Ahoy Cruise News April 2024

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Ahoy Cruise News Monthly Magazine for Island Cruising & Down Under Rally issue 33 April 2024 In this issue: Boats for Sale Boating Etiquette Lithium Battery Thermal Runaways Help Tidy up the Pacific Cruising Fiji - Matuku Island Upcoming Events Great Deals from our Partners! Pacific Rally 2024
Island Cruising & Down Under Rally Contact Us Email Website Phone Facebook ISSN Viki Moore info@islandcruising.nz www.islandcruising.nz www.downunderrally.com +64 21 438 977 www.facebook.com/islandcruising.nz ISSN 3021-1948 on the cover Cavalli Islands. Photo by Christine Mitchell from SV Sugar Shack photos and news contributions are welcome

In this issue

April 2024

Boats for Sale

From the Helm

The latest update from Viki

Go East & Pacific Rally 2024

Update on the content covered so far

Sailing Matuku

A stunning stop in Fiji

Groupama Race - New Caledonia

Upcoming Events

Boating Etiquette

ask our Pirate panelist your curly questions

issue 33

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From the helm

I’ve taken a couple of weeks off sailing things and am currently sipping Gin & Tonics in India! What a fantastic, crazy place to visit, I love it! But not a yacht in sight here in Delhi of course. It has been great to have a change of scene and spend some time away adventuring with my Mum before things get busy in up in the Pacific.

I was visiting the Taj Mahal while the SailGP event was on in Lyttelton last weekend. I hope if you attended this year that you had an amazing time! As I was already booked to be away on holiday, I only had a small role in the event this time around. It was great to support Lisa Darmanin who was doing the On Water Operations role this time around. Thanks to all the course marshals who did a fantastic job on the water.

The South Island Rally participants also got to be part of the action at SailGP Colin & the crew from Parlay Revival even got a ride on one of the F50's!

Our Go-East and Pacific Rally participants have now got their rally packs and rally guide book in hand and are ticking the final few jobs off the numerous checklists and preparation tasks

The countdown is now on for their upcoming departure. Boats can join the rally and depart at any time, but it is lots of fun to join the main groups who depart together. In April I’ll be flying over to Australia to go and meet up with some of our rally partners and then I’ll be meeting with the Rally Participants at the Boat Works on the Gold Coast for all our final rally briefings and social events.

Then it is time to wait for a weather window and then they’ll be off sailing towards Noumea.

I’ll fly back to NZ and then catch up with our Kiwi Group at the beginning of May and then they’ll set off for Tonga & Fiji

We’ve got another group going later, and others doing some different itineraries and heading further north to Indonesia as well. Our rallies are so flexible, you can still be part of the group but do your own thing It is lots of fun!

We’ve already matched up lots of crew with boats from our CrewSeeker list, and we ’ ve got some very keen people looking to get some passage experience, so if you are looking for crew, please check out our CrewSeeker page on our website (you need to be a member to look up the profiles) or just drop me a message with your requirements and I’ll send it out to our CrewSeeker people and get them to apply directly to you

If you are keen to crew - there are always heaps of cool opportunities that come up throughout the season. Check out the details here.

If you are heading up to the Islands independently of the rally this season, please do keep an eye out for us, we love to connect with our members and others along the way, and if at any stage you’d like to join the rally, please do let me know.

We have got a number of international cruisers who are crossing the Pacific this season joining us for the Pacific Rally or the Go West or the Sail South support packs More information coming on both of those options next month, but in the meantime you can check out our website to learn more about Cruising in New Zealand or Cruising in Australia.

If you are thinking you might like to sail to the Islands with us in future years, it is never too early to start preparing! Our comprehensive online training content on our website can help you start to tick off some of the jobs to do before you head off For just NZD$129 00 per annum, you can study all kinds of topics, such as getting all your documentation in order, offshore communications, safety, sailing tips, weather, navigation, seamanship, health, crew skills and lots more - as well as tapping in to some incredible discounts and deals from our partner businesses. You can become a member any time and access all the content online and at your own pace. There are numerous videos, articles, templates and other useful things on there to use. You can find more information and join up here

This month I have also joined the Australian Boating Industry Association. This fantastic organisation does so much work advocating on behalf of marine businesses in Australia. Similar to the Marine Industry Assn here in New Zealand, there is so much going on in the marine space, and it is great to have these Associations out there looking out for us and helping collaborate between other like minded businesses.

This month I am also excited to be presenting at the Women Who Sail Australia - Gathering on the Bay event You can find the agenda later on in the magazine. This is always a fantastic event for women sailors to connect and learn from each other. I believe there are still tickets available if you’d like to join in the fun!

Thanks so much for reading the April edition of Ahoy Cruise News. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable time out on the water this Easter Thanks very much to all our members for their ongoing support and also all our fantastic rally sponsors I really appreciate you all!

Cheers Viki

Why the South Pacific?

Citizens of the Sea has launched a South Pacific citizen science initiative, and some of our Pacific Rally participants have been chosen to help map ocean biodiversity, assisting scientists collecting data and make a lasting impact to the environment.

The South Pacific is a region teeming with diversity and adventure. However, much remains to be discovered. This project maps biodiversity across Tonga, Fiji and New Caledonia, giving us clearer insights into the impacts of climate change, fishing and marine reserves.

Research vessels have explored parts of the South Pacific, but not everywhere. That's where our rally participants come in. As they venture off the beaten track and collect offshore samples as they cross to remote and isolated locations where traditional research vessels can't reach.

