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Old 03-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #1
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Default Opinions on staying in the tropics through cyclone season

As I plan the logistics for next year's cruising, I'm considering the options of staying in the tropics for cyclone season vs taking the boat south to NZ.

By November next year I plan to be in or around Vanuatu. I guess my options are either: Stay in Vanuatu, hoping to find somewhere safe to moor/anchor/berth the boat or put it on the hard stand through the cyclone season, head back to somewhere on the Qld coast (either Brisbane, Bundaberg or possibly Cairns), or head south to NZ for the cyclone season.

It appears that many boats make the trip south to NZ and the thing that deters me is hearing the horror stories of bad weather/lost boats on that trip.

So I'm considering leaving the boat in Vanuatu or nearby (which could be New Caledonia or Fiji). Over that season I would be away working for the months from November to April so I would need to leave the boat unattended with possible occasional visits.

The alternative of course is to sail back to Australia where I could berth the boat in Brisbane or points further north.

Does anyone have any opinions on the practicalities of doing this?

= New South Wales, Queensland,
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:56 AM   #2
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Hmm, notice Queensland this last cyclone season?

On a more positive note, a lot of boats get left on the hard in Noumea. They may get a cyclone, but I doubt the hard stand would flood.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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Vunda Point Marina near Nadi, Fiji is reasonably safe. They dig a hole in the ground and set you down on old tires. Cyclone Evan ripped through there in January and no one really had problems. Price is reasonable. The international airport is close by.

Noumea as noted above is safe the travell lift takes you onto a concrete hard stand area sets you in a steel adjustable cradle and the boat is tied down to iron rings imbedded in the concrete. Never heard of any problems there in a cyclone. Bit pricy though.

Port Villa Vanuatu has a gravel hard stand area to store boats. Never heard of any serious problems there in a cyclone. Price is reasonable.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information BJ, I'll contact those places and see what they have to offer. Noumea does sound the best option from a safety point of view, I like the idea of iron rings but it may depend on price. I'd like to be well past Fiji by November but if that's the best option it's a candidate as well.
= New South Wales, Queensland,
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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Friends of ours haved lived in Vila, Vanuatu for quite a few years now and have hauled their boat every cyclone season. I'm not sure if they still do this. Gary Vasconcellos and Ingrid, boat's name is OBSESSION.
here's a link from Ingrid's Facebook page, Port Vila Boatyard
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:15 AM   #6
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Latest update on that is that I have decided on the Port Vila boatyard to haul out for the cyclone season. My insurance company (Pantaenius) seem happy with that so it's all good for me.

= New South Wales, Queensland,
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