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Old 16-11-2012, 06:04   #31
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Re: Catamarans Damaged by Cyclone Ului

Ok an old thread but a few knew facts that should be pointed out.

1. It is Shute Harbour not Schute....In case you cant find it on a map or cpn, and a beautiful part of the Whitsundays, 74 islands within 30miles to the great barrier reef.

2. Whitsunday Rent a yacht (wray) sits at the mouth of the harbour, its boats were far more exposed than any others in the harbour. On a 2.5 metre tide you can have up to 4 knots of current where their situated, shute harbour witnesses several 5-6 metre tides per year, then you realy know tidal movement. (top that off with a storm surge).

3. As a charter boat company in the Whitsunday's, catamarans are by far the most popular boat (not quite yet the most abundant but very close) and have the highest turn around's by far, and are hence more often than not closer to the operations jetty and were thus exposed to the onslaught of Cyclone Ului.

4. They are charter boats, most owners live in major capital cities or abroad, the company does due dilligance on trying to secure all vessels, removing sails, cyclone bridals, removing dingys/outboards etc ... but s*&t happens.

5. There were more monohulled vessels adrift , sunk or beached in shute harbour than were catamarans. But as having dived on many of the moorings in shute harbour over the years, its electric and chains /blocks need to be serviced every few years(especially those in high tidal flow zones)

6. We had a small storm surge of up to 4-5 feet plus on its crossing the mainland, Im a photographer these days & shot a dozen or so insurance jobs, I dont know final results but at the time half were blamed on the high windage (wear), the other half, surge(short snub),deteriorated mooorings, human error/ deliberate and anchor drag.

7. Myself and family have lived at Shute Harbour for over 25years.

Imho all cyclones are pains in the arse, but the cyclone parties are good, but the power outages are annoying, in Ului it was 2 weeks before power was restored at Shute Harbour, back up generators were in place within a week or so. Midge point just on the south side suffered six weeks without power, far from fun. One good point is that all houses that are built within the cyclone belt in Australia are required to be cyclone rated(cat 5) these days for bank loans n insurance (that is greater than 157 mph for those on the other side of the pond)... reality and ratings dont always match... its those damn storm surges that you have to watch for.

Season is almost upon us again here down under...time to batton down n party

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Old 16-11-2012, 08:23   #32
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Re: Catamarans Damaged by Cyclone Ului

No quite true, the mooring fields in Shute harbour are generally coral free, a little rubble here and there, the back end of the harbour is quite muddy and powderous/shale based.

The humpacks go up and rub themselves on the soft bottom at the right time of year.... When you can bury a plow 3 feet its not coral(back end of harbour). If you drop an anchor in the harbour you will only foul on discarded chain, its like a spiderman web in some spots. However there are 3 barrier islands, from the furthest out encompasing inwards Shute isl, Tancred and repair islands, yes they all have fringing reef... But I still wouldnt drop rope to hold, just incase(besides i would go elsewhere).
However as having dived , lived and fished this harbour for many years, the only fouling in the harbour is human made, but good seamanship suggests always anchor heavily, and with more chain than is necessary 5:1 length to depth is the minimum for peace of mind in these parts and that's in good weather( the holding is not bad its the wind shifts and tidal movements), so watch ur swing and your neighbours... its tightly packed, had the bowsprit torn off in a blow years back, whilst on a mooring, and no win on recompense, ..

Originally Posted by downunder View Post

References you supplied were excellent but there is no way I will use rope around coral. Schute Harbour where many vessels were damage has plenty of coral on bottom. You may get away with rope on sand but not around coral reefs.

Of course it is advisable to have plenty of spring in a bridle to take shock loading out. Maxing Out's website has an excellent diagramme.

ALMOST NEVER FAIL CATAMARAN ANCHORING SYSTEM WITH A BUEGEL ANCHOR*** Exit Only performed the first half of her circumnavigation

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Old 16-11-2012, 12:08   #33
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Re: Catamarans Damaged by Cyclone Ului

I've been told that many insurance companies won't cover boats anchored or moored in the Airlie/Shute harbour area if a named storm hits them.

Here's one cat that Ului didn't get:

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Old 16-11-2012, 14:01   #34
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Re: Catamarans Damaged by Cyclone Ului

Having a boat moored in Shute Harbour or Airlie is insurance poison, and not just for named storms, and there are only a few co's that will do it (and getting less - see below)

A lot of insurance co's are refusing to insure on swing moorings any further north in Queensland then 26.00S these days. I heard a whisper that Suncorp are about to stop insuring boats on swing moorings as well, which is going to upset a lot of people.

As for the advice of run to mangroves, one of the issues here is that there are lots of boats and not enough nearby suitable mangrove creeks. Not that that matters too much, I guess, as during cyclone Uliu. 0 people were killed trying to save their boats while in 1970 with cyclone Ada, which was, I think, a more destructive cyclone (but no doubt proportionally a lot less boats), something like 14 people were killed while on board their vessels in so-called "cyclone holes" (e.g. Nara Inlet).

Boats did ok in marinas during Ului because the storm was not a powerful one (cat 2) and storm surge was insignificant. In contrast, last year's cyclone Yasi was more powerful and had a greater storm surge occurring at a higher tide. This resulted in the entire Hinchinbrook marina, along with most of the boats, being destroyed as the pontoons floated off the pylons.
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Old 09-09-2013, 17:32   #35
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Re: Catamarans Damaged by Cyclone Ului

Hi John, I've just joined this site, after reading posts for quite a few years, and I was amazed by your photos. You were really right on the spot, weren't you? I remember that cyclone and heard about the incredible damage but hadn't actually seen any pics of the results of the storm. I was wondering if the photos are now in the public domain and can be saved and used by others. Your comments on the actions some of these owners did or actually didn't take, hit the nail on the head. Sometimes I think that insurance plays a big part in things with some people having the attitude of "I don't really have to worry as I'm insured" although I know many people are not insured due to the high cost involved. To many of us our boats have a soul and are like part of the family so to not care seems alien. Anyway, I'll be interested to hear about the photos as I'd like to pass them on if possible.

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