Sailors are natural explorers, navigating areas inaccessible to research vessels, from coral reefs to deep ocean trenches. Our Pacific Rally participants will have the chance to make their sailing journeys more meaningful by contributing to a lasting legacy in the communities that welcome you. Citizens of the Sea and the Island Cruising.

We are excited to be partnering with Citizens of the Sea and together with 25 adventurous sailing yachts, we'll be collecting offshore samples and mapping reefs—from the whale-rich waters of Tonga to the dramatic mountainous coasts of New Caledonia.

How It Works: Easy and Impactful

The hydrodynamic environmental DNA (eDNA) collection system, is designed to be towed at speeds from 5 to 12 knots. This requires no scientific background. It's as easy as putting out a fishing lure but provides critical biodiversity insights that last a lifetime.

Set sail with purpose—we are excited to be part of something special this sailing season. With our rally participants becoming stewards of the sea and leaving a lasting impact in this unique part of the world! ����

Check out the Citizens of the Sea Website

Advanced Sea Survival Course A comprehensive theoretical and practical course for crew requiring an offshore, category 1 certificate. Two Day Full Course 20 & 21 April WHANGAREI tbc 04 & 05 May AUCKLAND 17 & 18 August NELSON One Day Refresher Course 11 May WELLINGTON TBC 22 Sept NELSON Island Cruising & Down Under Rally members get a 10% discount (please use the discount code in the members newsletter when you book online) www.skippertraining.ac.nz 0800 546 9700 info@skippertraining.nz


A Self Steering Windvane System:

A completely independent mechanical system (ie. non-electrical) that steers the boat on a wind-based course. Easiest to operate, with no lines in the cockpit, and excellent on all points of sail and in all conditions.

It is an Auxiliary Rudder type of windvane system – the Vane drives its own Rudder via a sophisticated Drive Unit linkage.

An Emergency Rudder/ Steering System

Inherently a second Rudder and Steering System for your boat.

It is the strongest Emergency Rudder and Steering System available today. Always in place, nothing to set-up – takes the fear out of losing your rudder or breaking your vessel’s steering mid passage or close to shore.


South Island Rally

South Island Rally

South Island Rally

South Island Rally

South Island Rally

Pacific Rally

We are very proud to be a part of the South Pacific Sailing Network - a group of like minded businesses and countries around the South Pacific who are all committed to promoting sustainable yachting tourism and advocating on behalf of cruisers exploring the South Pacific.

Our Pacific rally is the pathway that connects the islands and sailors together

Read more about the aims of the SPSN here.

Lithium Battery & Thermal Runaways

A thermal runaway lithium battery fire is up there with uncontrolled gas fires, as one of the worstcase fire scenarios on a small vessel. While most fires have some form of management or fire control, a lithium thermal runaway battery fire does not.

Today’s batteries, whether it be lead-acid, AGM or Lithium are all very safe as long as manufacturer guidelines are strictly complied with. Lead-acid and AGM batteries are well tried and tested, with most of their ventilation and fire challenges being well documented.

The challenge with lithium batteries is the myriad of cheaper lesser known lithium brands now coming on the market via social media to private buyers, bypassing reputable retailers.

We need to remind ourselves that reputable retailers have a lot to lose if their recommended batteries fail (including lawsuits from Insurance companies), so they have normally done their homework and carry reliable home-grown warranties.

Lithium batteries currently fall in the Class B fire category, which means that the standard ABC fire extinguisher can be used.

This, however, is no use if there is a ‘thermal-runaway’ situation within a lithium battery bank.

Thermal runaway fires are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to stop or extinguish.

A simple Google search about lithium thermal runaways will highlight the record so far in the aviation sector, where fires present a particular problem, their lithium cargo record being far from positive.

So what is a Thermal Runaway?

A thermal runaway is an unstoppable internal chain event, where a cell or part thereof very quickly reaches high temperatures. The causes are varied but include internal mechanical or thermal cell failure and short-circuiting deep inside the battery.

Due to the short-circuiting, heat is generated by this single defective cell. The enclosed heat source self-generates to much higher temperatures.

The very hot defective cell core becomes unstable, having no way to release heat except to the enclosed surrounding cells thermally inside the battery. The surrounding cells then join in the masquerade and the battery very quickly heats from the inside out, which they term a thermal runaway.

Meanwhile little can be seen at the battery surface. This all happens very quickly, taking minutes to self generate to a point where the battery becomes extremely hot.

Common cues and/or senses used in picking up most other fires include sight, sound, aural and touch (the latter normally being a result of the first three). With early signs of a thermal runaway situation, however, we only have the sense of touch.

With smaller portable devices, lithium thermal runaways/fires are easily remedied…toss it into the ocean.

Vessel lithium batteries used in house banks are normally tucked away somewhere in some very secure robust area. So when it's finally realised that there is a problem, and then questioning if it's battery-related, who would think of touching or even want to touch a battery to resolve a lithium battery fire problem? Thermal runaways happen quickly (as in minutes) and can get out of hand very quickly.

Recently chatting to someone who had built their own lithium battery bank from imported cells, we found them ill-prepared for a thermal runaway. Their cells had no protection.

So where does it leave a private person like you and me? Risk verse Reward. If an incident occurred, would the Insurer come to the party? I doubt it very much. There are incidents and aircraft hull losses caused by thermal runaways in freight loads of lithium batteries.

Technology today also have records of thermal runaways on smaller lithium powered portable devices such as mobile phones and laptops. So, it certainly does occur. It is, however, the lack of control of a thermal runaway that is raised in this article.

