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Lightwave 45
Vroom with a view Lightwave’s proven 45 footer is incorporated into the design of the new Maestro, creating a unique catamaran, reports KEVIN GREEN. The Lightwave 45 Maestro Lightwave Yachts flies the Australian made flag building quality catamarans in their Coomera yard under the guidance of shipwright Roger Overell. Roger and wife Louise acknowledged the […]
Lightwave Yachts Celebrating 20 Years I story ROGER OVERELL, FOUNDER AND BUILDER, LIGHTWAVE YACHTS We recently celebrated 20 years at the Lightwave Family Reunion at Great Keppel Island, Queensland, with 18 Lightwave vessels in attendance and 60 people present. What a moment. What a sight. What an effort from all involved. We are so thankful […]
STAYING TRUE BLUE The stormy waters of the global financial crisis have reshaped Australian boatbuilding, leaving a much leaner industry and Lightwave Yachts epitomises this new era with new boats and some radical new ideas, writes KEVIN GREEN. For company owner Roger Overell, the writing was on the wall several years ago when the Gold […]
Lightwave 38
LIGHTWAVE 38 GUARANTEED 100% ‘AUSSIE’! Seen from Europe, or the United States, we don’t always appreciate the real attraction of the Australians for the sea, and particularly the nautical industry. However, in the country of the kangaroo, there is an exceptional expertise as regards boat building, and a particularly large number of multihull specialists. A […]
Lightwave 38
To commission an Opus Ask anyone who their favourite band is, or what their favourite movie is and you can never get a right or wrong answer as everyone has their own personal preference. This also applies in a big way to boats. There are a lot of good boats on the market, and the […]
Lightwave 45
A syndicated Lightwave LIFE LW45G Blue Spirit is set up for long distance cruising with a roaming base location “Did you know each other before you joined the syndicate?” This is the question everybody asks when we talk about how delighted we are as syndicate owners of Blue Spirit, our brilliant new 45ft Lightwave Grande’ […]
Lightwave 45
Bluewater pedigree Running in big seas or reaching before a breathless backdrop of blue, the first Lightwave catamaran to find a home in New Zealand proves an impressive performer. Words John Martin Photos Will Calver/oceanphotography.co.nz The Lightwave Grandé benefits from generous spaces below decks and the tasteful colour scheme selected by Gill, making her a […]
Lightwave 38
An account of riding out the cyclone DISCUSSION CENTRED on the likely scenario that this system could intensify and take a very fast and direct approach to Cardwell. As days passed, this possibility was confirmed by the various national and overseas weather reporting agencies. This transferred to the local Councils and Emergency Management agencies which […]
Lightwave 45
Custom comforts Proving that quality built Australian catamarans have never been more popular Lightwave Yachts are busy supplying this growing market with innovative designs, as shown by the latest 45 Grandé, reports KEVIN GREEN. THE LATEST LIGHTWAVE, THE GRANDÉ 45 HAS just hit the water and with four other boats under construction the Coomera based […]
Lightwave 45
Lightwave conquers the World! WELCOME HOME : Lightwave Yachts host Homecoming celebration at Southport Yacht Club A blue water pedigree with sleek appeal, Lightwave cats are renowned for their awesome performance and long range cruising capabilities, and the latest accomplishment of a Lightwave 45, adds proven performance appeal, as a World conquering catamaran. SECOND TIME, […]
ONE OFF the list Having been the artist on this mag for many years now it might come as a surprise to readers that I have never been on a catamaran before (well, not one that is moving anyway). I can almost hear the collective groans of “whats?” and “why nots?”. Now that’s not to […]
Making Serious Waves Lightwave Yachts. By Mike Brown Queensland’s Lightwave Yachts have been making serious waves since 1996. They do build Australia’s fastest one design racing production cat, the Raider catamaran, but their renown is for cruising catamarans: sailing, power and, the logical combination, motor sailers. And these cruisers get cruised. This month the celebration […]
PEDIGR EE CAT with charisma! The sun shines 364 days of the year in the Whitsunday Islands. The other day is reserved for my boat reviews; as such, the decidedly inclement weather on this one day I ventured north was surely a worthy test for the latest addition to the Lightwave Yachts portfolio, the Lightwave […]
PEDIGREE CAT with charisma! The sun shines 364 days of the year in the Whitsunday Islands. The other day is reserved for my boat reviews; as such, the decidedly inclement weather on this one day I ventured north was surely a worthy test for the latest addition to the Lightwave Yachts portfolio, the Lightwave 38 […]
HIS FOR From dream to reality From time to time we interview industry figure-heads, brokers, designers, CEOʼs, boatbuilders and marketing gurus who are only too happy to expound on the virtues and success of their boats, their products, their associations or their companies. Seldom until this opportunity arose however, do we get to hear first-hand […]
Lightwave Yachts is proud to announce the 2010 LW38’ Sail and Power Cat models. New features include an extended cockpit hardtop area, creating a more spacious outdoor lounging & dining area that is protected from the elements. Larger double sliding doors into the saloon provide a wider entrance and adds to the seamless fl ow […]
THE POWER OF TWO: THE LIGHTWAVE 47 MS Backing up with a second new release this year, Lightwave Yachts are pleased to announce the successful launching of their first Motor Sailer, the Lightwave 47’ Motor Sailer. Incorporating the new Grandé deck, the Lightwave 47’ Motor Sailer has been engineered to be a true Motor Sailer, […]
Lightwave 47 MS
LIGHTWAVE Grandé Series genuine Motor Sailer LAMENTABLE IS THE REALITY THAT MOST MANUFACTURER CLAIMS OF A GENUINE ‘POWER catamaran’ version within their range have historically been met with suspicion and contempt by potential clients. A ‘motor sailer’ version creates even more dubiety; as such it is ironically satisfying then when a manufacturer such as Lightwave […]
Lightwaves Cruise in Company: Guy Chester, EcoSustainAbility, Rally Organiser Photos supplied by Guy Chester & Rob Robson Louisiades Rally for 2009!2009! The Louisiades Yacht Rally will be held again in 2009. After a very successful inaugural Rally last year both the yachties and locals are getting ready for this year’s event. The Islands and People […]
