Adventures aboard Chetwynd

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Tramp
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Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 24th, '12, 14:16

Hi all. At the request of spiderguy on another thread for me to tell a few tales of my sojourn across the top of OZ I have decided to jump in the deep end and try not to bore you all and at the same time perhaps get some interesting comment and input from others on here. I have seen from my prvious posts how different topics weave their way through a thread so lets see what happens!

Firstly, let me say that this is not a TS story. My old girl was a small keel boat. A Spacesailer 24, Chetwynd by name, designed by well known Perth Architect Kim Swarbrick. At first glance the 24 looks like a bit tubby and slow with perhaps a bit too much freeboard for a small yacht. But in fact nothing could be further from the truth. These are gutsy, easy to sail, quite fast for an old design, and very very seaworthy little yachts. Besides all of that they are exceptionally roomy with heaps of storage and standing headroom for my 5'10 frame right through to the forward bulkhead. Chetwynd was my second Spacie 24. I had one in Perth and then bought Chetwynd in Bowen from a local fising family there.

I dont want to make these posts too long...so I will just deal with the name for now because it was always a talking point wherever I went. I am one of those superstitious beings who believes it is bad luck to change a boats name. I have been told that there are some small ceremonies which can drive out the name change demons but I remain steadfast in my belief!!! So, I wont buy a boat if I don't like the name. When I was first introduced to Chetwynd I had no clue what it meant (still a bit hazy about it actually) but I liked the sound. Had a bit of the olde english sound and look to it. It must be the Y in wynd!! :lol: I know there is a small town in NSW called Chetwynd. I have looked up various combinations of the word and the best I can find is that it is either a Welsh or Cornish word which means "winding lanes or paths." So thats it for now. Anyone know any more about the name or anything about the spacie I would be most interested to hear your views.

Cheers till next time.

Steve

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IanB
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by IanB » Dec 24th, '12, 16:31

Absolutely no connection, but it is also a street name leading to a sewage treatment plant (aka "Water Quality Control Centre") which has featured in my life over the last 25 years.
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Tramp
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 24th, '12, 18:39

:lol: Well, I can tell you she got me out of the xxxx on many an occasion when I had given up hope.

Steve

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Cooper
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Cooper » Dec 24th, '12, 20:50

Enjoyed my SS24 as well. Good little boat, would have another in a heartbeat. 8)

Coops.
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Tramp
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 24th, '12, 23:36

Hi Coops. Me too except that berthing fees are so damned exxxy these days. TS is the way to go for casual sailors.
Such amazing little Yachts. Couldnt fault her other than not going too high to windward but I think a nice suit of tight and well cut sails would have fixed most of that problem. Although I must say that when the seaway wasnt too rough she could get her nose up quite high enough.

When I bought her I was new to the east coast having done all of my sailing up and down the west coast up till then so I needed a bit of guidance. The old guy I bought her from had been a fisherman out of Bowen for most of his working life and he gave me some of his charts to get me going. What a surprise when I saw he had deleted major swaths of reef from his charts. Big lines through massive reefs with a note saying "non existent" or similar. It gave me some cause for alarm for when I went out of his area of expertise as to how accurate the charts along the reef really were.

So I bought Alan Lucas's book Cruising the Coral Coast. More surprises. I was discussing the book with some of the locals at the Bowen YC. Well, it is difficult to describe the rucus this caused. There were those who simply dismissed everything he said as being inaccurate, dangerous, B/S, etc and could not say a good word about the book. Then there were others who loved it and used it like their bible when out on the reef. They were still arguing about it long after the pub had closed and all sane people had hopped in their berths.

Anyway, I decided to use it with caution. However, in the end, I followed his instructions to the letter for tight situations and never put a foot wrong. Besides his clear and accurate mud maps, his history of the places along the route was most interesting for me as a newcomer to the area. So for anyone thinking of cruising the Coral coast I can highly recommend it. Maybe there are more recent and updated books around now but I would take it with me again without any hesitation.

Tomorrow is Christmas. Happy Christmas and new year to all.
Cheers

Steve

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by GDAIY » Dec 26th, '12, 14:50

Hi Steve i to have a Spacesailer 24 a new edition for me and so far just love it,would love to see some pictures of Chetwynd. Glenn

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 27th, '12, 00:17

Hi Glen, you know this all happened so long ago for me..I was much younger and just wanted to go sailing and have an adventure. I did not own a camera and made no notes..I just went! I do have very few pics which I will post when I can find them. Some of the pictures I did have got lost when a hard drive crashed!