In particular, if you (a private individual) are the importer and are bypassing a professional supplier and/or installer. Check with your Insurance company, you may find your insurance is void by installing your own lithium. Surveyors will ask you too...we got asked.

So what can you do to ensure you’ve got a good lithium set up on your boat? The key to our system is a quality Battery Management System (BMS), quality being the operative word - for full details on the setup we use

A Saviour For Mooring Owners and Sailors Alike

Mooringbnb is a new platform designed to allow mooring owners to maximise their earnings while making it easy for sailors to book a mooring from anywhere. It’s the ultimate win-win set to take off this summer.

Mooringbnb for mooring owners

Often,mooringssitunusedforextendedperiodsoftime. Mooringbnb.co.nzmakesiteasytohireyourmooring outwheneveryou’renotusingit.Itworksalongsimilar linestoAirBnB,allowingsailorstosearchforan availablemooring,bookitandpayforitonthespot.

Mooringbnbautomatesalltheadminwork,from marketingtotakingpaymentsandevennotifyingthe harbourmasterwhenthemooringisbeingused.It’sfully customisable,soyoucancontrolitsavailability,and chargewhateverrateyouwish.

Registeringyourmooringcostsnothing,andyouget paidtherateyouset.

It’savailableinNewZealandatthemoment,butissetto expandintoAustraliaandthePacificIslandsin2024.

Formooringowners,it’sauniqueopportunityto generateincomethatrequiresminimaleffort.Itmakes morelocationsavailabletosailors,includingwhenthe weatherturnsbadandtheyneedasafeplacetostayat shortnotice.


Thenumberofmooringsareincreasingmonthlyand sailorsarealreadymakingbookingsforthenextfew months.Withthesummersailingseasononthehorizon, it’stheperfecttimetolistamooringandgenerateextra incomewhileyousailoffelsewhereyourself.

Yachties helping with the disposal of old batteries

There are no facilities in Fiji to dispose of A, AA and AAA batteries, so empty batteries pile up in villages and pose a hazard for health and nature. If you take a container with collected used batteries with you to dispose of in NZ or Australia you can help the villagers to keep their islands and lagoons clean!

We grew up in the 1980s when awareness about pollution and rubbish disposal was kicking in in Austria along with big-scale campaigns at schools to clean up forests, creeks and of course bins in all colours in each class-room for rubbish separation. Thus brainwashed we are simply not able to throw recyclables or (even worse) hazardous material into the general rubbish, but wait until we get to one of the few corners where recycling is done in Fiji (e.g. Musket Cove Marina and Denarau Marina) and try to dispose of everything correctly. In Fiji recycling is only tentatively starting and out on the remote islands there are simply no means to dispose of rubbish apart from burning and landfill.

Visiting remote places out in the Lau group and around Kadavu we were horrified to see old batteries (A to AAA) just lying next to the footpath in villages or charred remains in fire sites. Yes, alkaline batteries are not nearly as dangerous as lead-acid batteries, but they are still considered hazardous waste in most countries. They are no longer supposed to contain mercury, but who knows if that’s true for no-name brands sold on Pacific islands? The remaining other metals and corrosive chemicals in all batteries (new and old) still leak into the soil and most likely on into the ocean when they are just left to rot in landfills.

Even the Energizer website warns: “Leakage from an alkaline battery is caustic and handling should be avoided to prevent chemical burns. If attempting to clean battery leakage from a device, proper safety equipment would be advised.” Doesn’t sound as harmless as some other websites would make you believe.

We therefore talked to the villagers about the dangers of batteries and of course they asked what to do. We promised answers and made inquiries in Suva, expecting electronics shops and other sales points for batteries to take them back. But no, they had never even heard of the concept of battery disposal, neither had recycling centres (only lead-acid). So what to do? We immediately thought of the yachtie fleet that sails down to New Zealand or on to Australia each season after visiting Fiji. If each of them could take a few batteries with them and dispose of them correctly at a waste centre station in New Zealand or Australia (not in a Fijian marina!!) it would mean a lot to the little villages. Of course we cannot tackle Fiji’s general rubbish problem, but at least we can help those in remote places who generously welcome visiting boats in their bays and villages and expect nothing in return, but are grateful for each small favour!

So far the villages on Ono (just north of Kadavu) and Matuku (southwestern Lau) have started collecting old batteries in 2-litre and gallon containers, but more may follow soon. If you visit an island, please ask whether you should take along a bottle filled with batteries, leave more containers for them to fill and encourage them to participate in the program!

Christian and Birgit have been cruising on their SY Pitufa for 13 years, 10 of those in the South Pacific. As environmental-aware sailors they try to do their share to raise awareness for nature and help little communities. Check out their blog www.pitufa.at or read their books “Towards the Horizon” (about their first years of travel) and “Cruising Know-How” (a collection of articles) available on Amazon.

The Ultimate


TherearesomanyoptionsforInternationalCruiserswhenitcomestocruisingtheSouthPacific.Oftenwesee peoplewhozoomstraightthroughandmissoutonsomeofthebestbits!Ourrecommendation-don’trushand makethemostoftheprevailingwinds.Here’sasuggestedSouthWestPacificitineraryforboatsheadingfrom Panamainthisdirection-Watchthevideoanimationhere

Year 1

March CrossfromPanamatoFrenchPolynesia

April ArriveFrenchPolynesia(unlessyou’vegotalongstayvisaoranEUpassportyou’veonlygot 90daystoexplorethisincredibledestination).