Premier ONE DESIGN fleet racing EXTREME sailing with comfort included Congratulations to Rob of Perth, W.A., owner of PEARL Raider, delivered after being displayed at the ’08 C.M. Mandurah Boat Show This 30′ demountable sports cat offers the most exciting experience creating a spectacular sight. A proven Offshore and Fleet Racer, the crew of four […]
The need for speed The production multihull industry in Australia is deservedly proud of its ability to build excellent products at fair prices. I strongly believe that we have some of the best production builders in the world. Of course we also have access to some of the best designers and custom builders as well. […]
LIGHTWAVE YACHTS VOLVO PENTA ROAMING REGATTA08 This three day extravaganza, was the fifth Annual Regatta Lightwave Yachts has hosted since 2004. Extreme weather conditions didn’t dampen the high spirits of the Lightwave Owners and their Guests who braved blustery, wet weather over most of the Event time. The format for this year’s Regatta was for […]
Cruising the kimberley coast The Kimberley coast has become extremely popular with cruisers out of Darwin and also those travelling up the west coast from Perth and Fremantle. The number of boats visiting the area is certainly on the increase and quite a few tour boats take people in there now as well. The coastline […]
Lightwave 40 PC
Lightwave 40 Cruising under sail is a pleasant way to go, but when the wind drops, on go the engines. Review by Kevan Wolf. Most yachties will tell you that when they are cruising they spend about 70 to 80 per cent of their time on the motor. This is why power catamarans have become […]
Lightwave 45
Around the World Peter and Penny Faulkner, LW45 Innforapenny II The dream was always to sail around the world and although I have had some experience coastal sailing along the east coast of Australia and in Western Europe the thought of a circumnavigation was a little daunting. On discovering that you could join an around […]
Owner Ken French, comments on “Crossing to the Dark Side” after being a keen mono sailor all his life, and also recounts his experiences with buying an ex-charter Lightwave 38′ Sailing Catamaran… I think a lot of our family, friends and sailing mates were shocked when we told them we were going to buy a […]
Lightwave 46 PC
Why buy a LIGHTWAVE an Owner’s Perspective…by Robyn Jefferies, FLASHDANCER, LIGHTWAVE POWERCAT 46’ Why buy POWER not SAIL? There are a lot of yachties or prospective yachties who would be more suited to a power vessel than a yacht. Advantages include: Getting to your destination quicker and more refreshed, this is definitely an advantage for […]
SNEAK PEAK taking shape at the LWY factory Super Size The Lightwave 45′ Grande’ offers a cat focused on supreme comfort with a larger saloon and cockpit, whilst still offering responsive performance. Layout options include 3 or 4 cabins, two or four bathroom layout; and optional galley up. Having already secured orders prerelease, and the […]
Lightwave 45
South to Sydney by Andrew Crawford I am a strong supporter of the Australian Multihull Industry, be it small project builders, designers or large scale commercial production enterprises. I support the industry because it deserves it. By and large, Australia produces some of the finest multihulls in their class. ONE company I have watched with […]
Lightwave 38
A great custom to have Lightwave has revamped the popular 38 with options suited to the cruising, charter and weekend sailor markets, reports Roger Priest. The hardest thing about buying a new 38 from Lightwave is the plethora of buyer choices. To make things a little easier for you, Lightwave offers four basic layouts and […]
Lightwave 46 PC
Lightwave Superstar At first sight the Lightwave 46’ Powercat exudes a flair of powerful dynamism. Sporting a finer hull shape, the piecing power efficient bulbs slice through the water at level trim, leaving bows dry, and no stern drag. The re-engineered hulls and sharp bows deliver peak performance, enhancing stability, safety and speed. The new […]
Lightwave 45
Elegant, efficient and seakindly were among the must-haves in the design brief for the new Lightwave 45. How well does it achieve them? Caroline Strainig reports on the latest offering from the Gold Coast-based Lightwave stable. When it comes to catamarans, there’s one name that springs immediately to mind when you start talking Australian designers: […]
Lightwave owners regatta This year the Lightwave extended family held their regatta over a the Labour Day long weekend in Queensland. The format was for a get together and briefing on Friday night at the Southport Yacht Club, a race on Saturday leading into a beach barbie on Saturday night with an overnight stop at […]
Lightwave Regatta Lightwave Yachts on the Gold Coast, if you didn’t already know produce a fine production sailing catamaran, as well as a powercat. Nathan and Roger and the team are amongst the friendliest crew around and are proud of their success in converting Tony Grainger’s design into an exceptional sailing boat. TO celebrate that […]
Lightwave 38
Lightwave, Last edition I wrote of a short sail on a Lightwave 38 Sonja and I recently had the opportunity to have a longer trip, spending an entire weekend on the boat in an around the Gold Coast. I thought it might be interesting to further review the vessel from ‘the crew’s perspective’ so it’s […]
Lightwave 38
THE Lightwave 38 was on display at the Sanctuary Cove Boat show. Since then I have had the opportunity to test sail the vessel in the Southport area. Nathan, from Overall Stanton Yachts was demonstrating the boat to two couples who were interested purchasers. I am advised that one of the couples has ordered a […]
Lightwave 35
OUR first open water passage in our Lightwave 10.5 catamaran would be from the Gold Coast to Hastings in Westernport Bay, Victoria. Over the past 10 months, our boat was a resident of the Hope Harbour Marina. Although we tried to take as many long weekends from our jobs in Melbourne to use Zig Zag, […]
The growth of multihulls in Australia and indeed the world has certainly brought these boats and their designs to the fore in multihull boat production, not to be denied is the Grainger designed Lightwave 10.5, built by Overell Stanton Yachts on the Gold Coast. So it was we were greeted on a typical winter’s day […]

