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An anchor light is not a steaming light

  It’s not often I agree with Mr Don France from the Boat Owners Association (Afloat Aug’08) but I must agree with him regarding his comments about the position of navigation lights on yachts under sail or power, in harbours or enclosed waters.
  Last Saturday night I was the Master of a decent sized charter vessel on Sydney Harbour and from the lofty heights of my wheelhouse I get a pretty good view of craft around me. The weather was perfect, seas calm and visibility was miles.
  Travelling west past the Opera House out from Man-OWar wharf I steered the vessel to the northern side of the harbour (Kirribilli) and spotted a 30-35 foot yacht under power, steering a course down the middle of the harbour near the bridge. At first I couldn’t see any lights except a small glow from the cabin.
  On double checking and by sticking my head out of the wheelhouse window I did see the light! It was one of those ridiculous tri-colour lights mounted way up the top of the mast some 50-60 feet above the water level. From any side or angle at sea level the vessel was “cloaked”, as they say on Star Trek.
  It was there – but no way could you easily see it. If a faster moving vessel was on the same course astern of this yacht then ... well let’s leave it at that!
  So, let’s all keep pushing for all yachts to carry navigation lights at deck level when on enclosed waters and only use the tri-colour when at sea where harbour foreshore lights and simple geometry hides them from view.
  Finally sailors, when travelling under power you need a forward facing steaming light (225 degrees sweep) as well as red and green (112.5 degrees) and a stern light (135 degrees sweep). Don’t think your anchor light on top of the stick is the same as a steaming light. ’Cos it aint.
  How can you be at anchor while you’re moving under power?

Graham Forsaith,

Jervis Bay Harbour

  Your October issue has a sad commentary on our most beautiful marine park (Jervis Bay a ‘no-go’ zone for boaties by Greg Troy).
  Jervis Bay is unique … massive headland cliffs at its entrance, and a huge wide bay of crystal clear water surrounded by green slopes and clean beaches almost all protected by two national parks and Commonwealth army land. I have loved calling there on various sailing voyages.
  It certainly deserves marine park status, which was achieved by the hard work of many locals, annual research by university students and support from many others intrigued by its magic.
  But Greg Troy hits the nail on the head … there are no services.
  How about some help for boaters? A modest safe boat harbour that the Bay’s size and fetch demands, a place to pick-up and land stores or people, water, a pump-out station, and even a slipway to help the local boaties.
  I would personally plump for a small harbour and facilities near Vincentia, as well as lengthening the Callala Bay wharf as Troy suggests.
  None of this would spoil the wonderful Bay, and then we could sail down and enjoy it for a while … and include visits to the historic Husky Pub and the excellent Maritime Museum.

F.H. Talbot,
  Lane Cove.

The EntranceThe Entrance

  With reference to the current grading of the shallow sections of the Swansea Channel.
  I came across this very old photograph and thought it could be of interest to New South Wales Boat owners, to show how far we have progressed during the last century when it comes to dredging the Swansea Channel to give safe access for deep keel vessels from the open sea to Lake Macquarie.
  In Queensland they use a real dredge and remove the sand.

Ted Hilleard,
  by Email.