July CookIslands

August SamoaandorNiue

September Vava’u-Tonga-checkouttheBlueWaterCruisersFestival

October Ha’apai,Tongatapu,Minerva,NewZealand

Stop in NZ to escape cyclone season - enjoy tax free repairs on your boat, Or Join the South Island Rally to sail south to explore incredible Fiordland or head home for Christmas.

The Ultimate




Year 2

May JointhePacificRallytosailbacktoFijiorbacktoTonga

August Vanuatu-jointherallyeventsthroughoutVanuatu

September NewCaledonia

October BundabergAustraliaontheGoWestRally.

December SydneyHarbourtowatchthestartoftheSydneyHobartRaceandfireworksonNewYears Eve

Australia is another great place to stop for a while with great boat repairs and places to leave the boat while you explore ashore or head home and of course some excellent cruising grounds too!

Year 3

January Tasmania-JointheVDL-CCruise

February CruiseslowlybackuptheEastcoastofAustralia,enjoythestunningWhitsundaysandthen OnwardstoAsiaoralternativelycrosstheTasmanandheadbacktoNewZealandto enjoyexploringwiththeSouthIslandRally

May OrreturntothePacificontheGoEast-PacificRallytorevisittheplacesyoumissedor . enjoyedthefirsttimeround.

October BacktoNewZealandorAustralia-bothgreatplacestoendyourjourneyandsellyourboat. Or carry on doing circles in the Pacific or continuing on around the world!

out all the details of the
Pacific Rally

New Caledonia Groupama Race is a 654NM sailing race around New Caledonia. The start of New Caledonia Groupama Race, including all categories (open, double, and cruising), will take place on Sunday, June 9th, 2024.

Since its creation in 2008, the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE has enthused sailors, the public and commercial partners.

It is a dream course; a circum navigation around New Caledonia for monohulls and multihulls in racing or cruising mode, with crews full or short-handed. Sailors navigate among reefs, atolls and small islands that are part of the protected World Heritage listed site, passing turtles, whales and other sea life over the 1200km course.


Behind the breathtaking scenery the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE is a challenging and very tactical offshore and coastal race, offering navigators a variety of options: head offshore or run along the coast, often close to the reef. Add to this changeable weather plus swell and ocean and tidal currents, and there are plenty of sleepless nights for committed sailors. When the tradewinds are in, the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE is the perfect and world’s longest windward /leeward race; 300nm surfing along the east coast under spinnaker then 300nm upwind along the west coast. This ideal scenario hasn’t played out in recent editions with mixed conditions on offer. The wind might be south-east trades or strong westerlies, but the water over the deck is always warm !

Funny race on 5th June.

Departure on 9th June.

Prize giving ceremony on 15th June.

Update from Patricia at Gulf Harbour Radio

April already! While we are battling our way south against headwinds many of you will be in your final preparation for departure to the Islands.

Gulf Harbour Radio is known by those with an SSB on board but in addition we have a web site that has some interesting reading for those wet days prior to departure. There is a lot of weather information available on route now but if you want to understand what is going on and what you are seeing on gribs and other forecasts look at the papers David has written for example:

Lows on the Back of Fronts

Sailing from New Zealand to the Islands

Weather For the Yachtsman

And he covers the return trip to from the various island groups. There are 13 different topics in the WEATHER section of www.ghradio.co.nz. You will be well looked after on your way north with the rally group but after that some understanding will be more than useful.

And in the Flotsam section you will find “ Cruising New Zealand” which details all the interesting anchorages along the North Island coast that you could stop at on your way to your check out port. These are our favourite anchorages and will make your trip more pleasant as well as being a shakedown before departure. I concentrate on those anchorages with access to walks so you can get well exercised before the passage!

Before you set off, we also recommend that you put a photo of your boat on the Marine Traffic AIS site. It is very useful in case of an emergency and we find it useful too as when questions are asked it is good to know what size, what sort of boat etc. and it is interesting to see what speeds the different boats are doing.

We start the radio net on May 1 and although I am heading to Europe in August, just email David with any weather related questions during this time.

Happy sailing

Patricia and David


Greg Luck has been a frequent contributor to the Down Under Rally Magazine He has released a new third edition of Cruising the Queensland Coast, his guide for yachts cruising from the Gold Coast to Lizard Island.

While cruising in 2023, Greg was struck by the number of cruisers who had adopted Starlink. The cheapest way to use it is on the Roam plan, designed to work over land. At sea, the very expensive Maritime plan must be used. Starlink “land” includes many islands and some reefs using a hexagonal tiling system. It can be hit and miss as to whether an anchorage or mooring is on “land” or sea for Starlink. New in the 3rd edition, each anchorage and mooring includes a Starlink icon to indicate land or sea.

Along with a print edition, the book comes as an eBook for tablets. However, the big players support a limited number of countries, and usually not the overseas territories of those countries such as Noumea or Tahiti. This has been a problem for some cruisers. The 3rd edition adds Rakuten Kobo, which supports 244 countries and overseas territories with excellent coverage for the Pacific.

