Riviera

Preparing for a sea voyage

Marlin fishing expert Captain Bob Jones has more than 25 years experience and thousands of sea hours under his belt. As skipper of Fascination II, Bob Jones operates a successful charter company and in 2007 he commemorated his 25th Marlin Season.

What began as a hobby, quickly turned into a profession for Captain Bob who says the highlight of his career is “being able to spend so much time in the seventh wonder of the world – The Great Barrier Reef.”

On board Fascination II, he clocked up 5,500 hours, about 380km in two years, but overall, during his five year Fascination project, he has clocked up 9,000 hours and spent 670 days at sea.

His longest voyage was from Melbourne to Lizard Island, which is about 140 miles north of Cairns.

He specialises In Live on board Charters from August to December from Townsville, Cairns to Lizard Island.

He has served on the Eastern Tuna MAC board as a permanent observer giving representation to the charter boats on the east coast of Australia.

This month Captain Bob shares his knowledge and experience on preparing for a sea voyage.

 

Your Riviera is designed and built to take you and your family safely through virtually any type of sea conditions. But it always makes common sense to work through a basic check list before you set out on any voyage and always be conscious of the safety of your crew when putting to sea.

The basic checklist includes:

  1. Plan your passage
  2. Check all the systems on board
  3. Check all your navigation systems
  4. Take a complete turn around the boat
  5. Satisfy yourself that your crew and guests are comfortable with a voyage
  6. Finally, go through a safety drill with your crew and guests
  7. As you leave the marina

 

Plan your passage:

  • Look up the weather forecasts for the area in which you will travel. Marine forecasts will tell you anticipated wave heights and wind strength. See http://www.bom.gov.au/marine/index.shtml, http://www.seabreeze.com.au, http://magicseaweed.com
  • Check tide and currents throughout your route. Wind against tide, for example, can make otherwise reasonable conditions very difficult, particularly in channels or around headlands.
  • If wind and waves are likely to increase, it is probably better simply to postpone your voyage until conditions improve.
  • Your local Coast Guard also issues regular forecasts on VHF radio, so tune your boat’s two-way radio to the emergency frequency or scan throughout your voyage for the latest updates.

Check all the systems on board:

  • Make sure they are fully operational.
  • In the engine room, check the fuel for residual water, check oil and coolant levels.
  • Make sure in advance the engines start easily and the batteries are charging.
  • Make sure the steering is in proper working order.

Check all your navigation systems:

  • Make sure your chart plotter covers the area through which you will travel.
  • Carry a set of paper charts covering the route.
  • If you carry Radar, make sure it is set correctly for your anticipated speed.
  • Set up waypoints for your course on autopilot but be prepared to change if conditions require.

Take a complete turn around the boat:

  • Make sure any loose items inside are safely stowed.
  • All cupboards and drawers are locked.
  • Portholes and windows are closed and secure.
  • On deck, check that the anchor windlass is in full working order, then stow all loose items.

Satisfy yourself that your crew and guests are comfortable with a voyage:

  • Make sure they are well hydrated and have, where necessary, taken motion sickness tablets.

Finally, go through a safety drill with your crew and guests:

  • Make sure everyone knows where life-jackets are stowed.
  • Where the EPIRB is located.
  • The procedures for launching the life-raft in the unlikely event that you have to abandon ship.
  • Each person on board should know what duties are required of them.

As you leave the marina:

  • Make sure all mooring lines and fenders are safely brought on board and stowed so that nothing can slip or snake overboard and foul the propellers.

It is easy in the excitement of setting out on a new adventure to gloss over the safety checks. But they do not take much time and effort. Remember, too, that it is much easier and safer to run through these checks in the marina than out at sea – let alone having to fix something in a rolling seaway.

As the skipper, your job is to drive the boat safely to its destination and the less you have to think about beyond that task, the better you will focus and enjoy the journey.

 

 

 

Contact Riviera

 

 

 

 

 

Click to enlarge image: Captain Bob Jones.

Captain Bob Jones.


Check the weather - Riviera owner Danny Dekker took this photo while cruising up the east coast of Australia.

Check the weather - Riviera owner Danny Dekker took this photo while cruising up the east coast of Australia.


Planning is vital -  This map shows the carefully planned legs of Ian Reynold's successful circumnavigation of Australia in a Riviera 56 in 2008.

Planning is vital - This map shows the carefully planned legs of Ian Reynold's successful circumnavigation of Australia in a Riviera 56 in 2008.


Check all your navigational and on board systems.

Check all your navigational and on board systems.


Make sure your boat is safe before leaving the marina.

Make sure your boat is safe before leaving the marina.


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