Pre season warmup for Hobart sailors and Salus Marine Survey

Good luck to all Hobart sailors racing in this weekends Pipe Opener! Stay safe and enjoy the drifter conditions!

Don’t forget to check your registration and insurance. Please contact Salus if you require a pre purchase survey for your new yacht, commercial survey or insurance survey.


Hot summer wind

There is an interesting weather phenomenon occurring over Antarctica at the moment. This will be interesting to watch to see how it affects the weather and winds this summer in Tasmania, Bass Strait, Victoria and NSW.

This weather phenomenon may lead to extreme weather conditions so be sure to get your vessel surveyed by Salus marine survey, check your insurance, check your mooring, check your safety gear and make sure you always check the weather and be ready for the worst!

I predict some good cruising weather coming up and some interesting weather patterns over Tasmania. This could result in interesting Sydney to Hobart yacht race this year!

Get ready for summer

Over the winter the marina’s have been quiet. The same faces have been pottering about on their yachts and heading out on the river for the occasional calm winters day cruise. There have also been the fanatics, who go sailing in rain hail or shine!

Salus maritime and Salus marine survey Tasmania offers some tips on how to get your boat ready for summer. If your boat is out of the water already or if you plan to come out of the water a pre summer survey or insurance survey is an excellent way to make sure your boat is ready to go for the season. It is a good idea to check with your insurance company as they may require a 5 yearly insurance survey by Salus Maritime.

Last weekend the sun was out and the marina became a hype of activity again. Like animals out of hibernation, crews were peeling off the covers, opening the hatches and finding out how much damage the cold damp winter had done.

It is an excellent idea to get down to your boat and do a few simple checks to make sure everything is ready to go for the first warm sunny day of the season.

  • Give the boat some air. Open up the hatches and bring onboard the cushons, or, if your cushons have been onboard all winter, tip them up so they can dry.
  • Check your bilges. Pump out the bilges and give them a clean. This is a good opportunity to check all your bilge pumps work in auto and manual.
  • While the deck is up and you are checking your bilges check all your sea cocks work correctly. Ensure they open and close easily and are well greased. If your boat is out of the water, make sure the ball valves are in good condition.
  • Check Fuel levels. Check fuel tanks and fuel filters for any contamination or water.
  • Check safety equipment – Note the AMSA safety alert 01/2019 to raise awareness regarding the use of old kapok filled life jackets. You can swap your old life jackets for new ones in most states with participating chandlery
  • Check your engine. Do the Wobbles
    1. Water – Check your sea cocks are turned on. Ensure they are not blocked. Check coolant levels and colour. check for any discolouration due to contamination.
    2. Oil – Check for any oil leaks
    3. Belts – Check belts for wear and correct tension. You should be able to turn the belt 45 to 90 degrees.
    4. Batteries – Hopefully your batteries have stayed on charge all winter. Depending on the battery they should be sitting at 13.2V with no load. Check your battery specs to ensure they in good condition.
    5. Lubrication – Check oil levels are correct in engine and gearbox. Check moving parts are lubricated.
    6. Electronics – Check your wiring for loose connections and corrosion.
    7. Shaft – Check your shaft from the gearbox. Check stern gland for leaks and grease if required. If your boat is out of the water check the prop
Filters showing poor maintenance. Racor filter (centre) showing contamination of fuel with sediment build up at base of filter. Corrosion of shut off valves and filter housing. Water maker (top right) filter requires change.
  • Engine checks complete, it is now ok to start the engine. Once started check you have cooling water flow, check the colour of your exhaust gas, check your engine for leaks, gears and controls. Run the engine for at least 30 minutes to make sure everything is ok.
Yachts anchored in Port Davey Tasmania
  • Check Steering. Move your wheel or tiller from lock to lock. Check your steering cables for frayed wires or poor terminations. Lubricate your rudder gland.
  • If you have gas onboard test your gas alarms and remote activation solenoid. Make sure that the solonoid opens and closes, and your gas valves open and close easily. Most insurance companies now require a gas compliance certificate so it is a good opportunity to make sure you have ne. Turn your stove on and make sure all elements are working correctly. This is a good opportunity to make your self a nice cup of tea or coffee.
  • Check your fridges are operational. Let your fridge run for at least an hour and make sure it is regulating pressure correctly.
  • Winches and rigging will require a good checking over before any sails are hoisted. It is always a great social occasion to get the crew togeather for some winch servicing.
  • Check your mooring Marina berth or trailer are in good condition by checking all mooring lines, fenders, securing straps and dont forget to check your registration is up to date
  • Check your insurance. Most insurance companies now require a insurance risk survey to be completed every 5 years. Salus Marine Survey offers an exelent price to get your survey complete and while we are at it we will advise you on any items on your vessel that may require attention.
Warmer climates like the Kimberley will be getting their yachts ready for the cyclone and wet season. A far cry from cleaning away the ice from the cockpit!

