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Old 25-04-2014, 06:00   #1
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Cruising Qld Coast - August /Sept.

My plan is to fly into Bne late July, buy a 26 - 32' Keelboat in Bne and sail north. I definitely have 8 weeks.

I have sailed solo from Hobart to Sydney (last Century).
Have around $30k for the purchase.
- have been studying "" for many months now:
Have 'Lucas' Cruising the Coral Coast' ordered and on way.

What to do after 8 weeks is a mystery at moment... I could be in Townsville (perhaps).

Suggestions on how to speed up the purchase / preparation in BNE welcomed.
Any other questions / comments / suggestions welcomed.

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Old 29-04-2014, 17:28   #2
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Re: Cruising Qld Coast - August /Sept.

Originally Posted by Scare_Rab View Post
What to do after 8 weeks is a mystery at moment... I could be in Townsville (perhaps).
I can't really help on speeding up the purchase of a boat or preparations but can help on some places to see along the way. The 8 weeks period is fine to get from Brisbane to say Townsville and see lots on the way as long as the boat you buy is ready to go. If not, you could well find yourself spending your 8 weeks in Moreton Bay!

However, assuming all goes well, which we hope, some suggestions would be:

Brisbane to Mooloolaba, about 50nm depending on where you start in BNE. Mooloolaba is a good place to pick your timing for the Wide Bay Bar, a simple check is if they are surfing at Mooloolaba, the Bar will be pretty bad.

Mooloolaba to Wide Bay, another 50nm or so. Best to leave on weather that allows you to go straight across the Bar .... calm in Mooloolaba and arrive say about an hour before high tide. Having to wait behind Double Island Point is a pain, very rolly. Once there, you can pick your anchorage, I usually stop just inside at Pelican Point.

Choose your own itinerary up the Great Sandy Straight. If you want to go straight through, leave Pelican point at low tide, carry the current up the Straight and hit Sheridan Flats (shallows) about an hour before high tide., the tide you need to check is Boonlye Point. Pick your anchorage after that, Kingfisher Resort is good as long as there is no Northery. Get a 4WD tour of Fraser Island, it is worthwhile.

My usual next stop is Bundeberg Port Marina, they have a free bus into town for provisioning. You can also go up the Burnett River, a bit shallow so depends on your draft.

The next leg you can choose from a number of options they are all in Lucas, I quite like Pancake Creek, Pearl Bay, Island Head Creek and Port Clinton. The only thing to check as you get a bit further north is make sure these anchorages are open as they have military war games there and are frequently closed.

Leeks Beach or South Beach on Great Keppel Island are great, depends on wind direction. Keppel Bay marina is good and close to Yepoon or Rockhampton for provisioning, and Middle Percy Island is a must.

Mackay good for provisioning and some good restaurants on the marina.

Easy sail from there to the Whitsunday Islands and you can choose from the 74 islands. My usual trip is Mackay, Brampton, Goldsmith, Shaw and then on to Airlie Beach stopping wherever else we fancy. Whitehaven Beach is a must but don't just anchor there, also go around to Tongue Point and go up to the lookout, the view over Hill Inlet (the Shifting Sands) is breathtaking. Cid Harbour and Nara Inlet are both very good bolt holes if it turns nasty.

Further north from Airlie, again pick your chosen anchorages, Woodwark, Double Bay, Gloucester Passage etc.

From Gloucester I don't usually stop much, just easy days wherever is suitable for the conditions. Cape Upstart is good in a SEaster, Cape Bowling Green is shallow and can kick up a bit in fresh conditions but a good overnight anchorage behind it, Horeshoe Bay on Magnetic Island is a good anchorage and a glass of wine and some oysters at the pub while watching the sunset is not too shabby.

Then you are at Townsville
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Old 29-04-2014, 19:06   #3
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Re: Cruising Qld Coast - August /Sept.

Originally Posted by Scare_Rab View Post
Suggestions on how to speed up the purchase / preparation in BNE welcomed.

I think your plan is a bit optimistic to avoid eating into those 8 weeks. Your mindset will be to get on the water and go, and this may influence you to make decisions that fit with a short timeframe rather than good planning or cost.

Let's say you arrive on the Friday night with a schedule to look at multiple boats, and actually do make the buying decision on one that weekend. Then you go on an offer/counter offer process with the seller(s), and settle on a price quickly. You have the surveyor and haulout prebooked for say the Wednesday (needed for insurance so can't be skipped). If all goes well, you could be onboard by the Thursday. But if the survey turns up something unexpected then your plans have turned to mush.

You could also do the negotiation process before looking at the boat, but you shouldn't commit before seeing it.

Once it's yours, there will no doubt be some preparation work (a boat < $30k is unlikely to be ready for the trip without some work), and many things to buy. What happens if you find the ideal boat but it needs something replaced and that needs to be shipped from overseas.

It may actually save you money by flying up for your boat buying trip a couple of weeks earlier, and should definitely save time. This gives more time for the negotiation process without the pressure of time, and you can also buy/order stuff before the 8 week clock starts ticking.

Most people would spend a lot longer looking for and buying a boat, let alone the voyage preparation. Not saying you can't do it, but everything will need to fall in place nicely. Boating has a habit of not doing that.

For crusing guides, 100 Magic Miles is the bible for the Whitsundays, while Beacon to Beacon is excellent for the coast up to Rockhampton.
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Old 29-04-2014, 19:40   #4
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Re: Cruising Qld Coast - August /Sept.

I am trying to get a handle on your timeframe and the need to do it this way specifically? I agree that stuffing around buying/fixing a boat will eat into your time considerably.

Do you know anyone boat smart in Brisbane that can narrow down the search and scope out prospective boats in advance?? Will you get a survey?

You could also actually buy the boat sight unseen, do your research on the net, email alot, get a survey done before you get there, so you are handing over money on arrival if happy, knowing whats wrong before you have gotten there.

To do this you would want to be buying a known design. Ie a Compass 29, Eastcoast 31 etc. etc etc.

To do this again get alot of photos, get accurate detailed inventory information and ask lots of questions. In yacht inventories it is often what is not said, and not there that is important.

If it was me, I would make the effort to fly in/fly back for a weekend or two before hand though and find the boat and get the wheels in motion in advance.

The below Eastcoast looks to be an interesting 'cruise ready' proposition.
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