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Cruising Helmsman

Cruising Helmsman May 2020

Cruising Helmsman is devoted exclusively to all types of cruising under sail. We focus on cruising destinations and how to get the most out of them, provide expert advice for the practical sailor and have a range of real-life accounts from seasoned cruisers and their on-board experiences.

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in this issue

3 min.
no sailor is an island

WHEN publishing a monthly magazine it is an easy statement to make that a month is a long time in publishing. Last April in this same editorial I was rhapsodising about my trip to Germany to visit the Boot Dusseldorf boat show. I shudder when I think of how close I may have come to being caught in the Covid-19 crosshairs. This May issue is a good example of how quickly this pandemic has taken over the world and changed it irrevocably. Many of the stories, even some of the advertising, promote events that are sadly no longer occurring. Sailing events around the world have all been cancelled: boat shows, regattas, rallies, etc., have all fallen foul of either physical distancing regulations or border closings. Here in Australia, my partner and I imposed staying…

7 min.

Entries open for Airlie Beach Race Week ENTRY for the Whitsunday Airlie Beach Festival of Sailing can be found online, along with the notice of race. The Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) hallmark regatta, now in its 32nd year, will be held from 6-13 August, again featuring some of the most scenic courses on offer in the world. According to Race Director Ross Chisholm, “Competitors really enjoy the challenge of the mass start with well over 100 yachts jostling for position on two start lines.” The mass start also provides a breathtaking sight for locals and tourists to the beautiful Whitsundays at this popular time of year. Where else would you want to be sailing in an Australian winter? Entry is open for IRC Passage, One Design, Performance Racing, Performance Cruising, Non-Spinnaker, Sports Boat, Trailable…

1 min.
best of the web

INTERNATIONAL SAILING ACADEMY The top web story this month was a feelgood one. Possibly due to so much bad news currently floating around? When the 2020 Laser Masters World Championships were postponed indefinitely owing to the Coronavirus, the Victorian Laser Association, was facing financial losses from the cancellation. The VLA executive was therefore pleased to be informed that the International Sailing Academy was transferring its sponsorship from the Worlds to the Oceanic and Australian Laser Masters Championship, which at time of writing was still going ahead. Nice work ISA. facebook.com/ CruisingHelmsman…

2 min.
letter of the month

IS SAFETY TOO EXPENSIVE THE late advertising guru Leo Burnett once said “only 50% of my ads work, the problem is I don’t know which 50%.” The same can be said about safety, literally an investment for life. Yes, safety can be expensive, but this is not to say the canny buyer cannot maximise the value for their hard-earned cruising dollar. We find taking a whole-of-life approach on equipment pays dividends. Consider: not only the purchase cost, but the quality, cost of servicing, whether the item can be self-serviced, the reliability and reputation of the retailer in regards to warranty and defects. It is also possible to use perfectly good generic brands versus premium brand products. A major national chandlery offers replacement PFD 33 gram CO? cylinder refills for $19.95 and $25.95. Same cylinder,…

17 min.
across the pacific by rope

WITH a happy and competent crew plus ample provisions for 3 months, Chaotic Harmony (hereafter known as CH) made a departure from Balboa in Panama for the Island of Mangaroa (Gambier Island) in French Polynesia. Travelling via the Las Perlas group of Islands on the 17th February 2012 she left with a full passage plan of expected conditions, no pressing maintenance requirements and new sails and rigging. We had hauled out in Colon to make ready for the Pacific and Chaotic Harmony was launched with a very slippery ablative bottom, a full service of both main Yanmar engines and sail drives. The bending on of new sails and a complete new suite of throughhulls were installed for the crossing before transitting the canal and provisioning in Balboa at one of the world’s…

12 min.
new silver gull rides again

KENNETH Grahame wrote in his wonderful children's book, ‘The wind in the willows’ “believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” I think Ratty got it right - to a timber boat tragic, there is no better way to describe the joys of owning such a beautiful 'living' thing. This is the story of the bringing back to life of a traditional timber yacht, New Silver Gull. Having been left to the elements for too long, she was recovered just in time and restored to be, now, a classic yacht in every way. THE BEGINNING A bright and sunny day way back in 1989, we had our first look at this dilapidated wreck of a boat, New Silver…