Wild Weather in the South East – YB3 Tracker put to the test

YB3 GPS Tracker MarineThis week at G-Layer we’re proud to publish a blog from Sabine Stainer. Sabine is a Master Mariner and a yacht owner we have supplied with a YB3 tracker.

We have been invited to participate in the RQYC cruise this weekend, thanks to beautiful friends and their world famous SY Stylopora.

Sailing practice was high on the agenda and a weekend of wild weather in SE Queensland has given us plenty of opportunity to put our expertise to the test.

We wanted to test the YB3 tracker in adverse weather conditions and check its use in a marine adventure application.

Saturday morning, first practice was heaving-to. – No, this has nothing to do with being seasick and feeding the fish!

Heaving to is a technical term used in yachting. The technique is used to “putting the breaks on” or “putting the boat into irons”. Heaving to is used to stop the boat in a case of wild weather to allow repairs, the crew to recover and also it creates a slick, that does not allow heavy waves to break on board.

All of the above does not involve dropping the anchor, it is achieved through fine tuning the sails and rudder and it literally stops the boat in the water and it only drifts with the tide, if present.

YB3 GPS Tracker Boat

Highly efficient, the owners of SY Stylopora knowing their boat well, with some input from our Sydney to Hobart Division Winner Steve and myself we managed to determine a balance between mainsail, rudder position and foresail to stop the boat and create a slick at a 45 degree angle.

Several other boats of the cruising fleet learned the new skill more (or less) successfully.

Only several hours into the practice the first squalls whipped up white caps on the water, wave heights increased dramatically and rain pelted down over Queensland’s Moreton Bay.

Early afternoon the fleet decided to seek shelter in beautiful Horseshoe Bay, Peel Island.

Here the use of a sea anchor was discussed and demonstrated, to be interrupted by wild winds of about 40 knots and boat owners frantically dashing back to their floating homes to close up hatches and secure their boats for the storm ahead.

Over several hours the wind instrument showed us some alarming readings and boats less fortunate and with less experience started dragging anchor and decided to limp home after the storm had settled.

No such thoughts on SY Stylopora, where the anchor gear had been deployed expertly and the anchor had been driven in by experienced yachtswoman Di.

SY Stylopora

YB3 Tracker – all weather, pole to pole coverage

Our YB3 tracker did not disappoint us, as even in the height of the storm we could send manual reports and keep our position, thunder and lightning not disturbing the quality of the transmission.

Sunday morning greeted us again with strong winds, but at least the cloud cover had lifted and some sun was visible.

After a well-deserved morning swim and walk, we set sail again to circumnavigate Peel Island and head back to the home port.

Along the way the YB3 tracker was tested and checked with navigational aids and of course proved to be accurate in every case.

Just in time we arrived back in port by early afternoon, with a sea breeze about to blow up again and the beautiful yacht tied up safe and sound.

If you wish to know more about YB3 tracker, visit www.g-layer.com.au

G-Layer is the Australian reseller for YB3 tracker and Rock7 products.

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