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Jeanneau 42DS ‘Syrah’ to Hobart

It was only a matter of weeks between making the decision to plunge back into boat ownership and the settlement of Syrah, a Jeanneau 42DS from NSW Jeanneau dealer Performance Boating.

The purchase went smoothly and the after-sale support has been fabulous. Damien at Performance Boating has become a one-stop support network; fantastic in arranging the modifications we wanted and nothing has been too much trouble for him, from advice to arranging sub-contractors.

Those calm, misty winter mornings and still, moonlight nights around Cowan Creek were enough incentive for my partner to come sailing every weekend and after about 18 months she felt brave enough to sail Syrah to Hobart at Christmas. This was my 8th & 9th crossing between Hobart and Sydney and the first in my own yacht.

With a few deviations from the rhumb line the 1,450nm return trip certainly fulfilled my desire to get some extended sailing time. A relatively strong South Westerly in the Bass Strait was uncomfortable but reassured me that these beamy-stern boats are OK in the lumpy stuff. When the breeze changed to a North Westerly we took off, 3:00 A.M at Edison Point, 11:00 P.M tied up in Hobart.

With careful preparation, watching the weather and with at least two competent sailors in the crew, this is a trip is well within the capabilities of these yachts and a thrilling adventure that has resulted in a desire to venture out again and further.

To prepare Syrah for the next voyage we have replaced both the mainsail and genoa. For optimal performance the genoa is now a tri-radial cut and the new mainsail (in mast furling sail) is a fully vertically battened sail, increasing the sail area by around 20%. Damien assisted in the sail maker selection and Ben Decoster from the Sail 1 loft did a great job of both sails. I should have done this before the Christmas trip! There is no doubt that the battened mainsail is not as straight-forward to set or reef but what a performance improvement!

Average speed for the trip (with the original sail plan) was around 6.9 knots
Max speed 13.5 in a 30 knot North Westerly of Maria Island Tasmanian East Coast.
Fuel Used – about 80 litres each way
Highlights: phosphorescent glowing dolphins hunting fish scattering like fireworks around the boat out of Eden at 2 A.M and a very close encounter with a whale; a sparkling day anchored in Bryans Beach at Freycinet.
Damage: torn mainsail leech off Tasman isle on the way south (great service from Quantum Sails in Hobart – worked on Sunday to get me going)
Should haves: fitted non slip tape to cabin sole for the trip down, replaced the main before the trip, fitted a galley strap to keep me secure preparing food in the 30 knot south westerly crossing the strait
Next time: allow more time to enjoy more places along the way.
Cost: it’s boating!

Modifications since purchase – Selbian Flexible Solar Panels, Snap Davits (not used for the Bass Straight crossing) Boom Brake, new Bimini, Spray Dodger, and Table Cover, Lee cloth, new sails,

Do it before you can’t!