BEEN THERE DOING THAT. Lightwave Yachts Cruisers Booklet, Edition 1. Australia’s Top End Cruising, Cruising the Kimberleys, Pacific Island Cruising, Tips for Cruising to Remote locations

Capture 1

Cruising the kimberley coast

The Kimberley coast has become extremely popular with cruisers out of Darwin and also those travelling up the west coast from Perth and Fremantle. The number of boats visiting the area is certainly on the increase and quite a few tour boats take people in there now as well. The coastline is incredibly dramatic with rugged, towering escarpment and waterfalls along most of the rivers and lots of exceptional anchorages dotted over hundreds of kilometres all the way down to Broome. The Berkley River on the eastern extremity of the Kimberley cruising grounds, is a particular favourite and only a couple of days sail from Darwin.

Most Kimberley-bound sailors are keen to leave Darwin in late April directly after the ‘Wet’ (ie the cyclone season – from October to April), although each year is a little different. Leaving Darwin at this time gives sailors a fantastic opportunity to experience huge volumes of water cascading over the many spectacular falls, and these are good places to top up water tanks! Water can become a bit scarce here area towards the end of the ‘Dry’ (May to September) and, because of the area’s remoteness, there are very few places to provision, refuel or take on fresh water).

Everyone we talk to swears the Kimberley offers the best cruising in Australia’s and the photos certainly back that up. We know one lovely retired couple who live south of Perth but dry-dock their Crowther 10 cat in Darwin and fly up for the dry season every year. They have done extensive cruising along the east coast but now sail the Kimberley for about four-five months of every year then sail back to Darwin, crane their cat into a local boat park and fly off to Perth again to tend their fruit trees. They’ve been doing this for at least the past 15 years.

Getting to the Kimberley could be considered a ‘long haul’ for someone sailing from the east coast, particularly if they are intending to return home in the same year. From this perspective, most yachts head ‘east’ from Darwin towards the end of October (depending on weather conditions), which is when the south-easterlies tend to quieten down, enabling the 300 nautical mile dash across the Gulf of Carpentaria from Gove to Cape York, then back down the coast.

One of the best information packages we’ve seen on the Kimberley coast is on a website prepared by multihull sailors Dennis and Annette Ford. It details a wealth of information and is constantly updated – see http://kimberleycruising.com.au/

Northward to the spice islands

Darwin is the departure port for three annual blue water international yacht races and rallies which lure hundreds of sailors from around Australia and around the world. On our way back to Darwin from Queensland last year we met many American and European sailors heading for Darwin so they could join the various fleets.

The historic Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race (starting 26 July 2008) is mainly made up of international yachts heading further west. Other popular annual options departing from Darwin harbour include the shorter and easier Sail Saumlaki rally (starting 19 July 2008) and the Sail Indonesia rally (starting 26 July 2008) which takes a course from Darwin to Kupang in West Timor then on through the Indonesian Islands to Singapore and Malaysia.

Needless to say, with these three events leaving at around the same time, Darwin Sailing Club is bursting at the seams with Aussie and international sailors – and a wonderful lively atmosphere. Goggle the event names to find full details on respective websites.

Cosmopolitan Darwin offers all types of services for yachties. They are easily available as most places are only a short distance due to the fact that Darwin is built on a peninsula (we locals complain if we have to drive more than 20 minutes to get somewhere). Many yachties will drop anchor in Fannie Bay (free of charge) and frequent the Darwin Sailing Club for a cool drink, superb lunches and dinners, an the chance to see the sun setting over the water!!

If you don’t want to anchor in Fannie Bay there a four marinas, though only three – Cullen Bay, Bayview and Frances Bay (or ‘the duck pond’ as it is more affectionately known) – have locks wide enough to handle big cats. They all operate via a lock system because of the large tides in this area.

That’s about it from our cruising patch in a nutshell – but if anyone wants more details, we are happy to provide.

Good sailing, Col & Kerry Sharp


FOREWORD After achieving many cruising journeys previously on monohulls, Jan & Terry are converted cat sailors. Since Crossing to the Dark Side in 2004, they have clocked up even more cruising miles along the East Coast of Australia and are currently cruising Thailand.

CRUISING TIPS Be sure to have a PANIC BAG readily available. Basically we have 3 x 10 litre water proof bags which we tie together with a life jacket to ensure that they will float (writing the boat name on them may be a good idea but we haven’t done that yet).

Ensuring they will float is very important. Contents of the bags are listed at right. Have ropes strung under the underwing. Have an escape hatch installed in the saloon floor. Have an emergency plan and discuss with all members of the crew. Practice man overboard drills, have backup charts of all waters to be navigated and backup working GPS. Have waterproof handheld VHF. Keep a manual lookout at all times and double check position in relation to land and reefs etc.

