Safety Tip: May 2016 “Ease Off The Anchor”

Excessive anchor use can burn out the motor or trip the switch. We wish to remind members to use the boats’ motors to gently drive the boat to the anchor and not allow “winch power” to pull in the anchor. There is a lot of weight particularly if there are waves and winds. On the other hand, too much engine power will cause the boat to “run over” the chain and tangle the chain with the props, causing damage. The skipper just needs to touch the throttle to slightly move the boat forward and then put the controls back in neutral.
We also must remind members about the 2 metre depth rule. This rule is non-negotiable. One of our members took the Dazzler near Mud Island causing prop damage. Luckily, the shafts were not destroyed otherwise the vessel could go out of action for a month.  The turnaround time to repair props is 1 week causing inconvenience to members.


Safety Tip: April 2016 “Fender Off”

When you’re going to park your vessel, plan what you’re going to do even before you arrive and instruct your crew accordingly.


Ask these questions

1. Are the fencers correctly aligned on the outside of the vessel on the correct side and the right height to protect the hull from impact?
2. Have you switched your bow thruster on?
3. Have you instructed your crew who is going to jump off the boat with a rope in their hand and secure the vessel at the marina?
4. Also, look at the winds and tidal flows. It’s always harder to park the boat into the wind; it’s easier to go stern first.

Happy boating!


February 2016  VHF Radio Saves Lives

VHF Radio

Do yourself and your family a favor and learn how to use a VHF radio so that you have the skills to broadcast a distress call on channel 16. Your lives may depend on it. The advantage of using 16 is that all boaties in the bay will hear your call and come to your aid. There is no RACV on the water and best chance of survival will come from another boatie.  Also, you must know how to read your position and provide latitude and longitude to the rescue authorities.

TIP: Easiest way to get your latitude and longitude  do this is to grab your iPhone and go to the “compass” app. You’ll see these details there then call one number- 000 for help.





May 2015: This month we are going to cover anchor technique. How to deploy your anchor and remember before you drive off pull up your anchor!

Want one on one training on a sports cruiser?  Enroll in Pleasure Cruising Club Skipper School. 

 Watch this YOUTube for more incite

Whole books have been written on the subject, and it gets a complete chapter in Chapman Piloting & Seamanship, the venerable guide to small-boat handling. Here’s a quick rundown on some solid, basic anchoring ideas and tips.

1. Ease Up, Sneak Back
The proper technique for anchoring starts with easing the throttle so that the boat is basically standing still at the point where you want the anchor to drop. Let it go, sneak back under power, and slowly pay out the line.

2. Scope It Out
You’ll need to know about how much scope to use, since this will affect where the boat will lie once the hook is stuck. Experience and local knowledge of the bottom are the best teachers, but plan on about an 8-to-1 ratio of scope to water depth.

3. Head Up
At dead-slow speed, head the boat up into the wind or current, beyond the spot where you want the boat to lie, at a distance equal to your estimated scope. Come to a stop. In rough conditions, it can pay to drift back without dropping anchor first, so that you can see where the boat will end up when you do deploy the hook.

4. Set It
When enough rode is out to equal the desired scope, snub up on the cleat. Allow the stretch to come out of the line and see if you are holding. A shot of reverse gear can often help set the hook but, if done prematurely, can cause the anchor to skate across the bottom without catching.

5. On Watch
With the hook set, cleat it off securely and run the rode through chocks to ensure that navigation lights and other deck equipment don’t get “swept” by the rode as the boat swings on the line. Line up with two landmarks, or use your radar, GPS or depth sounder to monitor your position and ensure that you are not dragging the anchor.

6. Know Thy Bottom
Your chart or plotter will generally show what to expect, but pockets of the unexpected do occasionally show up in an otherwise defined bottom to make life exciting. The most common bottoms are sand, mud, clay and grass (or weed). Most of the popular anchor styles (Danforth, CQR, Delta, Spade, Bruce, Rocna) are considered to be workable for all of these conditions. That said, plow anchors — like a CQR or Delta — hold best on a rocky bottom, a Danforth holds best in mud, and heavier anchors hold best in grass.

