Having gone in out of the entrance to Brisbane Waters hundreds of times over the past 20 years I have never seen it in worse shape. Even though my Phantom 32 only draws 5 ft, we ran aground twice a fortnight ago when in the middle of the marked channel, at mid-tide. For the past decade it has been safe for us to go through even at the bottom of the tide.
If you intend to visit Brisbane Waters over the Summer be sure to enter and leave near the top of the tide. I can only hope that continued pressure from sailors will force the local council/state government to do something before someone is seriously injured.
Although the council refuses to acknowledge their liability, the large earthworks to the Ettalong foreshore has dumped huge amounts of silt into the channel.
The worst part is at the very entrance which can be exposed to swell. I used to enter and leave on any tide with a 6.5 foot draft and now I need a high tide. On Saturday I left with a 1.5 m high tide and was very close to touching bottom.
I went in there years ago on a Dufour 34. Plenty of water.
a couple of years back I watched a yacht get washed onto the sand bar just west of the entrance channel in a strong southerly. I recall it made the news or Afloat magazine.
The Box Head Channel has become very shallow again, since removing the dredge.
I went through, in a friends stink boat, last week and we touched the bottom.
He draws 1.2m.
Palm beach ferry has been diverting to Patonga wharf ,especially low tides and any kind of bad weather .
You need to check their website daily of register for txt message to what wharf they are using.
We ran aground further north of box head in the channel in my Spacesailor 24 at the time. Confused by the dozens of port and starboard markers where the channel splits and there's a sand bar in the middle. After trying to get off for a couple of hours gave up and called the coast patrol. They came down and as approaching us their boat lurched sideways and stopped. You guessed it
They have needed a permanent fix for the entrance to Brisbane Waters for a century. The State Gov is happy to take registration and mooring fees from the huge number of boats in Brisbane Waters but gives us precious little in return. I guess they are too busy spending our money on mega-stadiums and toll roads.
I was out there having a look on Tuesday just after the tide started running out, with a small 1m swell the channel was chaos.
We were going in and out of that channel at around this time last year and it was no where near as bad as it is now, It seems that without dredging or some changes made access to the Brisbane waters will be curtailed to many yachts.
Does the Lady Kendell still get through there ?.
I doubt it. Perhaps at the top of the tide only. The Palm beach/Wagstaff ferry cat captains know it like the back of their hands but even they have been hitting the bottom.
When I lived at Ettalong years ago the channel was always a problem, they were constantly moving the
channel markers. Back then a fast ferry service to Sydney was proposed but never came to fruition, just as well
if it couldn't get out of Brisbane Waters. Mind you, I suppose if a commercial ferry was operating they would
have to dredge the channel. They just won't do it for the little people.
The draft of my yacht is 2.4m - Is there any chance of getting her into the Brisbane Waters and up to Gosford? High Tide only? any tips ?
Thanks in advance.
Probably doable at high tide with no swell but I wouldn't risk it. I've been sailing to lobster beach for a surf a bit lately. Entrance to channel is about 0.8m at low tide. In a decent swell waves break both directions. Surveyors were mapping channel last time so something might be happening.
Some funding has just been allocated for emergency dredging in the channel. This will be a temporary solution, to get the Palm Beach to Ettalong ferry service up and running again.
Getting through with a 2.4m draft would be difficult in any conditions.
A yacht with 1.8m draft was stuck at high tide last week and barely made it through.
My boat draws 1.43m and entering from Broken Bay on 19 April I grounded 100m into the channel, 1 hour from low tide. On previous occasions this had been passable for me. The realisation of trouble was having the catamaran passenger ferry pass me while travelling out of the marked channel alongside the rocks. They obviously knew the situation. I completed the trip 1 hour before high tide using the route taken by the ferry.
Latest news in the local paper is that a 3rd dredging of the channel in 12 months may begin in June. This is recognised as an interim fix to allow the ferries to operate and long term solutions are being sought.
In the meantime check with Central Coast Marine Rescue. Lauriel