I think the Spacie 24 is the very best of all the small cruising yachts around. In my travels I sailed with and against almost all the others in the same size range and surprised them all. And a lot of bigger yachts too. They are really a west coast boat and over there the folks just love them. However, having said that I know that there are a lot of them on the east coast too.

I can honestly say to you that that little boat will take you anywhere you wish to go. If I was 25/30 again I would, knowing what I know now, be happy to sail her around the world.

I did not have a lot of gear on her. I had one of the early Garmin aeronautical GPS's, compass. depth sounder, AM/FM radio and VHF. But I had a lot of good anchoring gear and of course the usual safety stuff. Oh and two autohelms because a lot of the time I was single handed.

Will get the journey going when all the festivities have died down :lol:

Would like to see a pic of your spacie too Glen.

When I downloaded some pics here before I had to make them so small. Not sure if I am missing something?

Cheers for now.

Steve

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Cooper
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Cooper » Dec 27th, '12, 08:35

Same for me Steve(no pics that is). It was 1980 or so and she was called PATANE. She lived on Pittwater and i too sailed her mostly singlehanded but did not have or want the luxury of an autohelm. 8)

Now the 27' Spacie was something that i coveted back then but never sailed on one so do not know how good or bad they are in comparison.

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by GDAIY » Dec 27th, '12, 16:43

Hi Steve its a shame you dont have many photos of Chetwynd but i look forward to the trip reports, here is a link to my blog that has some photos of my Spacesailer, http://whoisdicko.blogspot.com.au/

cheers Glenn


Edited by Coops to make the link work. 8)

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Cooper
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Cooper » Dec 27th, '12, 17:10

Ah, she looks good Glenn, wish i had some pics of mine. :( Have lots of fun in her and do NOT sell her, you will regret it. :wink:

Coops.
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 28th, '12, 14:33

Hi spiderguy. Well, thanks for the inspiration. I don't know how it will go because almost everything is memory and it started in 1993. So its a long time ago. Anyway it seems the Spacie enthusiasts are getting involved. Those little boats deserve all the airtime they can get :D

Coops:To be honest I would never not have an autopilot on board if cruising. They just give you sooo much freedom, rest, and they somehow manage to steer a better course than I can!! :P I had two just in case one failed!! I did some longish legs..ie from Cape York to Gove (3 days 2 nights) and the autopilot did it all.

I have never sailed on a 27, but have been aboard one and was blown away by the room down below. Cavernous describes it well for a 27 footer I think. I have heard they sail as well as the 24 but were always fitted with diesels so they drag a prop constantly. My first 24 was a diesel but I think I prefer the outboard configuration if for nothing else than easy maintenance. If I was looking for another small cruiser again I would certainly have a serious look at the 27.

Hi Glenn: Great pics. She looks like a very tidy little Yacht. You will have a heap of fun on her. I will post some of the few pics I have of Chetwynd soon. Have a look at the cockpit bimini set up on her. It is really simple and you can sail with it on permanently. I also made some drop down sides to keep the morning and afternoon sun off. Also good for hanging up the washing in a shady spot!! :lol:

I agree with Coops. Hang on to her for as long as you want to go sailing.

Just as an aside, on my first 24 I was sailing back from Rottnest island to Fremantle during the run up to the Americas cup in Freo in 1987 and who should come along on a port tack but Dennis Connor. I thought about it for a nannosecond the called him. Starboard!! Well, there were about 10 guys on the rail..maybe more..Connors head spun so fast I thought it would twist off his neck. Then I bore away and went astern. As we went past he smiled and and said thank you. I mean what else could I do? :wink: Not often you get to call a guy like Connors! :D

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 28th, '12, 19:36

Just tried to post a pic here..but...it has vanished into the ether!! Try again.....
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Somewhere between Gove and Darwin
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 28th, '12, 19:48

This pic taken in Broome with my old mate Dick on the helm.

Have really regretted selling that little Avon. But not the Johnson. Nearly got me in deep xxxx on many an occasion.

Glenn, Have a look at this pic..it gives you an idea of how the Bimini is set up. The rear end of it hangs off the backstay.
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Dick and Steve in Broome
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MurrayF
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by MurrayF » Dec 28th, '12, 20:57

Our family's Spacesailer 24, Seahorse, circa 1976-77 (ish!). This pic, taken by editor Peter Campbell, made the cover of Modern Boating...

Image

A second Spacesailer 24, Akvavit, is in the background. We had one of the new early North tri-radial spinnakers while Akvavit still carried a crosscut. This was the return race of the Goodwill Cup.

In my teens, my first coastal passage was the delivery from Pittwater to Brisbane. 4 days and 20 minutes, including a stop for ice in Coffs Harbour! I look forward to reading more of Chetwynd.