The third edition is fully updated with:

•many new public moorings for the Townsville, Discovery and Cassowary coasts and the Whitsundays

•new anchorages, taking the total to 503 anchorages and moorings

•new public pontoons

•updates to the K’Gari Coast for the new Great Sandy Marine Park management plan

•Starlink land versus ocean status for each anchorage, mooring and marina along with the Telstra mobile reception

•digital TV reception strength for each anchorage

•latest marina changes including comprehensive information on super yacht berths and resultant marina berth layout changes

•S63 official Hydrographic chart references for each coast and how to use Australian Hydrographic charts on apps and chart plotters along with other navigation data sources

•expanded coverage of the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay

•recalculated wave roses for recent Waverider buoy placements such as the Wide Bay Bar

•higher-resolution aerial images and photos in the print version

•numerous other changes and updates

Down Under Rally and Island Cruising members get a 10% discount on the print book and a 20% discount on the Google Play Books eBook. Contact Greg at book@curlewescape.com.au with your member number to get a discount.

Love great wine?

Say goodbye to heavy, breakable bottles onboard!

Greenskin Wine presents a premium wine experience in a convenient 750ml soft pouch, ideal for those who want to enjoy fine wine without the hassle of cruising with heavy, bulky, breakable bottles onboard.

With 8 varieties to choose from, they have a superb choice of whites and reds from the worldrenowned Margaret River and Great Southern wine regions of Western Australia. You can pre-order through their website and nominate to have your wine delivered anywhere within Australia for just $4.95 per 6-pack (3 or more cases FREE delivery).

Greenskin Wine pouches hold 750ml but are around half the size and weight of a standard bottle of wine, which will save on weight and loads of fridge and storage space onboard. They are also unbreakable, making them ideal when on the water. And once the joy is over, they fold flat, so you do not have to lug bulky empties with you!

Another fab bonus. If you just want a glass or two, simply squeeze all the air from the pouch and reseal, and your wine will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks, saving on wasted wine and money!

Sip Sustainably

Not only is the wine great quality, but Greenskin Wine pouches take 80% less energy to produce than a glass bottle, and due to their lightweight, compact nature, they take a lot less energy to transport.

The ultimate kicker is that the pouches are 100% recyclable. They even take care of the recycling. Every 6-pack comes with a postage-paid satchel, making it super easy to return your empties via AusPost for recycling.

SPECIAL OFFER - Enhance your sundowners with Greenskin WIne! Greenskin Wine generously offers our Island Cruising & Down Under Members 10% OFF all orders.

Simply visit: https://greenskinwine.com/ Use your member's discount code for use at the checkout to receive 10% OFF each, and every six-pack of Greenskin Wine ordered.

Island Cruising & Down Under Rally members get a 10% discount! Use the discount coupon code at the checkout Shop Now

Dear Captain Jack,


Got a question?

Ask a Pirate...

I was wondering, is it ok to sail along with your fenders out? I was sailing along the other day minding my own business and people on other boats were going past and pointing and laughing at me. What’s going on? I mean you can never be too safe eh? What are your thoughts?

Mr Muppet

Ahoy there Mr Muppet

When have you ever seen a pirate ship out sailing with their fenders out?


Woe betide any of my lackies who would dare commit such a basic faux pas! You were lucky you only got laughed at, as if you were on my crew, I’d have you keel-hauled.

Remember - the number one rule of sailing? It is “Look Good”

You can never look good sailing along with your fenders out. Does it do any harm? No - but does it look good? Most definitely not

Sharpen up your act Mr Muppet. To avoid looking like a muppet too, I highly recommend you stow those fenders as soon as you possibly can when you are clear of the dock or heading in or out of the marina and pretend to look like you know what you are doing


events 2024

5 - 7 April - Women Who Sail Australia - Gathering on the Bay

5 May - Island Cruising Pacific Rally first group departs for the South Pacific

9 June - Groupama Race - New Caledonia

10 July - Island Cruising Rally - Lau Group Entry TBA

1 - 4 August - Sydney Boat Show

August - Vanuatu - Pacific Rally Gathering

September - Fiji - Musket Cove Regatta

October - Blue Water Festival Tonga

12 October - Americas Cup starts in Barcelona

15 October - Island Cruising & Down Under - GOWest Rally returns to New Zealand or Australia

November - Bundaberg Welcome Week

27 November - 1 December - Bay of Islands Cruisers Festival


Offshore Marine Medic

Two-dayOffshoreMedicalCoursecustomisedtoprovidestudentswiththebasicsrequiredfor OffshoreCruisingCoursealsocoversahandoveroftheOffshoreMedicalKit(CAT1)andhowto useit.



18-19May2024-Auckland orcontactusformoreoptions

10%discountforIslandCruisingmembers+discountonCat1MedicalKits Registeronlinehere

For Sailors

Thefreedomofbeingabletosailwhereveryou wantisoneofthegreatestthingsabout cruisingthissummer.Youcanfollowweather patternsorcoastlines,meanderyourwaytoa setdestinationorjustfollowyournoseandsee whereyouendup.

Justaslongasyoucanfindamooringora placetoanchor...

ForPeterKershaw,atriparoundtheBayof Islandspiecingtogetheravailablemooringson thefly,postingonFacebookpagesandasking localsforhelp,madehimthinktheremustbea betterway.

Peterdecidedtocreateanonlinebooking platformthattookcareofallthedetailsand madeiteasierforyachtiestoplansailingtrips.

WithMooringbnb,youcanseeavailable mooringsanywhereinNewZealand,andbook themwithoutneedingtogoonshore.It’sa much-neededupgradeofthetraditional bookingsystem,givingsailorscertainty, convenienceandcompliance.

There’snoneedtocheckmooringsizelimitsor notifytheharbourmaster-alltheconditions andlogisticsaretakencareofwithinthe bookingplatform.