Tip on Cruising the top end of Australia…Crossing the gulf at the top can be very lumpy so if prone to seasickness be sure to have appropriate medication on hand and secure all loose items on deck and inside the cabin.

5 o’clock somewhere to cruise in company to papua new guinea from queensland

Rob Robson, Owner of LW45 5 O’Clock Somewhere, recently saw a Rally notice and is planning to participate. For more information, contact Guy Chester, Director EcoSustainAbility and Rally Organiser

Guy Chester, an experienced cruising yachtie from Cairns has announced the Louisiades Rally 2008. The Rally is being organised with the support of the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority.

Guy Chester said: “After sailing in the race from Cairns to Port Moresby in 1991 we cruised a small section of the Louisiades and despite cruising around much of the Pacific and South East Asia over the last 20 years the lure of the untouched Louisiades has remained. We spent a month sailing in the Louisiades in 2007 with the idea of arranging a rally for 2008. The local people were so enthusiastic we knew we just had to make it happen. We have made arrangements for some great events, from traditional dancing, a skull cave visit, a traditional sailing canoe regatta, school visits and many other events. The locals are very keen to host the rally, already they provide a great welcome to the cruising yachts that visit the islands.”

The Louisiades are 500 nautical miles from Cairns which equates to a two to four day passage for most cruising yachts. “We are providing support such as arranging customs clearance and flying in the PNG Customs officer to the yachts. We will have safety briefings and provide weather and safety reports for yachts, this allows sailors who have not yet ventured offshore to have the confidence to give it a go. I first sailed offshore in the Darwin to Ambon race many years ago and I know the benefit of venturing out for your first bluewater passage in the company of other yachts,” said Guy.

The rally will start on 20 September 2008 and take yachts in company for four weeks to many island destinations. Yachts may then chose to carry on cruising the beautiful islands of PNG, head off to the Solomon Islands or cruise in company back to Cairns. The rally has as a major aim to contribute to the communities visited, where people live in a subsistence lifestyle and even the basics of health and education are not guaranteed.


It seems no matter how organised you try to be there will always be those last minute jobs to organise. The plan was to have 95% of everything organised and completed 2 weeks prior to departure. In theory this would allow the captain and crew to be well and truly calm and confident knowing the boat was stocked, stowed, fuelled, safety packed, hulls cleaned and eager to burst its mooring lines for its first offshore trip – remembering all the time that this is what we bought the boat for, she was after all designed to sail offshore. Were we designed to go offshore though? This is the part you forget to put some effort into.

Well, this was all well and good in practice and most people who’ve sailed realise the best laid plans sometimes don’t work out… The boat was certainly well stocked with food – it was apparent we would be able to supply all of Vanuatu with toilet paper, toothpaste, bread and yoghurt, these obviously being considered the staples of the trip considering the volume purchased (we are still getting through the yoghurt some 12 months later…).

Our two main issues – and considered the most important for the trip was the installation of the HF radio and desalinator. Choices, choices and more choices. Once the brands were selected they were ordered from the US. The HF arrived without hitch less than a week of its order. The water maker however, went AWOL in the Port of Spain and eventually told it had turned up after 5 weeks at Brisbane airport. Money was exchanged and package was found only to discovered that, no, no water maker in that box, our package was still in the South of Spain – on island time no doubt. Mild panic knowing at this point we had 3 weeks to leaving and it was imperative to have the water maker installed. Fortunately we had a 2nd option and ordered a unit from Qld for it to arrive within 1 week. Not the 12v system we wanted, motor driven instead which required additional bracket and installation to make it work. In a nutshell, the HF and the rigging of aerial, copper plating, testing etc. was completed 2 days prior to the sail day. The water maker was installed and tested 1 day prior – yes, salt water into fresh, brilliant. No sweat. Who was worried?

By the time we were given the two week sailing weather window there was enormous tension in the air. Our two sailing crew (brother and sister in law – nil sailing experience) arrived and we had all family and friends come down to see us off the night before we were due to leave. We would have had around 20 people coming and going in amongst sorting out last minute problems while trying be calm ready to leave in the morning. Emotions ran high.


Departure morning, variable winds, clear skies and we’re off. Goodbyes said to our marina bound friends and let’s good the bloody hell out of here. Well, we didn’t get far. The first mate carefully stowed her straw sailing cap under the back seats which jambed the steering mechanism and shredded the hat. Great start. Dropped anchor in the harbour to resolve. Captain slightly unhappy with first mate…don’t know why really. Set the mainsail and screecher and set a course due east. Idyllic, spirits high.

Then, naturally, 7 hours into the trip – land a distant memory, the autopilot fails. Suggestion from crew maybe we should turn back. As if, not likely there were promptly informed. Decide props weren’t cleaned enough (ie. not at all) and a quick swim is required to chip the barnacles off. Can’t drop anchor at 3,000 metres so some bobbing around in mild swells where the first mate someone ended up the person with the paint scraper and rope tied to them diving under the clean the props. There are twelve sides to clean the first mate discovered and no sooner you get to the props in the swell, hold on and chip away a little, it’s time to come up for air. Lots of salt water swallowed. Job done within an hour. Salt water negates seasickness pills and first mate feeds the fish for the next day or so. Great start.

Autopilot now working. Spirits high again.

Sea crossing

Well, what can you say, 7 days is a long time at sea when you’ve not done it before. Yeah we know, people spend 70 days at sea without seeing land but we weren’t that seasoned yet. The first two days you get some confidence that yes, everything will be ok, you find your rhythm, your routine, you read, watch movies, have a few drinks (yes I know, shouldn’t do that) and generally start to relax a little. Oh, bugger, warning of a storm cell approaching (thank god for the HF and friends to sail with to warn you), shorten sails, ride the storm out (read: chant mantra ‘I will not be sick, I will not be sick) and wait for the next day. All is reasonable but what the bloody hell are we doing out here? Well, that’s the first mate’s version.