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 28th, '12, 21:58

Hi MurrayF, welcome aboard the Chetwynd special :)

Your tri radial looks nice, and doesn't that little boat look snug and happy in the water.

That sounds like a pretty quick trip from Pittwater to Brissie..must have had some nice big Sou' easters blowing you along.

I can remember sailing up the commercial shipping passage inside the barrier reef from Cairns to Cooktown and the GPS was often reading 12 knots as I surfed down the swells. I had just a nuber two headsail up. She was a blowin' !

Nice pics. Thanks for the interest.

Cheers
Steve

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by GDAIY » Dec 29th, '12, 16:32

Guys great to see some photos of the flying spacesailers, I wish i could get a few of Shara under sail not sure how though, I may have to investigate a kite cam, there is video of guys using them on youtube , worth a look. Steve the Bimini looks like a good idea and a pretty easy addition and you mentioned your Avon i was considering a inflatable but mostly sailing solo opted for a Kayak which i can lift easily onto the deck, towing the Dinghy is a real pain. Glenn

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 30th, '12, 00:24

Hi Glenn...some pics would be nice. Kite cam sounds interesting.

The beauty of the inflatable is that I could fold it up and tie it for'ard of the mast for long trips but for short trips the trick is to lift the nose of the inflatable out of the water and tie it short with just the back of the pontoons in the water. Tows beautifully like that and is not all over the shop especially in a following sea. If you look at the first pic I posted..the one with the kite up you can see the dinghy rolled up just for'ard of the mast. Takes up very little space.

The bimini is a life saver if you are going to be doing long trips. This one is very cheap and easy.

Happy sailing.

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MelN
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by MelN » Dec 30th, '12, 12:12

Hi Steve,
Great thread; you've captured the imagination of the spacie sailors and those of us who aspire to ocean cruising!
In your comments about diesel versus outboard, are you saying you would cruise with an outboard if you could? I have seen others do it, but wonder about coping with large waves offshore when the prop comes out of the water. :?
Cheers, keep up the great posts. :-)
Mel
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 30th, '12, 12:33

Well, I finally got off to do a little cruising about May '93. I had some friends from overseas come out to enjoy the reef with me and we sailed down from Bowen to the Whitsundays. To be honest I was a little unprepared for the sheer number of boats of every kind, every which way you looked. Then there are all the rules and regulations which, when I arrived in all my innocence, were quite intimidating.

We anchored up not far offshore for the first night and had a terriffic meal at the local Hog's breath cafe. After brekky the next day we moseyed on out towards hook reef I think it was. On arriving there we searched for a clear patch with no coral to drop the pick for lunch. Found what seemed like a good spot and I went overboard to check it out. Looked all clear for about a 20m radius. so the guys dropped the pick over to me and I got it dead centre which gave us heaps of room all around with the rode pulled in quite short. No wind at the time. Well, I had barely got back on board and some dude comes roaring over in a dingy and tells us, not too politely, not to anchor there. So we start asking him why and he gets real snakey. We point out to him that there is no coral within cooee and we had the anchor rode pulled in short so we were not going to swing out on to the coral. Anyway to this day I dont know if he was any kind of authority figure or just some dude who liked to throw his weight around. We stared him down until he left. What is more he never came back in the hour or so we were there. So perhaps he was just what we thought he was..a wxxxer.

If my memoery serves me well we then motorsailed for Nara inlet. By the time we got there it was getting a bit late in the arvo and as we were entering a guy in what must have been one of the older style hire yachts hailed us and asked for a tow in as his engine had quit and there was not enough wind to move the old girl. It was about a 36 footer and it must have looked a bit ridiculous watching a little 24 footer with an 8hp Mariner pulling this monster behind. Needless to say we had a fun night on board with them and the mechanics were there early next morning to get him going again.

I remember spending a nice day on Daydream island and making use of their great pool to freshen up a bit.

After that I really dont remember where we went. Found all sorts of nooks and crannies to anchor in. Tried doing some fishing but I dont think any of us caught a single fish the whole time. Must have something to do with local knowledge I think. Wrong bait?? Oh well..we patronised a few of local restaurants when we came in for showers etc.

One evening we pulled up a mooring next to one of the big pontoons after all the tourists had gone home. The guys left on the pontoon to tidy her up were great. They invited us over to help them finish off the leftover food, filled some scuba tanks for us, and after a few beers and lots of b/s stories we left them to their chores. We had to be off the mooring early before the first boat full of tourists arrived so an early night was in order..

All told I think we were in the Whitsundays for about two and a half weeks. It was a great time but next time I go I will be much better prepared for all the do's and don'ts. I will also keep a log!! And get some local knowledge regarding the fishing. Sailed back to Bowen then drove my mates to Brissie for a few days till they flew out.

