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Dharma 12-10-2012 10:04 AM

Australia to New Zealand
Hi all,Im after some information regarding weather,best time of the year to sail from Melbourne to Auckland and any past experiences that people have had making this passage,Appreciate any reply's,cheers

delatbabel 12-10-2012 10:52 AM

I have done Mooloolaba to Auckland once, Sydney (or nearby) to LHI a few times.

I would recommend going in the summer months, despite that the winds will be mostly contrary for a good part of the journey. The winds across the tasman can be unpredictable at any time of year, but in the winter will be stronger, with bigger seas and more gales. Later seems to work better, maybe any time from early December on to mid March.

You will be going upwind a fair bit, make sure your boat and crew can both handle that.

Dharma 12-10-2012 10:34 PM

Thanks for the reply,6-7days if all favors us and should have nz in our sites,as you say the Tasman is unpredictable maybe more than the bearing sea id say being caught out in a gale there is not nice,so leaving in the right weather window(pressure system) and right time of year will be the success of a great passage,This is not an offshore yacht to be out in nasty weather and its never been offshore,frighting it is big bucks.
Also i have herd to stay away from a north ridge that stretches over to nz as the sea state can build nasty in a low pressure,would you comment on that?

delatbabel 12-10-2012 11:02 PM

6-7 days is really pushing it from Melbourne unless your boat is a racer that's fast upwind. My last trip from Mooloolaba took 21 days including a 2 day stop at LHI so in an average cruising yacht I'd allow more like 14 days minimum, and prepare to be at sea for a week longer than that. Added to that, storms in the Bass Strait are just as likely to keep you in port for lengthy periods after your planned departure date.

There is a ridge of sea-mounts in a straight line between Sydney and LHI, almost exactly half way. They are probably just a bit north of a rhumb line between Melbourne and Auckland and about 1/4 of the way there. Yes, you should avoid those and the ridge, stay at least 10nm away because it can induce lumpy seas. On the trip to LHI we tried to make north of it while we could, because the prevailing winds are NE rather than E and we were fortunate enough to leave on a SW, but you may not be able to achieve that from Melbourne. Sea state can be bad in that area even in calm seas and gentle winds because of the convergence of the currents.

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