Advice for a beginner

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Snow 1 year, 4 months ago. This post has been viewed 1076 times

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  • #2148


    We have travelled from Wyndham to Broome last year on charter boat MV Oceanic. Would love to do the trip again but in our own boat. I have limited sailing experience but am used to navigating (commercial pilotūüôą).

    If you were starting from scratch what would be the must do’s and don’ts.

    ie Рwould you sail (cat or mono) or motor boat only?  minimum size?

    I can hear you experienced boaties going ” oh my God hear goes another one” but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2149


    Gday snow,I to was faced with this dilemma also. I have lived in Darwin for 30 + years and been a keen fisherman during that time, we all pretty much started out with 12 foot roof top tinnys in the day and slowly progressed to 4.5 to 6.0 metre and even bigger plate boats(expensive) so as to access more remote fishing grounds. Having sailed the whitsundays on my brother in laws 40 ft catamaran I started to learn catamaran design both power + sail advantages pros and cons for both. I no zip about sailing and wasn’t prepared to go there but did learn that it is quiet common to convert sailing cats to power cats especially in parts of Asia and to a lesser extent on the east coast. Lots of sailors make the transition from sailing to power as they age. It absolutely is a buyers market for such a project and hull extensions ( adding bouancy aft) ¬†is the only major difference between sail and power catamaran hull design. Which leads me to my current project which has been briefly ¬†explained on a similar type topic on this web site. Most of the sailing community will tell you that because of the nature of the Kimberley, rivers, gorges, hazardous conditions(reefs, bombies,tides) etc they spend most of there time motoring. So for me it was a 10 metre power catamaran with twin 20 hp Honda outboard motors, super light (2.5 ton) which translates to super efficient and economical motoring be it 8 knots on one engine or 12 to 14 using both,1.5 to 2 mile per litre + all the other advantages that catamaran design offers. Hope this helps, cheers ¬†Steve

    • #2152


      Thanks for your helpful advice.

  • #2150


    Hi Snow,

    We were also keen to cruise the Kimberley by our own means after an amazing adventure on the Kimberley Quest II in 2010. We are based in Mandurah WA. Like Bingo and many others out there we have always had boats and spent most of our spare time out on or in the water. We visited boat shows intent on finding the ideal boat for Kimberley cruising. We did our research and we were almost set on a power cat when a chance catch up with a sailing mate soon had us questioning if we were on the right track. We were convinced to try sailing and as complete novices we chartered an 11m sail cat in the Whitsundays. After a week we were hooked! Nothing compares to the silence when those motors are turned off and the wind is propelling you along. The 11m Fountaine Pajot Mahe suited us and the two of us can manage her while still having a complete hull with queen bed and separate head free for visiting family and friends. Without getting too detailed about the reason for our choice it is important to consider the following… a catamaran offers you comfortable cruising be it powered by motors or the wind….generous space and storage, reasonable fuel storage, reasonable water storage and at anchor you will have good saloon visibility and therefore a connection with the amazing Kimberley scenery no matter the weather. Ask yourself …do we have time to cruise at a leisurely pace and choose weather windows suitable for sailing? ¬†If not then a power cat may be your vessel of choice. It sure sits well with us when we are filling our tanks with 200 litres of diesel alongside a thirsty power cat pouring in1000’s of litres. Remember – sail cats do have motors and when there is no wind or the wind is stronger than we feel comfortable sailing along in, we drop the sails and put on the 30hp volva penta sail drives and happily cruise along at 6 knots. ¬†¬†Good luck¬†with your decision making.

    Cheers,  Kevin and Janie

  • #2153


    Thanks Kevin and Janie
    My wife and I are getting a better understanding on what vessel is the most suitable for Kimberly cruising. So many helpful and experienced people out in the www offering support for us “newbies ”

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