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 30th, '12, 12:53

Hi Mel. Thanks for the encouragement.

Well..I don't know if you are familiar with the transom configuration of the Spacie 24. It has a deep cutout designed especially for outboards. This can be sealed up with a door??for want of a better word which comes with the boat. When using an outboard this door is removed and the outboard sits right in close to the hull and is also centralised so when the boat heels you still have plenty of bite in the water. I have been in some pretty rough stuff and can honestly say never had cavitation problems. will post a pic for you to see how neatly the motor sits on the transom.

Diesels are good but in my opinion they have a number of drawbacks. The small ones fitted to Spacies are usually one cylinder jobs and they are noisy and vibrate a lot. There is also limited room for getting to some parts of the motor which can result in lots oif @%*#! . Believe me. If major repairs are needed it's quite a hassle to get the little beasts out.

If I was going again I would stick with the outboards for sure. But each to his own.

Cheers Steve

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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 30th, '12, 12:58

This pic..(if it doesnt disapperar into the ether again) was taken about 100 miles offshore between the Rowley shoals and Dampier. Has to be the cleanest clearest water I have seen.
Rowley shoals are amazing.but access in is a bit tricky. More on them later.

Cheers
Steve
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Cooper
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Cooper » Dec 30th, '12, 14:52

Totally agree. I used to sail mine out of Newport, up to Lion Island and unless it was really rough head East out into the ocean. Have to say that i sailed it nearly all the time, but the times when i did motor back, for whatever reason, i never had a problem with cavitation either.

In a small boat you do not need the heat and smell of a diesel down there. Plus, lots of stowage where the diesel would sit. Other pros for an outboard, you can tilt it to clear the prop if needed. Lift it off and take it to the mechanic, therefore repairs a lot cheaper. Does not cost $10,000 if you blow it up( Unless you have a Macgregor with a 50hp on the back) and, as stated already, much less vibration than a small single banger diesel.

I used to hate outboards with a passion, especially two strokes. But having had four strokes now several times, including the first 9.9 yamaha on the spacie, i would need to have a much bigger boat, or need to be motoring constantly out in the ocean, for me to go past them nowadays. Lots of catamarans operate on outboards as well, even long term cruisers. Each to their own as always but if i got another spacie, even a 27, it would be outboard for me. 8)

Much enjoying this thread by the way. :D

Coops.
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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Dec 30th, '12, 17:47

Hi Coops,

I forgot about all the extra strorage space you get when the diesel is not there.and it is nice low storage and towards the stern where the spacie has lots of reserve buoyancy. In fact I often used to store the Avon there when it wasnt going to be needed for a while.

I have never owned a four stroke outboard but the two strokes I have had were just great and maintenance on them was pretty simple. In all my travels on Chetwynd I can honestly say they never gave me a moments worry.

Except for the little 2 horse Johnson which I used on the Avon. For some reason the carbie used to get gunk in it which caused it to stall when it got too much. I tried everything..cleaned the tank, new lines etc etc but it was as regular as clockwork. I could anticipate when she was getting gunked up. So I kept a small screwdriver/shackle key on a piece of string tied to the engine and I could get the carbie drain/main jet out, let her drain, and back in about 60 seconds. I would just screw it all the way in then back her off a certain number of turns and she would fire up again first pull.

Caused me big grief one day when anchored at Bigge island in the kimberleys. The tide was pretty well out (big 8 metre tides up there) and we decided to go and explore this creek in the Avon. So as we were puttering along this ginormous croc slithered down one of the banks of the creek and commenced to follow us. :cry:

My problem was that I had not cleaned the carbie on the Johnson for a while and I knew it was getting due for a clean. What a quandry!! he was about a hundred metres behind us just coming along at a liesurely pace. What to do! I had two others in the Avon with me so I will confess to being a bit panicked at this stage. We were travelling a bit faster than him so I put a little more distance between us and him and then took the bull by the horns and shut her down and proceeded to unscrew the jet. I was terrified that I would drop the damned thing. But, the months and months of practice paid off and we were off and away before he even got close. I headed straight off towards the other bank and did a wide u turn around him and straight back to the Chetwynd. A few rum and cokes later I was feeling much better :lol:

Cheers
Steve


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Re: Adventures aboard Chetwynd

Post by Tramp » Jan 12th, '13, 20:54

Hi Coops,

Not much interest here but thanks for the links.Had a look at them...makes me want to go out and get another spacie.
Without doubt they are the best small yachts on the market..all things considered. Esp the price and the seaworthiness.

Cheers,

Steve

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