The captain would say he was like a cat on a hot tin roof from day one. In retrospect and speaking to well seasoned travellers this is quite normal and being captain holds an enormous responsibility which is highly stressful. Our captain starting dropping weight from stress on day 1!! Let alone by the time our little ‘storm’ experience hit. A captain has to make those on the spot decisions, he has to fix the breakages and things that inevitably go wrong, he has the feeling all lives are in his hands and land is still a long way away.

The captain had three perfect days at sea, well, apart from zero wind and motoring all day. Tip: you can always do with more fuel that what you think you’ll need and then add some again. Unless of course you want to bob around in the water which would mean more time at sea and more chance of hitting bad weather bugger that, we’re motoring.

The third night we hit the storm, gusting up to 45kts (so the first mate is told) and time spent in the middle of a water spout to spook the crew out. Weather threw the boat everywhere, the normal waves crashing over boom type. Main double reefed and boat slowed as much as possible. Captain and brother ride out the storm while the first mate and sister in law try not to be sick. Lots of fun. Twelve hours later storm is over, seas flat again and a beautiful day ahead. Some rather frayed nerves and that was the worst of it really. Next 3 days spent making into port at Noumea.

Lot’s of celebrating, adrenalin highs, champagne to be drunk –bugger sleep, too excited.

The people and experience

The islanders you come across that have so little (at least we would say that) live the simplest of lives and are always smiling and friendly, eager to learn about you, your boat and where you’ve come from (and, yes, to trade things for food, rope, sheets etc.). It’s an amazing experience where the people of Vanuatu readily accept boaties and proudly show off their villages. Each village differs so much from the one around the corner. Some have running water (courtesy of Aust. 7th Day Adventist groups) others do not and collect by digging a hole in the ground. The kids are so innocent and happy, very shy but intrigued by the people in their boats.

From traveling around Vanuatu with a 56ft monohull we’ve learnt the islanders find it much easier to paddle their dug out canoes to the catamaran, much easier point of entries so we inevitably had a hoard of canoes around our boat, sometimes before the anchor was even dropped.

You meet boaties from all round the world, circumnavigating – some in vessels you wouldn’t even contemplate but it works for them. Met many cruisers who’s wives went along for the ride not really having any experience and cope reasonably well. In Vanuatu we met the first civilian who paid to go into space on as a cosmonaut with Russia. The US naturally were unhappy at this as he was in fact a NASA engineer. We found him hugely interesting but he found our stories equally as interesting considering we had no experience.

It’s important to get off your own boat and try and get to know as many people as you can. The people you meet and stories they have to share put your own ‘little’ trip into perspective.

The islands of New Caledonia to us were the most beautiful of the whole trip. Isle de Pines and the Loyalty Islands are well worth the effort to get to. Talcum powder fine white sand, turquoise waters and picture postcard views. All of which relatively untouched and with history going back to French colonisation.

Although itself a dirty harbour and marina Noumea has an wonderful vibrant feel of a mix of local kanaks and visiting french born. There’s the latin quarter and the Chanel (Coco that is!) quarter, so to speak. The markets are what we’ll miss the most with wonderful produce, people, coffee served out of soup bowls and of course the paninis. Such a great mix of culture. I’d be back there in a shot.

That’s what the sailing 7 days is for, not just the islands, the fishing (limited), snorkelling (magic) it’s the people and taking the time to see everything from another perspective (and having to learn a bit of french along the way).

Yes, things will go wrong on the trip, it’s Murphy’s Law. No matter how well prepared you are some piece of equipment or electronics will fail and it seems the boat is always pulled apart to fix the next thing that’s gone wrong. But if you didn’t have that then how would you enjoy the good times. It would be too perfect, you need the ordinary times to appreciate the other side. The captain however may disagree, particularly as he was the one fixing the autopilot, or the toilet, the sail – any number of things. But, that’s what they say cruising is – going to exotic locations to fix your boat – and in reality that’s what it can become but you wouldn’t change it for the world (well ok, you can do without having to fix the loo).


What would we do differently. Well, the first mate would preferred not to have come home and stayed in New Cal. The captain would probably have liked to come back to familiar territory earlier. You do miss the things you’re used to.

You really need a good supply list, not only of the obvious but of all the main mechanical things that could go wrong that you may need a spare for when you’re at sea. Yes, on arrival you can pick things up but that won’t help you when you’re four days out of port.

Carry lots more fuel than you think’s necessary and don’t forget all the safety gear – hopefully you mightn’t need it but if you don’t have it no doubt you’ll need it. We purchased a parachute anchor for the trip and used it to rescue a boat off the reef in the Whitsundays who put in a pan pan call. The bridle lines to the anchor became a tow line. Never thought we’d use it for that but better than the alternative I guess!

Do your research on where you’re going – there’s some fantastic CD’s on travelling to the South Pacific showing you weather, entry ports, local customs all sorts of inside information.

Get on the internet, go to some of the sailing sites and get a feel for what it’s going to be like at sea. You need to be prepared even more so than the boat.

Have an agreed sailing watch roster, ie. we had 2 hours on 2 hours off during the night. For us that time worked well, enough to get a little rest/sleep but not too long that while you’re on watch you’ll dose off. Everyone’s different, be flexible.