Now its time to give your vessel a final clean, polish and make sure she is ship shape and ready to show off over the summer season.

If you are considering purchasing a vessel then Salus maritime not only offer marine insurance surveys but also specialise in pre purchase surveys to make sure your dream continues.

If you would like any advice on getting your vessel ready for summer please feel free to call Salus Maritime do discuss the best way to get your vessel ready for a summer of safe, fun, boating!

Easter Cruising and Racing

What a bonus, a 10 day Easter and ANZAC day holiday and some fantastic weather to be on the water cruising or racing.  Good luck to the yachts sailing in the Brisbane to Gladstone, its looking like a flyer!

Make sure you check the safety and survey of your boat before cruising or racing away from civilisation and let somebody know where your going and when you arrive.

If your vessel is due to be hauled out of the water after Easter its a good opportunity to get an insurance survey and health check done on your boat before tucking her in for the winter.  We are happy to conduct the insurance survey and give you some tips on how to keep your boat cosy over winter and ready to go for next season.

Brisbane To Gladstone Race Tracker

bris to gladstone.JPG

Salus Marine Insurance Survey Special Offer

Salus Marine Survey would like to give our customers a special end of season offer of insurance surveys for just $10 /ft for survey of vessels in Tasmania.

Salus Marine Survey is the preferred surveyor for insurance companies operating in Australia and around the world.

Please give us a call to survey your boat, yacht, PWC, or commercial vessel or if you wish to speak to a consultant.

10ft Insurance offer2

Barnes Bay Regatta Marine Survey Deal Tasmania

SALUS Marine Survey Tasmania is happy to sponsor the Barnes Bay Regatta this year with a survey voucher of up to $400.00 for one lucky winner.  This can be used for any marine survey in Tasmania including

  • Pre Purchase Surveys
  • Insurance Surveys
  • Insurance Risk Surveys
  • Safety Surveys

I would like to offer a special end of sailing season deal for everybody of $10.00 per foot for an insurance or insurance risk survey.

Barnes Bay Regatta Fbook


Prepping your boat for winter

Compared to other parts of the world, winter in Australia is quite mild. We do not expect our yachts to be iced in or frozen over, but we can expect some pretty extreme winds, just like two weeks ago when 80kts was recorded at Tasman Island! Generally we do not use our boats as much in winter than in summer so its a good idea to give the boat, your mooring or marina berth, and equipment a once over to ensure they will be in tip top condition when the warm days return.  Richard Hewson from Salus Marine Survey Tasmania has a few tips for getting your boat or yacht ready for winter.


Check your mooring or marina berth lines and chains to make sure there is no chafe, shackles are done up tightly and moused and the vessel will not touch the dock in strong winds. If you don’t plan to use your sails, remove furling sails from the furler, and lash your mainsail so if the bag un-zipps itself your mainsail wont flap in the breeze. The biggest cause of damage to yachts in marinas and on moorings is due to unsecure sails!


Especially during colder months, mould is the first and foremost enemy of the idle vessel. Where moisture and condensation are harboured you can virtually shave the evil spores off cabin walls and cushions after a few weeks, so a little autumnal ‘spring’ cleaning goes a long way. Wipe over the interior with a mixture of vinegar and water to remove any of the unwanted mould pours.

Empty out your fridge and freezer, turn them off and give them a good clean.  Best to take any beer off the boat or drink it before you leave as beer can explode and make a mess attracting mould.  In particular the XXXX cans seem to explode easily just by the boat rocking on a mooring.