7. Size Does Matter
The anchor should be correctly sized for your boat. For instance, a typical 32-foot medium displacement boat could put out a 25-pound CQR or a 22-pound Delta and be comfortable in 30 knots of wind. A 12-pound Hi-Tensile Danforth is another option. One size up would be nice, especially if you have a power windlass to do all the work. Check the anchor manufacturer’s guide for your boat’s length, displacement and hull type.

8. Rode: Rope or Rope/Chain?
A properly sized all-nylon rode, either twisted or braided, is fine for light-duty anchoring. More common would be to add 6 to 8 feet of chain between the anchor shank and the rode. But for overnighting or extended anchoring, a one-half boat length’s worth of chain is a good rule of thumb to help an anchor’s holding power. The chain will aid in setting the anchor and keeping it set by lowering the angle of pull, thus helping to absorb the shock of a tossing boat due to wind or sea conditions and reducing chafe due to rocky or shelly bottom.

9. Scope It Out
Scope is the ratio of the depth of water (plus the height to the bow or pulpit) to the total length of rode deployed. The most recommended scope is 8-to-1, meaning, in 10 feet of water with a 4-foot height to bow from the water, you stream out 122 feet of rode. With more chain and an oversize anchor, you may be able to ride reliably to a 4-to-1 scope, whereas poorly holding bottom and/or strong wind and/or strong current may require a 10-to-1 scope.

10. Be a Good Neighbor
If you’re the first or only boat in the anchorage, you’ve got priority. Otherwise, choose your spot carefully so as to allow enough swinging room to stay clear of the others. Remember that big boats swing slower and tend to have a bigger arc than smaller ones. Boats with a lot of windage (big canvas enclosures, large cabins, high freeboard and almost all sailboats) will swing faster in high winds.

Be sure to continue to check reference points, and watch to see that your position doesn’t change. Set the anchor alarm on your GPS, if yours has one, to alert you if something changes while you’re asleep or occupied. Then break out the sandwiches and enjoy the view.

Windlass 101
The techniques in anchoring are the same, with or without a windlass. Keep in mind that a windlass is not a cleat and shouldn’t take the load of your boat under anchor. Neither is it the raw muscle to pull the anchor. Instead, take up the slack as you slowly motor forward to break the anchor free. Secure anchors hauled with windlasses with a trace of line or a chain stop.

Watch this YOUTube for more incite.



Berthing your expensive luxury boat can be tricky. It involves checking a number of factors that would make maneuvering as smooth as possible. Insufficient parking space, external factors such as wind strengths and even your boat’s control are some of the things that you want to look into. Mooring your boat in its right place requires proficiency, not to mention attention to detail. Here are some tips that could help you get your luxury yacht in the right place safely.

Evaluate the wind strength and direction

Before anything else, you need to evaluate where the wind is coming from. You also need to consider if the wind’s strength is most likely going to affect the boat as you are maneuvering? Is it easier to be backing into the wind, or do you think that the wind won’t affect berthing that much even if it comes along the side?

Check the tidal flow

Tidal flows affect the level of difficulty you are going to face when berthing your boat. For instance, Queenscliff has a considerable tidal flow which could impact overall maneuvering. The same goes for areas around Yarra River, Portsea and Sorrento.

Turn on the bow thruster prior to berthing

Turning on the bow thrusters too late will render the steering difficult. It is better if you take the time to turn on the bow thrusters before you proceed with maneuvering of the boat.

Double check your fenders

One of the most important things that you need to consider is the protection of your boat. Fenders serve as your boat’s bumper. It is a crucial step to always check the fenders if it is placed on the right side. This could serve as the first layer of protection on your boat.

Secure the berthing process with a deckie

You have to make sure that you have given proper instructions when berthing the boat. The deckhand should be well trained and knowledgeable in order to secure the boat. The deckhand should always have a rope in hand in order to assist the skipper. The wrong timing when to get off or get on the boat could make berthing a disaster waiting to happen.

You have to make sure that you know the basics when it comes to using your boat. Keep in mind that even pros have experienced troubles berthing their luxury boats. Mooring requires skill in order to avoid accidents. With these tips, it is possible to minimize the damages in your boat.


PCC team.