16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106   Tel: 61 2 9998 3700


16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106
Tel: 61 2 9998 3700


My Crash Course on Ocean Cruising – A Visit to Lord Howe Island

Meltemi in the Lagoon at Lord Howe Island dwarfed by Mt Gower

In late 2009 I had been for some time contemplating taking my nearly 3 year old catamaran, a Seawind 1160 named “Meltemi” up the coast to the Whitsunday Islands. At the time I was living in Nowra on the NSW south coast and the boat was kept in Currambine Creek at Huskisson.

My only experience in coastal cruising had been a few trips back and forth from Jervis Bay to Sydney and Pittwater. I had also done a few delivery trips for Seawind, but only as crew from Wollongong to the Gold Coast. But my navigational experience with offshore cruising was nil.

It was about this time that my next-door neighbour said he was planning a trip to Lord Howe Island. This began to sow the seeds of a plan in my mind to divert around the tiresome river bars of the NSW north coast by sailing from Pittwater to Lord Howe direct and then on to the Gold Coast. It all seemed so terribly simple. What could possibly go wrong?

I had looked on the chart plotter and yes, my charts included Lord Howe Island. I also purchased the paper charts of Lord Howe Island and all the way to the Whitsundays (a considerable expense, I might add). So, by early April of 2010 we were all ready to go cruising and brought the boat into the wharf at Huskisson. We started to load every conceivable item we might need. There was so much stuff that I needed to tow a trailer behind the car to get it all to the wharf. This was the first of the mistakes we made about cruising. Do not take unnecessary things with you that will just take up space and never be used.  As the gear was loaded on board and the waterline slowly sank it was apparent, we would eventually need to raise the level of the antifoulwaterline.

My proposed crew for this adventure was my wife, Jenny together with Graeme, an old school friend of mine and his wife Annie, none of whom had any real sailing experience. I had sailed since I was born and was confident that the boat could be sailed single handed in an emergency. Again, what could possibly go wrong? Graeme and I sailed the boat up to Pittwater a week or so ahead in an uneventful journey to do a final pack at RMYC with the girls before departure.

Sailing under bare spinnaker on the way to Pittwater

I was advised that fuel was only available in jerry cans and at great expense on the island, so we took an additional 120 litres of fuel with us as well as the boat’s full tanks which I calculated would enable us to motor all the way to the Gold Coast via Lord Howe if we needed to. As it turned out, this was a good move.  We left RMYC on 23rd April at 10am on a beautiful sunny day with a light northerly breeze and motor/sailed past Barrenjoey Headland and out into a calm ocean. Zoom out far enough on the chart plotter and you will find that Lord Howe Island is on a rum line course of 410 nm at roughly 74.5 degrees. Place a waypoint on the entrance to the lagoon and settle back to enjoy the ride. Seemed sosimple!

The crew hard at it during theafternoonwatch                                            

The calm before thestorm

Boatyard Summer Bookings, Work Berths & Tenant Services

Boatyard Summer Bookings, Work Berths & Tenant Services

The Club wishes to advise our members that your Boatyard is extremely busy and is currently booked out until mid November. If you are wanting your boat ready for those all important Christmas and summer school holidays make sure you get your reservation in soon in order to avoid missing out. Members are also welcome to carry out DIY work on their own vessels on the boatyard but must hold a Marine Card and be inducted on site (speak to Monique for details).  Our Club Tenants offer a comprehensive suite of onsite services to ensure all your boating needs are met; electrical, trimming, rigging, shipwrighting, engineering, water maker specialist, a well-equipped chandlery and onsite brokerage. Click here to view a list of Tenants.

Do you know that as a benefit of Membership, Full or General Intermediate Members are entitled to 7 free work berth days per year?  Work berths are located in the berths adjoining the Green Point Hardstand and are available Monday to Friday in order for maintenance to be carried out.  Discounted work berths are also available for Club Members for work being carried out requiring more than the 7 day Member entitlement. (work berths are not available for the purposes of battery charging, provisioning, cleaning or taking on of water. Work berths are subject to availability).

Work berth reservations can be made via Boatyard Office and through Club Tenants.  For more information or to make a booking please contact the Boatyard Office telephone (02) 9998 3751 email boatyard@rpayc.com.au

SheSails for RPAYC

The RPAYC will be represented at this year’s SheSails Open Regatta hosted by Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and scheduled for November 28-29, by Nicole Butcher, Lisa Ratcliff and Lauren Crossman.

Competitors and organisers are hoping a NSW government easing of restrictions in relation to out of area visitors means the regatta can go ahead at full capacity utilising the club’s fleet of Elliott 6s.

Regular on Darren Drew’s Crowther 50 Top Gun, Nicole Butcher, has previously helped at Newcastle to deliver the women's development regattas and this year will helm while Lisa, who also crews on Top Gun for the women’s twilight series, will be on the main.

Lauren's sailing career encompasses Lasers, match racing and achieving the bucket list special of participating in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. In fact, all three women completed the 75th running of the Great Race, Nicole on Noel Cornish’s St Jude, Lisa on Ashok Mani’s classic S&S Windrose sailing for Tasmania and Lauren on Keiran Mulcahy’sSoozal.

