Boat and equipment for exploring the reefs — March 2016

  • Boat Flash Dancer

  •  Our boat is a  Lightwave 14m Power Cat     

    with 160hp Volvo engines and has suited our purpose well. When the conditions are right we can fast cruise at 12 to 14 knots, however, more often than not we travel at a more sedate 7 to 10 knots. It is a reasonably stable vessel at anchor when the sea gets bumpy, and draws 1.35m. There are remote pendants located on the front deck for both anchor windless and engine throttles, which make anchor retrieving a lot easier.

  • Our boat Fuel tanks hold 1600lts, plus we keep a 200lt deck fuel bladder for extended voyages.
  •  Spacious back steps are ideal for divers and anglers, as is the strong swim ladder.
  • The 3.4m aluminium hulled inflatable dinghy is driven by a 15hp outboard and is suitable to dive from, plus zippy enough to handle tricky beach landings. A davit crane makes for easy launching and retrieving.
  • Anchoring strategy and know-how around reefs is a story in itself, but with 110m of chain and a solid windlass, we are confident there is just about nowhere we can’t anchor securely—and retrieve safely.
  • The Raymarine GPS tracking unit with anchor and radar alarms systems is very reliable. Having our track accurately marked so we can retrace our footsteps if need be is good insurance.
  • The Ipad with the Isailor GPS Navigation app is not only a great back up to the Raymarine unit, but it’s also often used for scouting shallow areas from our dingy.
  • I purchased a low-cost, handheld waterproof sonar a few years back—it’s changed status from “novel toy” to “essential tool”—especially when anchoring among shallow coral heads, which we check out in the dingy or while snorkelling. It’s worth its cost just as a “sleep aid.”
  • The Rainman 140Lt/h water maker keeps our 500lt tank near capacity. Water soon gets used when washing diving and photographic equipment.
  • The 5kva diesel generator provides auxiliary power to our 800AH battery bank. It also powers our Bauer Junior dive compressor; 12lt scuba tanks are filled in about 25 minutes.
  • When out of VHF range, we use a HF radio for weather. A Satellite ph is also on board.
  • In addition to the compulsory vessel safety equipment on board Flash Dancer, we carry another full set in our dingy, including an extra EPIRB.
  • Our “Mini Flying Doctor” medical kit comes with a ph number to access a doctor 24 hours a day. It is worth the cost and paperwork when cruise or diving in remote Australian waters.
Our-strong-swim-ladder-is-excellent-diving

     Even Napoleon appreciates our swim ladder which combined with a low back step is excellent for diving.

Dingy-and-duckboard Fuel-bladder--good-insurance-when-venturing-for-long-periods-into-the-coral-sea Our-boat-Flash-dancer-at-rest-in-the-Coral-Sea Ready-to-fill-cylinders-and-catch-breakfast

 

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