To find out more, head to: www.mooringbnb.co.nz

The new Okara Marina in Whangarei is taking shape with the land reclamation in

full swing

Port Road had a traffic management controlled partial closure for a few weeks in February to facilitate the delivery of truckloads of metal, essential for the creation of a truck turning pad. Following further loads to extend it, a pile-driving crane was set up to commence the installation of fifty service protection piles along the road edge.

The construction process involves scraping away the soft mud layer, and replacing it with hard fill sourced from a local quarry. Currently, the site is coordinating the activities of 1 tug, 2 dredging barges, 1 piling barge, 4 trucks, 2 diggers, and 1 pile-driving crane.

The firm layer is being reached at a faster pace than anticipated, particularly at the Northern end where the building is designed to be placed. The ground appears to be more solid than expected, offering potential cost savings for the project.

Pacific Rally 2024





first departure - may 2024 or choose your own departure date

register now on our website


an attractive destination in Fiji's Lau group

The little island of Matuku lies in the south-western Lau, half-way between Kadavu and Fulaga Even though Matuku could be a strategic stop-over for yachts on the way to and from the Lau, hardly any boats stop there and have no idea what they miss The island covers an area of 57 km2 with seven small villages on its shores and a lush, mountainous interior. It is surrounded by a lively barrier reef and a narrow, navigable turquoise sparkling lagoon with some mangrove areas and long beaches – a destination perfect for divers, snorkelers and surfers as well as hikers and bird watchers!

Pass and anchorages

Many islands in Fiji’s Lau group feature beautiful landscapes and friendly villages, but most of them lack good anchorages. Bays that look wonderfully protected on charts and sat pictures give you some serious rock and roll especially during high tide.

Matuku features two safe, protected and comfortable anchorages:

The main pass on the west side is wide and can be safely navigated in most conditions (except maybe strong westerlies). Both anchorages are located inside that pass.

Coming through the pass proceed straight into the deep bay of Lomati that has a muddy bottom with good holding and is protected in all wind directions but NW. It takes a bit of patience to let the hook sink into the mud, before gently pulling on it, but once it’s set it’s set!

The second option is to turn north once you are through the pass and anchor behind Wailangi Island in 15 to 20 m in sand with protection from all winds but SW and S

Another possibility is to turn south after the pass, follow the reef channel and anchor off the village of Makadru, but this anchorage is more difficult due to numerous coral heads and not as calm and protected as the other ones

Warm welcome

Visitors to Matuku can expect a warm, traditional Fijian welcome and your host family will be happy to invite you for Sunday lunch and show you around the island. Boats that anchor in Lomati Bay should do their sevusevu in the little village of Lomati, those who anchor behind Wailangi should take the dinghy northwards around the corner to the main village of Yaroi and if you decide to anchor off Makadru you can take your bundle of kava ashore right there!

The headmen of all three villages are involved with the Matuku Marine Reserve and will gladly give you more information about the protected area and the best snorkel spots The Marine Reserve needs to be patrolled to keep poachers out, so maybe you would like to leave a small donation to help the villagers protect their environment! The headmen will also find guides if you would like to do some hiking or a surfing trip

Buy local produce and kava

The islanders are keen to attract the yachtie fleet this year and they are already preparing vegetable gardens in order to supply visiting crews with fresh produce!

Kava is grown on the island, so you can stock up on sevusevu for other islands instead of returning to a market on one of the main islands.


A network of trails connects the villages along the shore from Yaroi to Natokalau in the North and from Lomati southwards on the west coast via Raviravi to Makadru, on to Levukaidaku in the south and up to Qalikarua on the east side with beautiful views and endless beaches

An inter-island trail leads from Lomati Bay over the ridge to the east coast, passing by the highest mountains and featuring great views.

Snorkeling and diving

The villages installed 3 large no-fishing tabu zones in the west, south and east of the lagoon to guarantee sustainable fishing and to give the eco-system with its mangroves and pristine coral reefs a chance to recover Species that have become rare find a haven here and the area will be a breeding ground for the rest of the lagoon in the future With spear-fishing no longer allowed it is home to large, unafraid fish just the kind of experience snorkelers enjoy in shallow areas, while the beautiful coral formations in the deeper parts of the reefs should appeal to free divers and scuba divers The biggest and most attractive Marine Reserve covers the whole area between the main pass and the village of Yaroi and is easily visited by dinghy.

The many passes into Matuku’s lagoon make it an attractive destination for surfers of different experience levels. Surfing Matuku has been an insider’s tip in the surfer community for a while, make sure you ask a local guide about dangers and where to go!

Birgit and Christian have been cruising in the South Pacific for 11 years Check out their blog www pitufa at for more info about the Matuku Marine Reserve and other projects as well as cruising guides to French Polynesia and the Cook Islands Their books “Sailing Towards the Horizon” and “Cruising Know-How” are available on Amazon

Join the Pacific Rally 2024 to enter Fiji at the Lau Group and explore this amazing region.

With a friendly boating mad team always on hand to offer practical advice, tips, and make product recommendations, we’ve got the answer for you. Our chandlery will ensure you get back out on the water, faster!

For any boating problems, come see the team at All Marine.

Always on hand find that hard-to-find boat part you’ve been searching for – even if it’s not on our shelves – we’re sure to know where to find it. Priding ourselves on stocking our great product range and having fantastic service, shop online or come on down in store and have a yarn.

Don’t see what you need?

Give us a call, we’ll be happy to help.

09 438 4499

Check out our website here.

ISLAND CRUISING MEMBERS GET A GREAT DISCOUNT! Check your member's weekly newsletter for the discount code




With 8000 miles from Panama to Australia and thousands of unique islands and atolls to visit along the way, one season is simply not enough time to truly explore the South Pacific Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are destinations in themselves and deserve much more than a fleeting visit.