On the trip over we had two family members brave enough to come. They had no experience whatsoever but for us it made an enormous difference having two extra people on board when it got messy. Good for the boredom, morale and was actually the best part of the trip having them as companions to share it all with.

We left with a total of three boats from Coffs Harbour to Noumea. One of which, Seaforth a monohull had done many offshore trips two/from New Zealand and were well experienced. They had access to a weather expert and were in regular contact with us. It makes an enormous difference traveling with other boats knowing if you’re in uncomfortable situations then they’re not too far away suffering it out as well.

Most importantly we’ve learnt – have a back up for your backup and then one more doesn’t hurt! Both our autopilot and chartplotter failed within weeks of each other in Noumea and had to be replaced (we had 2 weeks left on the warranty!).

Luckily, the local chandlery were able to provide us with a temporary replacement for our autopilot (don’t know if they’d do that in Australia) but we had to rely upon our handheld GPS hooked up to the laptop and electronic CMAP charts. When it worked it was reasonable, a bit cumbersome and awkward but when it didn’t and the computer thought the GPS was a mouse and lost the signal it was extremely frustrating. It got us through however, on return to Australia the laptop died. Mild panic realising what that would have meant for us if we were offshore. We sailed for about 6 weeks from Noumea to the islands of Vanuatu completely reliant upon the laptop and handheld GPS. In retrospect I would have another laptop as a spare.

All in all we travelled as far as Espiritos Santos in Vanuatu, didn’t make the main volcano in Tanna after bashing into tradewinds for a day realised it wasn’t going to happen. Having said that, we had some amazing night sails from Santos, clear skies, light breezes watching the plumes of the volcano and smelling the sulfuric acid in the air. It was magical. We experienced an earthquake that took place 30nm from where we were anchored – much movement and shuddering of the boat, very bizarre – particularly when we had no idea what it was at the time!

The first mate would say if offshore cruising is something you aspire to then get out there and make it happen, you won’t regret it. You learn an enormous amount about yourself and each other. Memories that so many people don’t have the opportunity of doing. Yes, it can definitely be tough, everything’s magnified on a boat – get off the boat when you can, that’s the whole idea of sailing somewhere different.

The captain would say you’re probably mad for wanting to do it!No, the captain enjoyed it, doesn’t regret it but probably won’t venture offshore again. Maybe if someone else was captain (well, someone other than the first mate at least!).

Our boats handle the seas, weather and all situations extremely well it’s how we handle it that determines how you get out of it.

Isolation cruising tips: prepared especially for Lightwave Owners by famous cruising Author Alan Lucas (Cruising the Coral Coast, Cruising the New South Wales Coast)


A surprising truth about remote areas is the number of services available where you least expect them. For example, aboriginal settlements usually have a general store or mini-mart, servo, post office with bank agency where a little of everything can be purchased or ordered in. There may also be an occasional fishing-fleet mother ship selling produce, water and fuel to recreational craft.

As well as these unexpected services, there is a multitude of communication systems available, sat-phone proving one of the most popular. As long as you can reach an outpost, delivery of vital items for ship and crew can be organised one way or another. Indeed, there are times when direct mail ordering can produce quicker results than physically shopping in your own hometown.

Before departing homeport, anticipate the need to mail-order supplies and equipment by listing relevant phone and fax numbers, email addresses and so on for everything imaginable aboard your little ship. Also, ask your GP about the most sensible antibiotics to carry aboard and seek the latest information on treating snakebite, stings and general first aid.

Should your vessel be disabled in any way, plan around self-reliance. Remember, history shows that most boats outlive their crews after abandonment. Take the tools, parts, sealants, glues and scraps of material most likely to save you and your ship. Maydays should be the last resort, not the first.

As to victualling, always seek fresh, non-chilled fruit and vegetables that last longer in ambient temperatures. If only cold-stored food is available, expect it to deteriorate within days unless stored in a refrigerator. The reality of modern food distribution systems is that truly fresh, unchilled food will be rarely available once known and trusted sources are left astern. Refrigerating – not freezing, thus becomes the only way to hold fruit and vegies for any worthwhile length of time. Dedicated carnivores need a freezer and should beware of consuming meat that has for any reason refrozen after thawing.

The following hints refer only to truly garden-fresh foods.

Lettuce and cabbage do well with the outer leaves left on and wrapped in newspaper (kept damp if possible) whilst pumpkins, onions, potatoes, corn in its husk, beetroot and so on survive well slung in a net in a dark, well ventilated area. Carrots and celery are better for being dried and wrapped in aluminium foil.

Flour, rice, dried beans, lentils, and so on, are known weevil habitats: Bay leaves scattered throughout their containers discourages infestation, while lavender leaves reduce insect attack when layered into bulk-stored dried fruit. Nuts last a long time in their original packet or mixed into a common airtight container, but don’t combine salted and unsalted nuts because the salt attracts moisture and prematurely softens all nuts. For the same reason, don’t be tempted to pre-mix nuts with moist dried fruits. Invert oily foods, such as peanut butter and Tahini every week or two to keep the natural oils from settling. Cheese can be wrapped in a vinegar-dampened cloth.

Tinned food is available in many forms, but try varying common varieties with such products as the Sanitarium range of vegetarian foods, fruit in natural juice that need refrigeration only after opening, tuna in its many variations and so on.

A pleasant truth about wilderness cruising is that necessity brings out the creative artist in most people, with cooks producing culinary miracles from food they’ve rarely seen, let alone used before; lovers of crafts turning resins, glass, driftwood, timber scraps, rope, twine, wool, cotton and virtually every known material into works of art, and their common bond is the hope that they don’t run out of material.

