If you haven't already, have a look on Boatpoint
You mention buying
a boat around 30' and upgrading. You are probably aware that it can take a long time to sell a boat, and buying
may involve extensive lengthy searches so it may be best to buy a boat that is suitable for your intended trip right from the start. Some on this Forum have the view that smaller boats are quite acceptable, but my personal opinion is that a couple should be looking at a boat of around 36' length and a reasonable beam.
is compulsory (just like a car), Operators' licenses are not needed for a boat unless it goes over 9 knots or (for dingies) has an outboard
of more than 5hp. Check with NSW Maritime
to get exact details (They have a free handbook.).
The NSW Maritime handbook will list all safety
equipement that you are required to have on board, including an EPIRB
if you go more than 2nm offshore
. A VHF radio
is a good idea, but does need a licence, though some seem to go without.
is not compulsory but is strongly recommended. NRMA and Club Marine
are major players so it may be wise to discuss insurance with them before buying the boat. They may not insure beyond 200nm from shore so it gets trickier from then on.
I have been told that Sydney to Cairns can be done in short hops with careful planning esp. regarding weather
and bars (sand, not hotel). (Alan Lucas' guidebooks
are the go here). Food
and ATM's are likely to be available at most major stops.
Once you leave Oz you'll need AMSA Registration
on your boat. Buying one with the needed documentation
(esp. Builder's Certificate) will make life easier. The broker or seller should help here.
As you don't look to have any plans to buy a project
boat (don't even think about it) or to do significant repairs
now would be a good time to look for a surveyor
not connected with brokers, marinas
or shipyards. Take your time, have a serious browse of the net on how to evaluate a yacht, and please get back to us if you need any more help. In any event having a large stash of cash (50% of boat cost?) available in the bank for upgrades/improvements/safety equipement etc. can be a very good idea.
If you're planning on cruising to Asia
starting from Brisbane
or further up the Queensland
coast may be easier and quicker.
Leaving from Darwin the Sail Indonesia Rally
may be your best way to reach Indonesia