Newcastle will be the first event for this newly formed crew and the RPA is getting behind the team, offering an Elliott 7 for training.

Up to 16 teams will race windward/leewards on Newcastle Harbour over the weekend series.

Event website

Update from the General Manager 16/9/2020

Dear Members,

I hope that you are all well.

Thank you everyone for your patience over the last few months while construction has been occurring at the Club.

You will be happy to know that the lower car park resurfacing project, boatyard fencing & pathway project and the new Clubhouse roof project have all been completed. For more details on these projects please see the below ‘Building Notes’.

During the replacement of the Clubhouse roof the builders installed temporary props to support the weight of works on the roof. We also removed a number of old skylights, installed plasterboard ceilings and lighting above the stairs, hallway and ladies’ toilets. While this work was being carried out, access upstairs was restricted and therefore our Food & Beverage operation was limited to the ground floor of the Club.

Now that the roof and other upstairs building work is complete, we will be reopening Edinburgh Bar for Friday night drinks. Thank you to our regular Friday night customers that have continued to meet for Friday drinks in Halyards throughout the building program. I am sure that you will be happy to get back into the Edinburgh Bar from 5pm this Friday. Please note that COVID-19 measures remain in place and adherence is still required.

The current health measures and restrictions that are in place can often be frustrating and sometimes the inconsistencies are difficult to accept. Please be aware that the staff at the Club are doing their best to make sure that we adapt to the ever-changing rules and comply with measures of NSW Health. Hopefully with the positive signs of reduced community transfer of the virus and lower numbers of active cases we will see some of the current measures being eased, however in the meantime there is no room for complacency. The Club has had 4 surprise visits from different government agencies to check our COVID Plan and compliance. I am happy to say that the inspectors have been satisfied with our operation each time.

Building Notes: -

During the recent building work at the Club there were a number of improvements made in addition to just resurfacing the car park and putting a new roof on the Clubhouse. Following are details of just some of the improvements that were made.


Boatyard Fencing, Access Control and Entry Path: -

  • Improved entrance path for members and guests
  • New access path from the car park to Green Point Hardstand, Boatyard Office and tenant facilities
  • New timber fencing facing the entrance and car park area with a large automated sliding gate and increased gate opening width to allow truck access
  • Increased landscaping and improved lighting
  • The removal of brush fencing, which was replaced with a metal fence between the boatyard and the Clubhouse
  • New chain-wire fencing and access control gates to regulate access into the boatyard
  • Improved safety for pedestrians with a well-defined path, eliminating the shared roadway bottleneck at the boom gates and improved visibility at the laneway between the Clubhouse and the Boatyard.

Car Park Resurfacing: -

  • Improvement to levels to reduce rain water pooling
  • Installation of underground conduits and pits to allow for future services, particularly to the marina facility
  • Installation of spoon drains on the ring road around the Club
  • Installation of a water diversion/ speed hump
  • An increased number of car stops to improve safety (particularly on the edge of the sea wall)
  • New concrete curbing at the entrance
  • Improved glass bead line marking (noting that the line marking will also be improved on the upper 2 levels of the car park and also sections of the Crystal Bay Hardstand to better define boat areas and the pedestrian path

Clubhouse Roof Replacement: -

  • Structural and Hydraulic Engineer review
  • Installation of bridging between purlins to increase structural integrity
  • Installation of safety mesh below roof sheeting
  • Improved insulation
  • Roof safety points were installed for those that work on the roof in the future
  • Installation of hail guards
  • Increased number of stormwater outlets
  • New ceilings above the stairway and female toilets and improved lighting to these areas and the hallway
  • Painting of the above areas, upstairs lobby and reception

Check out the improvements next time you’re at the Club.

Please look after yourself and those around you.

Kind regards,


Craig Evans

General Manager

Member Notice - Maintenance & Line Marking Car Parks and Crystal Bay Hardstand

The Club wishes to notify Members of maintenance and re-line marking that will take place, weather permitting, within the middle car park, top car park and Crystal Bay Hardstand.
Middle & Top Level Car Park
•Members are advised that there will be no overnight parking within the middle or top car park from Wednesday 7th October until maintenance works are complete. 
•Middle and Top car park will be closed (no access) on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th October. 
•Any vehicles in either car park will be towed at the owners expense.
Crystal Bay Hardstand
The hardstand line marking will take place over two days (half the hardstand at a time), allowing the Club to manoeuvre vessels around the hardstand out of the way. 
•Members who wish to access their vessel or sail on either Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th will be required to launch the weekend prior.  A berth on the marina will be made available until works are complete. Contact waterfront on waterfront@rpayc.com.au to secure a berth. 
•All gear must be removed from the hardstand or placed on board or taken home; including gear, sails, chairs, parts, masts etc.   
•Member are requested to ensure that vessel trailers are unlocked and manoeuvrable by Waterfront staff (no wheel locks). If you wish to move your own vessel, please advise waterfront on waterfront@rpayc.com.au.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Waterfront Department; 
Email: waterfront@rpayc.com.au or Ph: (02) 9998 3700.