Trinity Point development Lake Macquarie

  Your correspondent, Frank Tebbutt, (Afloat Sept’08), makes some compelling points regarding the proposed outrageous Trinity Point development at Lake Macquarie.
  Not only is it inappropriate as Frank points out, but if it goes ahead as planned, the ecological damage to the Lake will be quite significant.
  The proposed Heliport, is unnecessary and will be of no use as a medivac site. It is an environmental problem, and is some 300 metres from land along a narrow walkway. It may well be the developer is using the ploy of asking for too much in the hope of getting the majority of his plans approved.
  Greed, however, may have clouded the developer’s judgement in regard to the perceived desirability and attractiveness of the natural environs of Lake Macquarie.
  Other than boating from the expensive proposed marina berths, international tourists are unlikely to find much to do at Trinity Point, nor is any local area likely to tempt them, despite the developer’s rhetoric.
  Let me say as a resident who lives at, and who loves Lake Macquarie, I am fully aware of its attractions, and its few drawbacks.
  I love sailing on Lake Macquarie. It is one of the best waterways on the east coast. It is Australia’s largest coastal salt water lake. Locals and many visitors come here to fish and water-ski, even jet-skiers are welcome … if they obey the rules.
  But if you come here simply to go boating in a 40-60ft ‘stinkboat’, you can forget about it. You will be bored to tears in 30 minutes. The developer proposes a marina for 300-plus of these inappropriate lake destroyers.
  How about just admiring the view? The views, from any part of the lake can best be described as very pleasant. Not magnificent, nor stunning, and certainly not “breath-taking”, as implied by the developer. People do swim in the lake, and to date none have been attacked, yet sharks have been sighted many times.
  Razor fish are now wide spread, and can do terrible damage to unprotected feet, so the idea that holiday makers can simply jump in the water without substantial footwear is hazardous in the extreme.
  Intending purchasers of property in this planned risky development should consider carefully what their requirements are before parting with the odd million or two, in this doomed proposal.
  Carefully examine the fate of Raffertys first.

George H. Mayall,

Price Inquiry into Single VMRO

  I was gratified to read your September editorial on a Single Volunteer Marine Rescue Group in NSW as proposed by the Price Report.
  The submission made by Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol to this inquiry not only proposed the establishment of such a single body but most importantly, it recommended that a completely new organisation be formed so that it could begin with no unrealistic demand on any members of existing organisations to be required to join another existing organisation.
  This vital change to a single volunteer marine rescue organisation in NSW could not be achieved under such a demand. Coastal Patrol recognized that and demonstrated its commitment to achieving this change by pledging to sacrifice its own name and roll all of its assets into such a new organisation.
  It was disappointing that our submission, and the other appendices referred to in the Price Report, were not available for public examination with the report so that all interested parties could see the extent to which Coastal Patrol and its members have committed to this vital step forward.
  Your editorial also referred to several issues that need to be addressed and I would like to advise that Coastal
  Patrol has already made great progress on many of these, including:
  Standardisation of equipment; A van to travel and deliver parts to distant bases/boats; Water Police funding of fuel after the Queensland model; A standard radio network; Offshore Tracking System, and Computer training for older volunteers.
  Coastal Patrol has been working at many levels to ensure that its standards and systems are appropriate for a volunteer marine rescue organisation of the 21st century. Unification of volunteer marine rescue members into a new, single organisation will be the great step forward that will enable these standards and systems to be fully implemented and utilised for recreational boating in NSW.
  What is needed now is to ensure that the momentum established by the Price Report is not deflected by other priorities of the NSW government that have emerged in recent weeks.
  I am pleased that Joe Tripodi has remained Minister for Ports and Waterways and will be able to maintain his strong interest in this matter and that Tony Kelly has been re-appointed Minister for Emergency Services as well as also taking on the role of Minister for Police. This will certainly make communications more streamlined within the three portfolios under which volunteer marine rescue operates.

Cdre Peter Phillipson ESM, Officer Commanding,
  Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.

Sydney to Coffs – sailing the full circle

  In the beginning a few yachties organised a race to South Solitary Island and returned to Broken Bay. This event grew into a seven race series – four races in the Palm Beach Circle, the long passage race to Coffs and two glorious races in sunny Coffs.
  Prizegivings were held in a packed RSL – winners receiving their trophies to the musical themes of their boat names, such as Abracadabra and The Bill blasting from the stage as the big screen continuously showed highlights of all the week’s action, while the crews and families danced the night into oblivion.
  Memories of the traditional cricket match and the reserved stools at the Pier Hotel where the races were verbally re-run each night into the wee hours.
  Them were the days me maties! You then returned home to nail up yet another Coffs skite plate to the picture rail, keeping the battle memories fresh for yet another year.
  This year after receiving the results of a questionnaire sent to skippers it appears the Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race will be reduced to a two race series.
  Well, next year perhaps a few yachties will sail to South Solitary and return to Broken Bay completing the full circle.
  Where have all the sailors gone?