Valuables like electronics, wet-weather jackets, PFDs, inflatables and auxiliary outboards are all best stored in the garage. Removing biminis and dodgers prevents them being damaged by winter storms.

Take the time to clean and treat rust wherever it lurks – better now than wrestling corroded bolts and broken fittings in next summer.

To encourage cabin circulation, leave the bunk mattresses upright and locker covers and cabin doors ajar. Close off the seacocks and get the various sumps as dry as possible. Then scatter some moisture absorbers throughout the interior.

A dehumidifier is a wise investment for marina-berthed boats, although fires are known to have been triggered by electrical faults on shore-powered 240V devices. You need to be sure that the dehumidifier is well secured and has adequate drainage.

Draining the water tanks is advisable but before doing so, flush the head copiously with fresh water and vinegar.  Rinse caked-on mud off the anchor and chain, then hose out the scuppers and cockpit drains.

It pays to purge the holding tank as well – after which a splash of deodoriser should suffice, although in frost-prone regions some owners run non-toxic antifreeze through the intake lines, macerator and discharge hose.


When it comes to long-term fuel storage, particularly diesel, there’s a Catch 22. Popular wisdom holds that you should fill the tanks to limit the space where condensation collects, however there’s a risk of it going stale and being wasted.

Fuel companies have reportedly taken some of the old additives out of diesel to pass emission regulations, reducing shelf life to less than a few months in some cases. Leaving tanks empty, conversely, increases the opportunity for algal contamination. Treating the fuel with an after-market stabiliser is the best solution. After adding it, run the engine for around 10 minutes to circulate the stabiliser.

Portable outboard petrol tanks can sweat beneath boat covers so are best left in a shady corner of the shed. If you can disconnect the fuel line then do so; rubber eventually hardens when it continually cycles between hot and cold.


Generally most diesel yacht engines will look after themselves and there is no need to winterise them as such, but this is a good opportunity to check the engine lubrication, grease nipples, and give the engine a wipe down from any salt build up that may have occurred during the season when you were pushing the boat a little, and a spray and wipe of WD40 will give a film of protection for any winter moisture.

Petrol engines on the other hand require a bit more love.  Outboard engines flushed with fresh water and fuel drained

To further prevent moisture from seeping into the engine you can plug the exhaust and possibly the air inlet with tape or a wooden bung.

Gensets can be added to the maintenance list if you’re concerned about cold. Treat them the same as a diesel, although the metal components in the electrical motor do suffer from prolonged exposure to salty air.

Because marine air-conditioners use water to cool the condenser, manufacturers recommend forcing water out of the system with pressurised air or, better still, pump antifreeze through.

As is often the case, the best maintenance is use. On a calm winter’s day it’s worth running your motor and gear under load (in gear), if only for an hour or so. Idling the diesels in the pen is not ideal since carbon builds up.


Make sure when you leave your boat all the circuits and switches are turned off and your battery charger or solar panels are charging the batteries.  If you don’t have a solar set up, its worth getting a cheap unit from the local cheap auto distributor and wiring it in for the winter months.  Even with shorter days and lower solar irradiance its better than no charge at all. If your boat is small enough, disconnect the batteries and take them home to provide a trickle charge. Smart marine chargers are recommended over automotive units provided you ensure the correct battery type is selected.

Lead-acid batteries prefer temperatures around 25°C and their capacity plummets as the mercury drops below 15. If left discharged, flooded batteries can freeze, and some electricians also advise against storing batteries directly on cold cement floors.

At the other extreme, electrolyte levels can boil dry with repeated charging and minimal usage. There’s the added threat of excessive gassing in lead-acid batteries, releasing hydrogen. It’s no coincidence that ice-monitoring stations in the Arctic use sealed batteries that hold the electrolyte in glass mats, preventing cracking and leakage. Gel batteries are better still, though dearer.


Check rudder glands, transducers, skin fittings and deck fittings for leaks.  Make sure you are aware of any leaks and preferably attend to them.  If your bilge pump is on auto, make sure its not going to flatten the battery.

