I had an opportunity to sail a Swarbrick 42’ yacht, “Rum Jungle”, from Port Stephens to CYCA at Rushcutters Bay. To fit the trip in so close the Christmas and to be ahead o southerly weather as that was the direction we were travelling I decide to make it an overnight trip. Consequently we topped up the fuel for the Volvo motor, checked out the water, all the safety features, (she sails offshore a fair bit so everything bar the liferaft was there). At 1600 hrs we called the VMR in Port Stephens to advise of our departure and a solitary dolphin was escorting us out the heads.
This particular model has tiller steering and for convenience of a crew that does not race full time, she has furling headsail and cut down main for cruising. There were bags of race sails down below so she was fully kitted for anything that would come along. Berths were standard and we were not planning to use them much even though we were overnight sailing. A huge fridge takes care of the inner crew. All lockers and drawers had a unique locking system and a very modern race yacht interior but being second hand it needs a “tart up” Nice sized head with good sized sink but I didn’t notice if there was a shower. Probably a hand held type was fitted. A gas stove but we did not find the gas bottle to turn on so we ate our food cold and similarly with that great fridge drank our grog cold.
The rig is fractional so the mast takes lots of bend when racing. We decided to motor sail most of the way as were trying to beat a southerly front. Most of the time with the full headsail out we were doing 8.5 knots with what we estimated was a two-knot current. Wind was dead astern, as was the swell. Early in the morning a Chinese gybe alerted us to the fact that we were tired of hand steering and we furled up the headsail rather than take a course further out to sea to avoid the following wind and sea. We took a couple of waves hard on the stern and though they did not board us we got a bit damp. She handles well and showed a great turn of speed under headsail only so with the main up she would be a real witch. We called Sydney VMR at 0505 hrs to log off so the 78 nautical mile journey took 13 hrs in total. If we had been able to hold the wind right through the morning we would have been in three hours earlier.
My conclusion is that the new owners of “Rum Jungle” are going to have ball racing her round the cans and will probably be looking to do a few offshore races in the near future. Keep an eye out for the name in yachting results.
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