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Shipshape for Winter

Shipshape for Winter

As we move into the winter months – traditionally the ‘off season’ for boating but without the ‘big chill’ experienced by northern hemisphere boaties – cruising north to tropical waters is a tradition for recreational and commercial vessels. 

If travel to the Whitsundays, the Great Barrier Reef or further north are in your itinerary, a thorough review of your boat, its systems and gear should be part of your plans. 

“Sun chasers, whether cruising north in their boat for their own use or in charter, enjoy months of winter sailing in the warm and picturesque waters of North Queensland,” states Shane Subichin, General Manager, The Boat Works. “It’s a beautiful time of year. But there are limited boat yards and resources in that region, and you don’t want to spend your holiday time with your boat out of action while you source a part or a qualified trade. Maintenance and professional servicing are crucial to fun and safe boating.” 

Shane says sagely, “There are no tow trucks at sea”, warning of the very real risks of something failing when you’re many nautical miles away from help. “Boats are exposed to the elements,” he adds. “Maintenance is vital for your safety and looking after your investment. There would be nothing worse than quibbling over saving a couple of hundred dollars on service or a replacement part, when you’re out there and find yourself in trouble.

“Prevention is always better than a cure, and certainly less costly. Boats have different requirements at their different life stages,” observes Shane. “There are certain things owners can do to keep their boat in top shape, and many things that are best left to the experts. Plus, ahead of taking your boat on a long stint at sea, you want to make sure everything is in order before you start your cruising vacation so you don’t waste a moment.” 

Be sure to make your annual pit stop ahead of your safe and serene cruising vacation in North Queensland. 

For a quick guide, Rod Twitchin Marine provide an online checklist that you can download, which covers checks from antifoul to navigation equipment. 

By Shane Subichin

Initial checklist 

 – Out of water 

 – Main engines, transmissions & generators 

 – Vessel systems 

 – Safety & navigation 

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