We strongly advocate spending at least 2 seasons in the South Pacific to really experience all the variety that the region has to offer It’s a long way to come and for many a once in a lifetime opportunity


Irrespective of how fast or slow your pace, when November approaches most cruisers will be considering their options for the cyclone season. Some cruisers spend the summer in Pacific Islands, but they are playing with the odds as well as enduring the heat and humidity of the wet season.

Many more look forward to a break from the islands for a while, and New Zealand is the logical destination for a cyclone break, especially if you are returning to the Pacific Islands for a second season


As an island nation, New Zealand's maritime traditions are deep rooted - from the earliest Polynesian settlers who migrated across the mighty Pacific, and the Europeans who voyaged from the other side of the world

Dependent on the sea for trade and communications, New Zealanders were forced to build seaworthy, reliable boats and to develop a deep understanding of seamanship No part of New Zealand is far from the coast and, from its thousands of bays and coves, New Zealanders venture forth from an early age in all manner of boats.

Our largest city, Auckland, is known as the 'city of sails' and is the host city for the next America’s Cup Regatta The oftenquoted statistic is that there are more boats per capita in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world In 2014, Auckland had over 135,000 registered boats, or one boat for approximately every 11 of the 1.45 million people living there. Unlike other parts of the world, sailing in New Zealand has never been an elitist pursuit.

Many of New Zealand's top sailors began their careers in boats that emerged from hours of devoted labour in garages and backyard sheds

The late Sir Peter Blake, for example, whose sailing successes included the America's Cup, Whitbread Race and Jules Verne trophy, tested his mother's patience and ruined her flower beds by building his first boats in the family garden Boat designer Bruce Farr, whose yachts have won most of the world's top yachting silverware, first produced lightning fast dinghies and skiffs in the family shed

“New Zealand is a wonderful country for sailors. The Bay of Islands Is a world-class cruising area, and many folks never get any further. Whangarei is also a large cruising center, and there are excellent haulout yards “

Jim Corneman – Letters from the South Pacific


Naturally the voyage from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand is always taken with a bit of trepidation, especially for firsttimers For most cruisers, it is the first time sailing out of the predictable trade winds for many months, these concerns can be exacerbated by a lot of the misinformation that tends to circulate in cruising circles.

A common one that is often heard being repeated is; “to get to New Zealand you have to face the notoriously dangerous Tasman Sea twice”

We would just like to take this opportunity to correct this misinformation by providing some navigational re-education to those that disseminate this

The Tasman Sea is in-fact a section of the southwestern Pacific Ocean, between the south-eastern coast of Australia and Tasmania to the west, and New Zealand on the east Most cruisers heading to the East coast of New Zealand from the Pacific Islands will not encounter the Tasman Sea.

With modern forecasting and a flexible timeframe, the trip from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand and return can be spectacular, with many yachts opting to stop at North Minerva Reef for an incredible mid ocean reef experience


Weather develops in two areas that will affect the passage this time of year One is from the south west; systems form to the east of Australia moving up and across the Tasman Sea The other is from the north west; in the Coral Sea off the north eastern Australian coast where tropical depressions form, possibly growing to cyclones.

Therefore, it is important like with all ocean crossings, to wait for a good weather window before departing on the 1200-mile journey.


New Zealand boasts some of the most creative and dynamic marine industry professionals in the world, our boatbuilders are world renowned and we pride ourselves on using quality products and providing exceptional service

It is a great place for major projects with sailing-oriented marine services of all descriptions available at an affordable price

As international cruisers Customs will be provided with a temporary import permit for your vessel which will also enable you to get many things GST free automatically saving you 15% You don’t have to request a GST refund on departure or prove that your projects were completed less than 60 days before you leave!


The northern part of the North Island is geographically subtropical and the southern part of the South Island is very close to the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands. For this reason, New Zealand offers a unique cruising experience contained within only 1000 miles of coastline between the two islands

Coastal cruising is very easy with thousands of excellent sheltered anchorages within a short distance of one another and plenty of very affordable marinas throughout New Zealand

Take the opportunity to do short day hops between anchorages and explore some of our fantastic hiking, safe in the knowledge that our wildlife cannot harm you…… shoes optional!

Our sub-tropical waters also offer excellent swimming, snorkelling and diving with unique marine environments to experience and no need for stinger suits here!

For the New Zealand summer – November though to April –large high-pressure systems tend to dominate the country, giving settled weather with light north-easterlies


You don’t have to take our word for it, there is plenty of independent and unbiased information available online from fellow cruisers

Read the following report from cruising family who have recently completed the Tonga to New Zealand passage and had a fantastic stop in Minerva Reef with 11 other cruising yachts:

https://sailingmirabella com/2019/05/12/passage-to-new-zealand/

If we could do it again, how would we do it?

This is a great retrospective article from cruisers who spent 2 seasons in the Pacific:

https://outchasingstars com/2017/11/07/cruising-south-pacific/

North Minerva Reef – A once in a lifetime opportunity for a mid-ocean reef stop:

https://www facebook com/pages/MinervaReefs/139017926117334

For some great information on passage planning to New Zealand, see this informative article on Noonsite

https://www noonsite com/report/passage-planning-from-the-swpacific-to-nz/

Join our Sail South Rally or Pacific Rally in 2024 and enjoy all that New Zealand has to offer!