A trick is to add a few little luxuries to the food list and then stow them randomly throughout the boat. For example, that Mars Bar that you had sworn off back in port may one day be worth tearing the boat apart to find, a double-whammy activity that nearly always exposes little shipboard jobs that have needed doing for months and now cannot be ignored

Eaglehearts & the marvellous kimberely’s

Eaglehearts spent 3weeks in the Kimbereley’s on her way home to WA in 2006. In our last cat Loose Ends we had previously spent 2 weeks in the Kimberley’s on the way to Darwin with a Variety Club fundraiser in 2005 and another 2 weeks on the way south. We sold Loose Ends in Carnarvon while still 500nm from home and we then got smart & purchased Eaglehearts (Lightwave 10.5 No.001) and sailed her from Lightwave factory in Coomera to our home at Hillary’s Yacht Club which is 15nm north of Fremantle. The journey up the east coast was nice, across the top from Cape York to Darwin very nice & a foretaste of things to come in the Kimberley’s

The Kimberley’s in northwestern WA are one of the world’s last wilderness areas. Around 700nm from Darwin to Broome & they are visited by, probably, hundreds of cruising yachts each year. The scenery is spectacular with innumerable superb bays & islands & is already under threat from mining & tourism. So it is well worth making the effort now to visit this fantastic part of the world where one occasionally encounters other cruising boats.

Before heading off you will need the Fremantle Sailing Club’s Cruising Guide, the Australian Tide CD & you should spend some time on the net (Google Earth, then enter Kimberley Cruising into your search engine). Together with the appropriate paper charts & a thorough check of your boat & its equipment remember this is a remote area without marinas or boat yards.

We left from Darwin at the end of July heading straight across the Bonaparte Gulf to Koolama Bay. Lots of people go around the gulf but we had a good weather forecast (the gulf is nicknamed ‘The Blown Apart Gulf’) & decided to spend the extra time further down. Any visit to the Kimberley’s is either lengthy or you have to make difficult choices about what to see & what to miss. Even with a lengthy stay you can’t see all of the Kimbereley’s. We have met other boats that have been there for several seasons & still complained that there are parts that they either haven’t seen or have spent too little time in. In Koolama Bay we crossed the bar with care & carefully motored 10nm up the King George River to the main waterfalls where we anchored for the night in this very special spot.

In the season, about May through September to dodge the cyclone season, winds are light so you do lots of motoring. Fuel is not readily available until you get to Dog Leg Creek, about 500nm from Darwin, so it is advisable to carry extra fuel & to keep an eye on your usage. Night sailing is OK with care, but you don’t get to see much in the dark!

We left the river & had a short sail to Butterfly Bay on the eastern side of Cape Londerry. The next day we rounded the cape, which has a bad reputation with tides and seas, but we have always stayed well offshore & had no problems. Modern chart plotters are fantastic units & with good internal charts, proper paper charts & good seamanship sailing these waters is relatively safe & pleasant. We found our chart plotter quite accurate & used it to navigate into many narrow passages & bays.

From Butterfly Bay we sailed around to Vansittart Bay via a very narrow passage at Middle Rock to anchor in Freshwater Bay – just another piece of paradise. We were weather bound for 3 days & took advantage of the stay to visit the nearby freshwater pools. Here we bathed, washed & filled our water tanks. There are of a number of places where this can be done as shown in the FSC Cruising Guide. We also had the company of 3 other cruisers. The water around us was a beautiful clear blue, ideal for swimming – BUT we have a rule – no swimming north of Dampier – for the obvious reason that we feel reluctant to become crocodile food! (and even though you don’t see them very often, they are everywhere)

From there to Parry Harbour – an absolutely huge area, but not one my favourite anchorages. All the anchorages that I have visited in the Kimberley’s have been good holding & reasonably well sheltered – with one exception, which I shall cover later. One of the issues in the Kimberley’s is tides – up to 10metres. Anchoring is fairly easy; you check the state of the tide (using the tide CD) & select your spot based on the required depth. Tidal streams are the other issue – your charts will show you direction & strength and the tide CD will enable you to work whether you will be on a flood or an ebb at that point in your travels. The tidal issue seemed to increase as we ventured further south. We in fact became very cautious as one after another we saw rather frightening rocks appear, as the tide retreated, on otherwise benign shores.

Our next stop was Krait Bay a delightful small, historic anchorage. But – beware we nearly tried to anchor in the next-door bay which is relatively small & shallow. We have found on our 3 trips that the weather forecasts are not very accurate and the next day we had a good example of the down side of that. We left with forecasts of wind from southern quarters and planned to anchor, with offshore winds, at

Augereau Island. Late afternoon, when it was too late to select a more suitable spot, the forecast changed by 180 degrees and we spent a fairly stressful night maintaining anchor watch etc on a lee shore which revealed bombies close to us as the tide receded. Back to forecasts – there is no VHF radio service in the Kimberley’s, weather fax via HF is available ( if you have the equipment) and you can get forecasts on HF, just check out times and frequencies on the bureau website. Weather is transmitted from un-manned stations & we were unable to contact Coast Radio or any other official station even though we tried on all frequencies and spoke to other boats. We have had rare contact with Coast Radio, but they cannot be relied upon. I had a sat phone last trip, but it was not a very good one and was not 100% reliable – next trip I will have a good quality sat phone installation with an antenna up the mast & hopefully that will be better. It is worth noting that the Coast Watch planes were regular sights and spoke to us by VHF, but one time when we had a suspicious sighting & tried to call them or ‘any other radio station’, the only response we had was from an airplane in the vicinity.

