Marinka's voyage

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This forum is for members to share their top hat sailing experiences, whether it be an interesting day sail, a coastal passage, or a journey across the oceans.
These experiences may be good, bad or ugly!, it is intended that we can learn from each other, & encourage each other to get out there & enjoy these wonderful yachts.

Marinka's voyage

Postby Marinka » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:22 am

Tuesday 19th January 2010 after test sailing a Westsail 32 in Rosslyn Bay I decided to fly to Newcastle to test sail a Top Hat 25 on Lake Macquarie. I then purchased Marinka, a Mark 2A Top Hat 25 with a Nanni 10 HP diesel with only 500 hours notched up and the benefit of being fresh water cooled with a heat exchanger. She has the dunny in the centre under the V berth and a dinette for two. The jib is roller furling and she has a main with 3 reefs but no other sails. I also purchased a Montgomery 6ft 8 in tender that sits nicely on the foredeck and that is OK to move around and sit upon. Monty is very stable and Alan Neubauer makes them here in Oz, when he has time.
On Friday 12th March 2010 I drove from the Sunshine Coast to Lake Macquarie, stopping overnight at Laurieton. After collecting Monty from Brooklyn on Saturday I moved her from the mooring she had been on for several years to the nearby Wangi Wangi Workers Club and for the next few days prepared her for the voyage. That included fitting the auto helm, wiring 12 v plugs to be able to charge my LapTop on which I ran my electronic charts and my position through a USB GPS, charge phones and power my other handheld Garmin etreck GPS. I also stowed a new anchor and rode and provisioned for the trip. Sunday I collected a mate from Newcastle Airport and we beavered away until Tuesday lunchtime, occasionally refuelling with a few beers. Wangi was a beaut little haven and the locals were very helpful. It comes highly recommended. We took off on Tuesday afternoon and sailed and motored out to the Swansea bridge being released to the sea at 5:00 pm, where we took up a courtesy mooring for the night.
On Wednesday at 0720 hours we crossed the very calm Swansea bar and motored north, raising the main shortly after to motorsail. When we were off Port Stephens as the conditions were almost perfect, we decided to keep going to Laurieton so motored into the night, with the Broughton Islands fading to the South as the sun set. A beautiful night wishing for more wind. Next morning off Diamond Head we yarned to Shaun as he was sailing Night Cap to Broken Bay and then we crossed the Camden Haven Bar at about 1200 hours where we picked up a mooring at the Dunbogan Boat Shed, which also comes highly recommended. I then had to run around abit – hiring cars and doing car shuffles etc to head back to the Sunny Coast.
On Friday 24th April 2010 I drove back to Laurieton and spent the next few days preparing Marinka for her trip to Mooloolaba. Shaun very kindly collected me and drove me to the airport to collect another mate for the trip north. I am grateful to both Shaun and Phillip for keeping an eye on Marinka.
On Monday 26th April 2010 we dropped the mooring at 0900 and crossed the bar at 0930, and after putting a double reef in the main we were off to a flying start. The wind was from the SW at 22 knots gusting to 27 knots with a slight sea state. Had a good sail that day and into the night, past the inside of Fish Rock at Smoky Cape, and past Coffs Harbour at 5am. The breeze had died off so motor sailed a good part of the way with some nice bits of sailing in between to arrive at the Gold Coast Seaway at 1800 hours on Wednesday night, and our first stop at Runaway Bay marina where I refuelled the boat, the trusty crew and I (beaut Malaysian Restaurant there at the Marina. Then slept for 5 hours to catch the tide at 2:00 am with the flood to take us north into Moreton Bay where should get a good run with the ebb tide, in theory at least. 25 hours later, we sailed into Mooloolaba at 3:00 am Friday morning. Highlights included sailing within 1 to 2 miles of the coast the whole way to avoid the east Australian current; having dolphins play of the bow during the night and letting Georgina the auto helm do her thing while I sat on the dingy watching them play in the glow of the nav lights; changing fuel filters off Cape Byron; getting into the calm of the Gold Coast seaway and then running aground at Jacobs Well – tricky bit there where if you follow the lateral marks you are bound to run aground – the local VMR Jacobs Well knows that spot only too well - but only sand so nice spot to sit and wait for the tide to rise – and just having a good enjoyable trip. While we did a lot of motoring as on a schedule the diesel was easy to listen to although she has another 50 hours on her now. She is a great little sea boat. Cheers Peter

Re: Marinka's voyage

Postby Phillip » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:49 pm


Sounds like the rest of your trip from Laurieton went really well.:D

Shaun and I enjoyed your stay at Dunbogan and we extend
our welcome to any others who may pass this way.

Laurieton, on the Camden Haven River at Dunbogan.
A 1969 Mark 1

Home port is at Dunbogan on the Camden Haven Inlet, Laurieton NSW
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