For SaleBob Oram 60 View Now on Yacht Hub For Sale Beneteau 411 Check her out on Trademe FOR SALE 1990 Island Packet 38 View On Trademe Here Beneteau Oceanis 473 Clipper View on Trademe here Alubat Ovni 395 for sale, 42 ft. Aluminium monohull built in 2009 3 cabin version, fully equipped for bluewater cruising Contact Andy: andreas@mocobility.com

Ariki is is currently back from the Island Cruising 2023 Pacific Rally and wouldn’t take much to get back to Cat 1 for 2024. If you’re not into cruising she makes an excellent coastal cruiser and cheap live-aboard. She is very roomy!

Check out all the details on Trademe Here


For sale - Hydrovane windvane self-steering

New out of the UK 2016, been to the tropics and back to NZ 2018-2023. Was sitting unused over COVID period in Vanuatu from

Nov 2019- Sept 2023 during which time it was covered, and the boat was on the hardstand.

The unit was mounted offset on a walk-through transom Beale 33.

It is a very reluctant sale due to ill health and therefore no further offshore sailing for the boat. This extra crew named ‘Albi’ on our 2 handed adventures was our best investment for open water passage making, so simple and totally reliable.

This unit has a ‘stubby’ windvane which suited the backstay set up We also had the autohelm able to be attached to its tiller for motoring

‘Albi’ comes complete with pictured brackets and unit cover plus new spare pins and the original red Hydrovane vane cover which we didn’t use Instead, I made one and kept this as a spare

www.hydrovane.com are super supportive and will give advice all the way. You can also check out www.hydrovane.com/our-product/specifications/ for more details.

Attached are some photos and a video on passage with the windvane cover I made.

$5,500 ono, unit is in Waikawa Marina. This price is for pick up.

Contact: felicityloncar@gmail.com

For Sale. 24-foot

Para Sea Anchor

A well travelled Sea Anchor that has never been deployed but has provided much peace of mind! All complete in original condition with 150 meters of 16mm nylon braid, Primary float,retrieval line and float.

Suitable for vessels of 40 to 80ft.

Ideal for your off-shore cruising.....

Price $1200.00 Ono



I have been based in New Zealand for the past 5 years after cruising on and off for 8 years, having sailed the East Coast of Africa, the West and East Coasts of Australia as well as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. My wife and I live on our boat and are still fully involved in the cruising lifestyle. I am a Licensed Immigration Adviser for New Zealand and, as a yachtie, have a particular interest in helping yachties with their immigration issues. Island Cruising NZ Members get a 30% discount

Radix makes delicious meals, ideal for when it's rough or when you need to refuel on the go. Quick, easy, nutritious, delicious.

Discounts for Island Cruising members

Click here to order - discount code SAILNZ10

10% discount!


Island Cruising & Down Under Rally members receive weekly emails with tips and suggestions on how to go about getting prepared for a long coastal or offshore voyage. There are webinars, videos, templates, downloads, and in person get togethers.

Suitable for boat owners or crew members, experienced sailors or beginners alike You can start any time, and work through the topics at your own pace. Join in any time. Just NZD$129.00 per year and take advantage of our great sponsors deals too!

Workshop topics include:

Getting organised - a system for storing all the information for your Passage Plan, Safety Manual, Maintenance log, Important

Documents, Boating Qualifications and more

Your vessel information - a template for collating all the specifications of your boat

The Cat 1 & 2 Regulations

Boat Registration

Reporting Incidents

Insuring your boat


Meteorology - Forecasts

Communication options at Sea

Rig - rules for Cat 1 & 2

Sails for offshore - the Cruising Wardrobe

Fire Safety


Your Maintenance Records



Your sailing resumé



Passage planning


Safety gear

Diesel engine basics

Fuel systems

Servicing winches

Checking your rig

Anchoring tips

Sailing at night




Man Over Board



Abandon Ship

Preparing a Grab Bag







Charging systems

Keeping healthy

Sail trim & new sails

Boat registration

Taking on crew

Dinghy tips

Fog signals



Coping in emergencies


Skipper responsibility

Log keeping

Search and Rescue




Island Cruising & Down Under Rally

Providing cruisers with support, education & connection





· Promotingpositivesocialimpact,communityengagementand long-lastingconnectionswiththepeoplewemeet


· Beinganinclusive,diverseandsupportivecommunity

· Advocatingforandassistingsailorsinneed

· Adviceonimmigrationclearances&formalities



· Assistingsailorstopreparethemselves,theirvessel andcrewforlongcoastaloroffshorevoyages


Beingarichpoolofknowledge,supportand resourcesforcruisers



· SupportingthestrategicdirectionofYachtingNewZealand

· Formingstrongrelationshipswithyachtclubstopromotelongcoastalandoffshoreraces,ralliesandcruisingeventsandactivities


Runningasustainableandenvironmentally sensitiveorganisation

· PromotingSaferBoatingandgoodseamanshipalongside CoastguardandMaritimeNewZealand PartneringwithDownUnderRallytopromotecruisinginthe SouthPacific

Supportinglocalandglobalenvironmental initiativestoprotecttheOceanandtheplaceswevisit Encouragingsailorstobeeco-consciousand reducetheirimpactontheenvironment

PromotingCitizenScienceprojectsaimedat oceanhealth


Producingaregularnewslettertokeepcruisers informedonthelatestcruisenews,upcomingevents andpromotingpartnerproducts&businesses.

PromotingtheNewZealandMarineindustryand providingapositiveandmutuallybeneficial connectiontotheirtargetmarket

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