Grant Halliday,

New Generation Anchors

  There certainly has been a lot of interest in the New Generation Anchors that have appeared on the market since 2004. Many people have given great feedback from secure overnight anchoring in cruising grounds from Moreton to Recherche Bay
  While take up has been slow from some die‐hards with their 1930s CQR, Rocna has found many people are tucking away their CQR as a spare and fitting a new Rocna for the primary. In most cases where a CQR will fit a Rocna will fit.
  We have found some older design yachts need an additional bow roller to fit a self-launching anchor. Many feel it was worth the hassle if bow roller revisions were needed.
  The conclusions reached by the club speakers during the anchoring talk at the CYCA in July was to encourage yachtsmen to update and in some cases be able to downsize
  their anchors to New Generation Anchors.

Laurence Burgin,
  Marine Stainless (Rocna Australia).

Australian National Line colours pre- and post-1988.Under two Flags and two Funnels

  Here is a photo of the River Embly’s funnels, taken while I was an AB there in 1988. The company was instructed to adopt the new funnel colours to the fleet, and the River Embly at that time was employed in the Alumina ore trade Weipa–Gladstone.
  Obedient to instructions, painting began but could not be completed before turn around.
  The Embly sailed north showing the one funnel with redundant colours while the other displayed the new National values. Change of flags presented no problem but the old ones were hard to find.
  Which one is the new? It’s not the red white and blue.

Lance Melbourne,
  Sans Souci.

Milk boats

  Further to Greg Johnson (Afloat Oct’08) regarding the Waiwera and his Seahorse. While I don’t recollect those names, as a now retired surveyor for the Maritime, I recall the milk boats and one in particular working as a LFB out of Forster in the mid ’80s.
  I can remember talking to the fisherman at the time saying it was one of a number of similar milk boats built by Bill Ryan and brothers of Taree.
  The boat was similar to the photo of Seahorse except the milk boats were flush deck. I met Bill Ryan a couple of times and knew his son Tim who sailed 12-footers at the Balmain club.
  Bill Ryan was a great boatbuilder who built some very solid fishing boats during his time and he also set up the keel frame and moulds, etc, for the William the Forth replica built at Raymond Terrace about the 1980s.

Bill Bollard,
  Daleys Point.

H28 Jenny Wren

  Doug Jenkin’s request for information on the H28 Jenny Wren (Afloat Sep’08) brings back many happy memories.
  Jenny Wren
was purchased by my father-in-law, Angus Campbell, in the early seventies (probably 1974). He kept her moored at the junction between the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers and was a member, and later club captain, of the Greenwich Flying Squadron (GFS). Upon purchasing her he promptly changed her name to Cruachan (the Campbell family war cry) and used her as a cruising boat. My then fiancée and I accompanied him and his wife on the GFS annual cruise to the Hawkesbury River on a number of occasions including one memorable one which included New Year’s Eve at the Gosford Aquatic Club.
  In those days the H28 was one of the larger boats in the Squadron. Most of the other ‘cruisers’ being Bluebirds, Endeavours and Top Hats. Today my Young 88, Speedwell, at 29 feet is the smallest boat racing in the club’s first division twilight series with most boats being 40 feet plus and not a timber boat to be found.
  She was a fine sailer on a reach and when running but a little sluggish to windward. I remember her as having a pale blue deck with white topsides and a varnished coachhouse.
  Certainly one of the prettiest boats on Sydney Harbour. Unfortunately she sank at her mooring in about 1976 and while not damaged structurally was written off by the broker. It was universally thought that the toilet valve had been left open and the inlet hose had come loose.
  Angus promptly bought her back and placed her on a hardstand at Roseville where he gutted the interior, washed out all the mud and rebuilt her furniture. I regret to advise that although everything else is original the interior is not.  Angus sold her towards the end of the eighties but she did not stray far. I saw her for many years moored in the NW corner of Woodford Bay and with her original name Jenny Wren restored. Angus is now 90 but remembers her well.

Colin Geeves,
  Balmain East. 