Physically check the bilge pumps are working – if the hoses, connections, or wiring look marginal then fix them.

Close all sea cocks below or close to the waterline.  Make sure your bilge pump valve and any scuppers (both should be above the waterline) remains open or make an alternative arrangement.


If you’re giving your boat the cold shoulder for weeks on end let a mate and the marina manager know and ask them to check on your boat.  It is a good idea to leave your phone number on your companion way, and make sure the local marine and safety agency M.A.S.T has up to date details.  If your really tech savvy you could also wiring in your own CCTV or  Yacht-Sentinel system, which sends updates to your mobile to warn of possible electrical problems.


Fitted full boat covers are an awesome addition and can save hours of polishing or sanding and varnishing  provided they are well fitted.  Poorly fitted covers or the good old blue tarpaulin will do more damage than good, with even the smallest flap chafing its way thorough your gelcoat or varnish on a windy night.

For trailer boat owners its simple.  Fit the cover, don’t park under trees. and store the hull with the bow raised so water will drain.  Make sure the cover is tight to prevent local wildlife taking squatter rights. And speaking of covers, trim down the motor to empty the lower unit and, once dry, seal it with a plastic bag.


  • Sea cocks closed
  • Cockpit drains and scuppers clear
  • Fuel off
  • Gas Off
  • Electrical circuits off
  • Batteries charging
  • Halyards and sail covers tight and secure
  • Check mooring secure

Finally the admin.  Look around at the other boats moored in your vicinity.  No doubt most of them will not have been checked for the last few months so make sure you check yacht insurance is up to date incase one of those un loved ladies comes detached from her moorings and scratches your duco.  If you need an insurance survey for your boat and yacht in Tasmania, please feel free to give Richard Hewson at Salus Maritime and Marine Survey a call.

See you on the water.

GPS System Rollover 06 April 2019

If you have a GPS purchased before the year 2000 that has not had a software update and you rely on our GPS or chart plotter for navigation, you may wish to read Australian Maritime Safety Authority new marine notice.

This marine notice advises Global Positioning System (GPS) users of potential issues that may occur with older GPS receiver time and positional accuracy as a result of the scheduled GPS week counter roll over on 06 April 2019.

The GPS system transmits time to GPS receivers using a format of time and weeks from a start date of 06 January 1980. GPS Rollover week occurs when the data field in the navigational message sent by GPS satellites reaches the maximum limit of 1023 weeks and ‘rolls over’ to week zero. This last occurred in August 1999.

Some older GPS receivers are unable to make the transition from week 1023 back to week zero. If your GPS receiver is outdated or has not had a software update, it may revert to reading the week zero as August 1999. When this happens, the internal clocks of these GPS receivers will experience a lack of absolute reference and may give incorrect time or position information, or may lock up permanently. Some GPS receivers may experience issues and disruptions prior to or after the rollover date.

Some GPS receivers are repairable with upgrades, but others may become unusable. Newer receivers that are fully compliant with GPS ICD-200 should not encounter any issues.  Vessel owners and navigators should check with your GPS manufacturer regarding the status of your receiver. If you have any doubt as to whether your receiver is compliant you should contact the manufacturer or supplier.

In any situation when you are out on the water, vessel owners, and operators should never navigate using GPS or chart plotter alone.  Remember to stick your head out of the boat and make reference the chart or plotter picture compared to surrounding land or navigation features  as well as the depth of water your are moving through.

Everybody make sure they be extra careful out on the water in the coming weeks and months as some vessel owners may not realise there is an issue with their GPS until next summer.  Look out for each other and have fun.


About the Author.  Richard Hewson is a Yachtmaster, Master Unlimited and MED2 who has raced and cruised around the world with numerous maritime accomplishments including his present roles as a marine surveyor for SALUS and project manager at INCAT in Tasmania.


Marine Surveys in Tasmania

Richard Hewson is conducting marine surveys for all types of boats, yachts, recreational craft and commercial vessels.  Salus maritime is a marine survey company offering the following services;

Safety Management
Pre purchase survey
Insurance survey
Recreational and commercial AMSA DCV survey
Yacht Management and Maintenance
Policy Development
Shipping Services
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