Jun 21, 2021 Brad Stephenson

Safety Equipment

Deploying Life Ring. If someone accidentally falls overboard you must stop the boat, turn around if you have travelled far from the person, put the engine in neutral, throw them a life ring to the side of the person, being sure not to hit them.

Donning a life jacket. Put the jacket over your head and pass the strap around your waist and clip together.

Emergency VHF radio. Turn on the VHF radio and make sure it is on channel 16. Push the button to speak into the microphone and tell the person the name of the boat, the location and what the problem is. Eg medical emergency, boat damaged badly.

Fire extinguisher. If there is a fire, pull out the fire extinguisher, remove the locking pin and pull the trigger. Aim the foam at the base of the fire. There is a complete Scale F first aid kit onboard.

Boat Safety

Jun 30, 2021 Brad Stephenson


Approach the mooring aiming for the loop of the rope. Sometimes this may be to the side of the buoy. Aim to pickup the rope on the starboard (right) side about 2m back from the front of the bow. When coming up to anchor or a mooring, approach in the same direction as the other boats are pointing, ie with the tide or wind against you acting as a natural brake.

Approach the mooring head on at low speed and have your first mate on the front deck with the boat hook ready to hook the rope tail. Move very slowly up to the mooring in forward gear only (no acceleration) or in neutral in small increments.

If done very slowly when you get to the mooring you should be almost stopped with the bow above the rope. As soon as the mooring disappears under the bow, if you are still moving forward, put the gear lever into reverse for a few seconds then back to neutral. You will now be stopped.

You can tell which side the mooring is because your deckhand is over the side peering down to get it. If you need to you can then turn the steering wheel whichever way is necessary to get the boat as close to the mooring as possible and easy to pick up.

The deck hand will hook the rope of the mooring and pull the pole up and grab the rope. The deck hand will then put the pole down the hatch or down the hatch. Now simply loop the rope over the T bollard.

When leaving a mooring, have your deck hand throw the rope over the bow into the water. The tide or wind will pull you back off the mooring. Have the deck hand watch and tell you where the rope is. If the tide or wind is not strong enough to move you away from the mooring, put the engine in reverse without giving it any throttle, just in gear. Once you can see the mooring and rope and you are well clear of it slowly drive forwards around it.

Make sure that you bring the mooring rope up through the bow and do not attach to the stern.

Jul 5, 2021 Brad Stephenson


To deploy the anchor it has a friction nut located on the side of the winch. Back the nut off a fraction, give yourself about a metre or so of chain and nip the friction nut back up. If someone has pulled the anchor in hard and tight to the top, you can then knock it forward with your foot. Lower the anchor by releasing tension on the friction nut slightly so the anchor lowers slowly. When happy with the amount of anchor and chain deployed, tighten the friction nut firmly but don’t over tighten. Your length of chain deployed should be approximately 3-4 times the depth of water. Eg 5m of water requires at least 15m of anchor chain. Note the length of anchor chain deployed and be sure you will not hit another boat or the shore when spinning around on the anchor as the tide changes. You will spin continually depending on wind and tide movement.” The length of chain can be counted by the number of coloured cable ties on the anchor chain. There is a red cable tie every 5m and a white cable tie every 10m.

To pull the anchor back up, open the electric winch cover. It does not need much pressure to get it working. Place your heel on the top and gently push on the button. If you lower it too fast, the anchor chain can land on the anchor and stop it from burying itself into the riverbed and will not work.

If the anchor gets caught in rocks and cannot be pulled up by the anchor winch, try to motor a little bit further forward over the anchor and try to pull it straight up. Unless you anchor at the beach, the riverbed is dirty especially between Spencer and Brooklyn. So when you pull up the anchor you need to wash the mud off the chain and the deck with the bucket.

The tide is fast on the Hawkesbury and if you want to anchor you have to be prepared to get up in the middle of the night to ensure that the anchor is not going to be pulled out from the change of direction. It is much easier to use a mooring. There are not many moorings between Spencer and Brooklyn. It will take about two hours to get to Refuge Bay.

There is 50m of chain. The river is over 20m deep in some places. We strongly suggest you don’t anchor in these depths. Please anchor in under 10m of water if possible.

When coming up to anchor or a mooring, approach in the same direction as the other boats are pointing, ie with the tide or wind against you acting as a natural brake.

Bad weather – Mooring is much safer and easier, If there is a storm approaching and you are not on a mooring please make your way as fast as safely possible to the nearest protected bay and pickup a mooring.

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