Wayfarer returns to Sydney HarbourWayfarer returns to Sydney Harbour

  With the passing of her first owner, Peter Luke, aged 93, Wayfarer has been purchased by Gayle and Peter Smith and will be managed by the Brotherhood of the Coast to undertake charitable activities with sailors with an intellectual disability.
  Peter Luke was instrumental in founding the CYCA. Wayfarer was built in Gladesville in 1940 and was quickly enrolled in the Volunteer Coastal Patrol – these Police Patrols of the Harbour and coast were in the era of the midget submarine attack in Sydney Harbour.
  She sailed in the inaugural Sydney to Hobart in 1945 setting a record for the slowest race (11:06:20) which still stands. Subsequently as offshore racing became established in Australia Wayfarer sailed in a number of Hobarts, the Auckland to Sydney and Lord Howe. Later Wayfarer became home to Peter Luke and his family – for many years in Mosman and Pittwater before Peter settled at Port Stephens 20 years ago.
  Now Wayfarer will become a regular sight around Sydney.

Peter Smith,
  by email.

Draw your Brakes

  I am always puzzled by the performance of present day motor cruisers in the 6-20 metre range when cruising power is applied to the engine room.
  When taxiing away from their berth/mooring the vessel’s posture on the water is “slap on” but once the throttle is pulled on, DOWN goes the stern, UP comes the bow and oceans of water is dragged astern in violent turbulence, acting like disc brakes on a car – a posture that defies good design and powering.
  It is, and always has been, a rule of thumb in ship design that to obtain optimum performance, comfort, and fuel economy a vessel whether displacement hull or V-bottom, should use its full waterline length at all speeds resulting in a “clean” wake and no drag astern.

Allan Whiter,

Neville Shute – Wheezer and Dodger

  Your interesting article relating the role of HMAS Melbourne et al in the filming of On the Beach understates the book’s author, Neville Shute Norway, as having been “an Australian scientist who had played an active role in the development of new weapons in WWII”.
  Any reader of his fascinating biography Slide Rule will know that he was British born and raised, but may well have become an Australian citizen in retirement after emigrating here in 1950.
  Shute was first and foremost an aeronautical engineer, and in his significant career pre-war was involved among other things in the design of the ill-fated R100 and R!01 airships.
  He was also the founder in 1931 of the aircraft company Airspeed Ltd. Shute’s detailed knowledge and passion for aviation is evident in many of his novels. Several others of which became films, including A Town like Alice.
  During the war he worked in the UK Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development (which was colloquially known as the ‘Wheezers and Dodgers’) as an engineer. He is attributed with the succinct definition of an engineer as being “... a man who can make something for five bob that any bloody fool can make for a quid!”.

Mike Cuming,

‘Borrowing’ someone else’s mooring

  My understanding of using private mooring is that it is OK as long as a competent person remains with the visiting vessel at all times and that the visitor vacates that mooring immediately when requested by the mooring owner. Having a boat and a mooring I would like to be able to pick up a vacant mooring occasionally and have no problem with anyone using mine when I am away from it.
  Tom Hughes (Afloat Oct’08) is absolutely correct – will the spare mooring you are thinking of using be suitable? I would not want my equipment compromised and would not knowingly cause another boater problems. That is why in my heavy older 46-footer I don’t pick up moorings. They may not be strong enough.
  I brought this issue up with a prominent boating organisation and was told to look at the gear attached to the buoy and judge whether it will be suitable! While that method may provide an indication of the maintenance standards applied to a mooring it does not tell how heavy the chain and seabed tackle is and this information could be crucial in an emergency. So how can we correctly judge the situation?
  The organisation I was speaking with was not interested in promoting to NSW Maritime a simple colour-coded buoying system – say 0-5 tonnes green buoy, 5-10 tonnes yellow buoy etc – with suitable beefed up tackle as the load specifications increase which is what happens when a contractor puts down a mooring … they ask what size boat they are working to. In can’t be too difficult. All that would be needed is different coloured moorings buoys.
  So, if that boating organisation is not interested, who do we approach to get something, which would cost virtually nothing, moving?

