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


Approaching and Departing from a Mooring

Approaching the Mooring:

  • As you near the mooring, aim for the rope’s loop, often to the side of the buoy.
  • Target the starboard (right) side, approximately 2 metres from the bow’s front.
  • Align your approach with the direction other boats face, using the tide or wind as a brake.
  • Approach head-on at low speed.
  • Station your first mate on the front deck with a ready boat hook.
  • Move forward slowly, avoiding sudden acceleration. Shift to neutral incrementally as you approach.
  • Aim to be nearly stationary with the bow over the rope.
  • If still inching forward upon reaching the mooring, briefly shift to reverse and back to neutral.
  • The deckhands peers over the side and confirms the position of the mooring.
  • Adjust the steering wheel if needed to get closer to the mooring.
  • If you miss, steer away from the mooring and turn the boat to attempt again.  It is easier to start again than make adjustments.  The boat is too heavy for the deckhand to pull the mooring rope in if not within easy reach.

Securing the Mooring:

  • Once the deckhand hooks the rope, they pull it up vertically without bending the pole.  Pick up and thread through the slot next to the anchor and loop it over the T bollard.
  • Always bring the mooring rope through the bow and avoid attaching it to the stern to keep the mooring rope away from the propellors.
  • Once moored the engine can now be shut down.

Departing from the Mooring:

  • When it’s time to depart, start the engine first.
    Have your deckhand toss the rope overboard.  The tide or wind will gradually pull your boat away.
  • Keep an eye on the rope’s position.
  • If the force is insufficient, engage the engine in reverse (gear only).
    Once clear, slowly move forward to circle around.


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 in calm weather and up to 25m of chain when in rough weather. 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 coloured cable tie every 5m.

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, there is not enough chain to safely anchor in calm weather.. 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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