboard.

As a new time skipper and attempting my first Bass Strait Crossing, I installed jack lines (Wichard), installed a new Raymarine EV100 wheel self steering, NEW VHF with AIS, installed my old chartplotter with AIS and updated ALL safety equipment. I purchased charts incase the electronics failed and carried 40L diesel plus topped up my 60L diesel tank.

Then I waited for a 4 day weather window, the correct slack water time at the Port Philip heads and once all was done.... I set sail and had the most amazing and fantastic time sailing my Columbia 27 across the paddock.

I investigated hiring a skipper but because I had confidence in my abilities and had planned and prepared I only needed a crew.
I investigated transport but the cost was prohibitive against the cost of the Columbia, plus I bought the Columbia to go sailing.

Hopefully this helps,
Drop me a message if you want to know more as I still have the charts and my gpd course track. If you plan the trip in the school holidays I'll happily sail over with you? if you're willing pay my return airfare/ferry fare back to Tasmania!

Cheers, Pete
What is the name of your Columbia?

My father had a Columbia 27 and then a 34 in the 1980's. We kept them in St.Kilda marina and at the time there was probably a couple of dozen 27's, 6 or 7 34's and a dozen 22's all in the marina. Back then, the Columbia club was very active with often 20+ yachts in the monthly club races.

I know that a couple of the keen 27 racers had done the Melbourne to Devonport race.

My old man bought his 34 at the end of the summer and then I had full access to the 27 until he finally sold it at the end of winter
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Old 31-05-2016, 16:23   #25
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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Just goes to show that Top Hats are responsible for unplanned pregnancies
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Old 31-05-2016, 16:39   #26
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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What is the name of your Columbia?

My father had a Columbia 27 and then a 34 in the 1980's. We kept them in St.Kilda marina and at the time there was probably a couple of dozen 27's, 6 or 7 34's and a dozen 22's all in the marina. Back then, the Columbia club was very active with often 20+ yachts in the monthly club races.

I know that a couple of the keen 27 racers had done the Melbourne to Devonport race.

My old man bought his 34 at the end of the summer and then I had full access to the 27 until he finally sold it at the end of winter
She's called Cloud Nine, she was the original Columbia 27 that was on display at the 1983 Melbourne Boat show and was the very same Columbia 'cruising helmsman' magazine did their boat review on. When I bought her she was being raced by a syndicate at the RMYS and they poured some good money into her with the keel dropped, refurbished and installed with new keel bolts, a new Volvo 13hp diesel, a new rudder with reinforcing and a nice array of wireless Raymarine wind/depth/speed instruments plus a great survey.

Hence, the reason I sailed her back to Tas across Bass Strait.. glad I did the trip but planning and preparation made it so enjoyable. Now when I watch the weather on the TV news and see Bass Strait I feel very proud to have crossed that piece of water as skipper of my own boat and importantly, without incident.
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Old 31-05-2016, 16:40   #27
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

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RC, so far we don't know where his topper is located. If it was on the Tamar, all is as you say. But, if it is elsewhere, say in the Hobart area or the channel, then he must get up either the east or west coast before arriving at a jumpoff point for the crossing of the straits.

Doing this on a schedule (and we don't know if he is thus constrained) can lead to some iffy sailing. I still believe that for a novice sailor in an unknown boat, it is a bad call. Your mileage and opinion may vary from mine.

Winter can indeed offer some quiet periods, but the contrary is also true. A novice on a schedule could experience some strife, I reckon.

Jim
Well, I'm certainly not pretending to trump your knowledge I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that the East coast is an easy sail the west coast is a definite no I'd think. But he asked about the strait, so I answered about the strait. He didn't mention a schedule so I didn't assume one.

I have my Pilot Charts at work or maybe on my boat, but I'm pretty sure the average winds in Bass Strait are at their lowest in June, July and August and built to their highest in late January December.
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Old 31-05-2016, 17:22   #28
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

There is something to say for encouraging someone to go for it, willy nilly. What you survive strengthens you, etc. etc.

Why take a conservative approach, then? Well, we do not know if the OP is 25 or 85 yrs old. We do not know if he even knows how to heave to, and in what conditions. He has told us he has concerns about taking on this trip alone in a boat with which he is unfamiliar, as in hiding some weakness or other. I take the conservative approach in this case, partly to honor this man's own sense of caution, partly to avoid encouraging him to take this particular risk, and with the memories of the injuries sustained when Osprey A pitchpoled in Bass Sts.

I noticed Boatman 61 is viewing this thread. What Phil has going for him that our OP does not [afaik] is the ability to read weather before it comes up on the radio. Does the OP know how to read the sky? Phil has "x' years and "X" thousands of miles under various keels as a skipper. Phil knows about arriving at the better time of the tide; he knows what to expect of 35 k wind (with wind gusts to 45) and wind against the tide, etc. etc. It is the issue of experience vs. inexperience. If the OP took Phil with him, I'd think they'd both attain their destination, and most likely with the boat intact, because Phil has a lot of experience at nursing a wounded boat along, and with wondrous stories to tell after.

Where does winter come into this? Well, the water's warmer than it sometimes is, but the air temperatures, with lows in the 2 deg. C to 8 deg. C, would be danged cold, to me. And, getting wet could make it hypothermia time. Phil (sometimes sailor in the north sea in winter) would know to prepare for that, but does the OP?

So, yes, RC, in this particular case,you can count on us for conservative advice, simply because in the long run, it is likely to make a better seaman of the OP. Ymmv.

TO THE OP:

Good luck with this one, mate.

Ann
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Old 31-05-2016, 17:29   #29
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

Incidentally, the high south of Tasmania pumped up to 1035, according to the 1800 UTC msl. It looks as if it will push the next front south. And New Zealand Maid is enroute now, Hobart towards Nelson, with Snow Petrel aboard with his folks.

This particular High is centered pretty far south, further than the previous ones this season. What this means for the OP, he'll have to figure out.

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Old 31-05-2016, 17:31   #30
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Re: Sailing or shipping a 24-foot from Tasmania to Melbourne?

I reckon Autumn is worse than winter re swell. Wait for a decent window. Wear warmest gear available. Take a thermos.
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