Sue Merricks,

Public use of private moorings

  Commodore Anderson has my sincere sympathies in his rant regarding selfish, ignorant boaters not vacating his club moorings immediately … on being politely requested to do so. (Afloat Oct’08)
  Unfortunately all sports and activities have their share of ‘cowboys’ and boating is no exception.
  Tom Hughes’s (Afloat Oct’08) harrowing tale about the arrogant, vindictive – and arguably criminal – behaviour of these Skiff Club officials attests to that!
  In both the above instances, however, NSW Maritime’s ‘private’ swing mooring sharing rules were obviously being flouted – so the offenders could have had their Rego Nos taken and been reported to the Authority.
  Commodore Anderson’s enviable radio skills would come in handy there!
  As I clearly indicated previously, Sir, I do currently own, and maintain, a NSW Maritime ‘private’ mooring … have done, in two locations, over the past 34 years and have always been happy that any other boater use it, while I am off cruising.
  Certainly, on a number of occasions over the years, I have returned to find myself ‘snookered’ by the local marina ‘cowboy’ who had placed an unoccupied vessel, on my mooring. On one occasion the offending deep draught yacht touched bottom at low tide and then damaged my neighbour’s boat as it swung to the breeze! However, such inconsiderate, ignorant conduct is surely no reason to oppose courteous, sensible sharing of these facilities, which, collectively, all owners of ‘privately’ moored vessels pay for.
  I found the good Commodore’s remarks re my laziness, incompetence and need for his assistance on all matters nautical, just a tad gratuitous – simply because I am a complete stranger to this gentleman!
  Of course, any Tom, Dick or Commodore is free to score cheap points in a publication but they are irrelevant to the issue – whether or not recreational boaters should make temporary use of a vacant ‘private’ mooring – as per Maritime’s guidelines?
  So far, however, it would appear that this may be a divisive – even toxic topic! Must we all volubly and vehemently defend our expensive little pirouettes ‘in paradise’, against all comers, at all times – or may we briefly share these facilities when they are not being used?
  Meanwhile – perhaps best to anchor off! As you have all learned, I can’t – but I hope you can!

John Flett,

R.M. Miller – a good egg

  An avid fan of your magazine for many years, I was interested to read Mr Archer’s letter (Afloat Oct’08) taking Graeme Andrews to task for referring to R.M. Miller as a “hard taskmaster”.
  I know very little about Mr Miller, however, I note from the letter that he was apparently a very caring and generous man, especially to those in the community who were underprivileged. These outstanding qualities are commendable and we should all appreciate having them pointed out to us.
  Notwithstanding this though, I’m sure Graeme Andrews would be a little put out having his statement labelled a “furphy”.


  Laurence Burgin of Anchorworld Pty Ltd – Aus distributor of Rocna anchors, has advised Afloat that all genuine Rocna anchors are made in New Zealand.
  It has always been my understanding that a “hard taskmaster” is a person who demands the very best from his employees and accepts nothing less. I assume that to have run a business for as long as, and as successfully as R.W. Miller Co Pty Ltd, being a “hard taskmaster” would not only be an admirable quality, but an entirely necessary one, and I don’t see how this would detract in any way at all from the character of the man.
  In fact, if Mr Miller were “here to defend himself”, I wonder whether he would actually find himself agreeing with Graeme?

Dave Rickard,
  Hallett Cove, SA.


What boat is this?What boat is this?

  At the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club we have been given a very old painting of what appears to be a Sydney Harbour 18ft skiff.
  We would like to identify the boat, and are wondering if any Afloat readers could help in putting a name to her. The mainsail carries a very distinct emblem.

Mike Eggleston,
  Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. 

Yacht SuperbYacht Superb

  Every year I renew my efforts to locate information on the Superb a shallow draft, centre-rigged yacht built by Norman Wright (his first commission).
  The boat was built in 1909 presumably in South Brisbane for my great grandfather James Hogan Smith, who just so happened to work for Norman Wright and Sons for most of his life.
  There is no record of her being in the family so I have nothing else to go on unfortunately. If I did locate her intact I would probably make an offer immediately.
  She is referred to in this weblink as the Superb  

I don’t get back to Australia often these days as I work and live in Hampshire, UK, so all research has to be done remotely.
  I thought that if I could get my query out to the widest possible audience within the classic boat community, I would logically increase my chances.

Martin J Smith, 
  Hampshire, UK.


  Steve Mair, MD of Manson Marine & Engineering, NZ, has advised Afloat that all Manson Supreme anchors are proudly built on site at Manson in Auckland and have achieved Super High Holding Power under Lloyds classification scheme.