Asian Monsoon Season… When is the best time to start your trip?
From Vietnam & south, the temperature is of little concern with year round averages of 28-30 degrees C but certainly the cyclone season needs to be factored in when planning your trip. Typically in line with the southern hemisphere summer from Oct through to Feb, the season is relatively short and manageable. Worth noting is that once within 5 degrees of the equator (north & south) cyclones are far less of an issue although the down side is often light and unpredictable wind direction and speed.
Typically the depressions in the South China Sea follow a set pathway and keeping a weather eye switched on should give you a 48 hour warning to most building systems.
The Essential Cruising Gear?
Over the years we have worked with many owners with different cruising goals most of which have gone on to achieve success in their quest to explore coastlines and oceans with their new catamarans. The base point is picking the right boat with the right gear to make your time onboard a as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Whilst that perfect postcard picture of dolphins skipping through turquoise waters off your bow may trigger the dreams, the reality is there is a long journey to get there making sure you set your bat up properly and getting your own competency up to wher you need it to be.
- Top 5 equipment tips for Cruising SE Asia:
Self sufficiency is key when cruising.
- Go big on a battery bank and opt for as much solar as you can fit.
- If you don’t have the budget for full genset option which is preferred, a portable type such as a Honda 2UE is a solid backup plan when cruising.
Communication is king!
With the increase in affordable satellite phones and data packages, the older HF radios installations are becoming a thing of the past with digital communication onboard which means you can access then net and all that comes with it (read latest weather data) at a lower initial cost. Certainly the sat phones now make it much easier to keep in touch with life at home with much more affordable data packages than say 5 years ago. A good Sat Phone combined with an AIS transponder (to allow ships to see your position and heading) allows you to cruise far more safely than yachts only a 5-10 years ago.
All Seawinds have great through deck ventilation with front opening windows in the saloon and forward opening deck hatches, scooping airflow through the boat when on anchor. Something as simple insect screens and fans for each area of the boat are a must.
Typically marinas in SE Asia will have no potable water other than buying bottled water so it’s much better to be self sufficient where possible.
Spares, spares, and more spares:
Not being close to mechanics and a shipwright is not always a problem if you carry your own spares:
- Fuel filters; Engine belts; impellers; Anodes; Spare Halyard; Shackles; Warps;
What experience do I need?
Cruising cats in general, but especially the Seawind range are very forgiving to new or lesser experienced sailors. With twin helms and all lines running back to the safety of the cockpit, very rarely do you need to get out of the cockpit which makes it safe not only for the skipper but also for the crew. Over the years there have been many Seawind customers that picked up their boats with little experience however our handover process allows for this and some basic training does pack in a lot of information. Probably the most important competency is basic navigation and an understanding of the Weather in order to do your route planning.
Recommended qualification or equivalent competency: RYA Coastal Skipper minimum or Yachtmaster as preferred
Not sure if you have enough experience? No problem – We can help here… We have organised a number of skippers to help out with new customers some of which they use for long periods and some of which they use just for the initial sail.