Im considering a passage up the QLD coast from Brisbane to Cairns later in the year... leaving perhaps mid November. I'd be sailing a 34' ?utter rigged sloop with 2 people aboard.
Welcome any advice / guidance / warnings. Has anyone done this trip late in the year? Curious to hear peoples opinions on the weather and passage plans? How long would you reasonably think it would take? Thanks
I feel as though cyclone warning are decent now and plenty of warning is given when one is approaching. We stayed in Northern Queensland between the Whitsundays and Magnetic Island last cyclone season without issue. Some of the marinas require pretty significant insurance in order to enter during a cyclone so if you don't have the required insurance you should be prepared to find cyclone holes in mangroves etc. Provided you are always 4-5 days from a safe haven and keep a close eye on warning it should be fine. We ended up sailing North from the Whitsundays to Townsville as the marinas here don't require more than 3rd part insurance to enter. The only thing that was annoying was that while no cyclone hit the region we were in the near constant threat of one hitting means you have to be prepared to run for cover a lot of the time.
Thanks Herreshoff. I can understand that. Cairns marinas have cyclone contingency plans which detail systematically moving all vessels up into that mangroves. I think I'd be keeping the boat on anchor or swing mooring so she'd be heading up the creeks in a cyclone anyway. Certainly something to keep in mind during the passage north as well.
Does anyone have advice for insurance in the tropics? I'm thinking only 3rd Party and its a late 1970's boat? I'm thinking just enough to get her into marinas should the need arise and cover her while on the swing. Thanks
Every marina I have ever gone into Cairns included- have required $10,000,000 Liability cover. Does 3rd party do that? Some insurances won't cover you above the 26 parallel (approx Rocky) without cyclone cover. And some of them will change the cyclone season to suit them (Club Marine has defined cyclone season from April). I would be hesitant to think you'll get into any marina in FNQ without comprehensive insurance at that time of year.