Our next stop was Careening Cove where the British navigator Captain Philip King graffitied a boab tree nearly 200 years ago. We were joined there at night by a large cruise ship, fortunately anchored some distance from us, and were amazed that the passengers who pay large amounts of money for these cruises got to have a look see as their tender raced past the tree. From there we sailed to Samson Inlet – one of my favourite places a large & superb picturesque inlet approached by a long narrow channel and protected 360 degrees.

Next was Raft Point and after a short dinghy trip & a long climb up a hill we saw some aboriginal paintings. There are a number of sites throughout the Kimberley’s with these paintings and we certainly enjoyed the visit. Here we got a taste of tidal stream – on the approach I thought that I had made adequate allowance for the tide that was pushing us sideways. However we finished up motoring flat out at 45 degrees to our course & still came uncomfortably close to the rocks. So beware the tidal streams have a greater effect than one might imagine.

Like most places we visited the anchorage was very comfortable and well protected. Next morning we headed out through whirlpools aiming for a place called ‘The Canal’ between Koolan Island & the mainland. I had been there before & it is a very nice sail, something like the Narrows north of Gladstone, but with strong tides instead of shallows. Arriving at the correct tidal time is essential here and we simply ran too late and decided to anchor at the Kingfisher Islands. We carefully selected our anchorage allowing for the tide to fall, but around 8pm that night heard something scraping on our hull – it turned out we had anchored on top of a small tree! The next morning we were treated to the best sunrise ever as we sailed off to Yampi Sound.

In Yampi Sound we fuelled up at Dog Leg Creek, an experience in itself. You must remember to radio ahead so that they can tell you when the tide is suitable for you to enter the creek & refuel. From Dog Leg Creek to its neighbour Silvergull Creek (you should also radio ahead for permission to anchor there) where you will enjoy a visit to Marion & Phil at the ‘Squatters Arms’. They have been squatting there for many years & have a well established house & garden, watered by a genuine spring. You can also use the spring to fill your water tanks & bath in their ‘tank’, as the water is at a constant 32degrees and flows continuously at about 4000 litres per day.

After a few days, nowhere near enough, in Yampi Sound we anchored at Cape Leveque for the last run down to Broome. There are a few nice anchorages on the way down, but we only stopped at Beagle Bay to see the dugongs. Broome is the southern end of the Kimberley’s & you can anchor at Gantheume Point as we did and found it quite satisfactory, or you can anchor round the corner (about another 15nm) in Roebuck Bay which is closer to the town.

Again I will say that the trip is well worth the effort, the scenery & anchorages & experiences are fantastic. With a Lightwave cat and modern instrumentation and a bit of planning it is also not too difficult. By the way the trip from Cape York to Darwin around the northern coast is an additional pleasure.

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“We Cannot Discover New Oceans Unless We Have The Courage To Lose Sight Of The Shore” – Faulkner

Model Lightwave

Lightwave 46

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Lightwave 55

Lw45 Popup Plumbing

Plumbing System

The Lightwave 46 has 800L of fresh water & 800L of diesel, in tanks that are built directly into the hull. High quality, purpose grade materials are used in this labour intensive construction method which guarantees an extremely high-quality product that will last for the lifetime of the boat. Dual freshwater pumps provided piece of mind through redundancy. A water transfer line is built into the system to allow water to travel between either tank. Fresh water vacuum toilets that use minimal fresh water (less than 400ml per flush) are a standard feature on the Lightwave 46, eliminating the stale saltwater smell that can encroach the cabin area.  A saltwater system is also fitted to the vessel to allow an anchor wash, saltwater tap in the galley and hose in the cockpit.

L46i Engine 2

Electrical System

The Lightwave 46 is designed for self-sufficient blue water cruising. The vessel is supplied with a 12-volt DC and a 240-volt AC electrical system. A 600Ah AGM battery system is offered on the vessel with an optional 660Ah lithium-ion battery bank. There are various solar options producing up to 2000kw of power. There is also the option to have a 4Kw AC diesel generator which is coupled with the inverter to allow for a high output. All areas of the vessels electrics are designed to be easily accessible and traceable with minimal disruption to the boats systems. Electrical components on the Lightwave 46 are carefully selected to ensure a minimum power consumption is achieved. Onboard systems incorporate the latest in technology, allowing remote control and monitoring of critical power systems, battery and charging status, tank levels, bilge pumps, aerial and security CCTV as well as an array of other custom options.

Lw45 Popup Engine

Engineering Systems

The Lightwave 46 offers a very spacious area in the external engine rooms, to accommodate the standard 50hp engines & other engineering systems. All steering components as well as the optional generator are housed in the engine rooms, carefully positioned for ease of access for servicing and maintenance. The engine rooms are separated from the accommodation area with a bulkhead lined in sound dampening material to defer noise, heat and odour from entering the cabins. The engine rooms are also accessible from the inside of the boat if required.

Lw45 Popup Img

Sailing Systems

Designed with the priority for the ultimate sailing experience, the deck layout and sailing systems are configured for ease of handling while shorthanded. The line system on the Lightwave 46 has been designed so all lines are organised and accessible from an area where the sails can be easily observed. Lines all lead to the cockpit and travel under serviceable fibreglass boards which not only keep the lines organised, but also remove possible tripping hazards. Hanging points are purposely provided creating a neat and organised place for line tails to be stored. Anderson winches and Ronstan deck gear are superiorly selected as standard equipment, with optional electric winches also available. A bridal main sheet system is cleverly applied to eliminate the safety concerns of a traveller car system traditionally used on catamarans. 

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