Cairns to Thursday Island in an 18ft Hobie Catamaran

Please find a little information on a 950km sailing trip by Scot Aldred and his son in June 1999 in a 18ft Hobie Catamaran. For those that dont know, this area of North East Australia is very remote with no sealed roads, only dirt roads which are closed during the wet season. There are a few small towns, but none of any significance. For the complete story with more photos please follow the link at the australian adventurer website HERE

Scot has written his trip up fully at on this website LINK

Some thoughts are that ideally an outrigger canoe would be a superior vessel for this trip, in that it has inbuilt storage compartments, has a place to sleep, even for a few hours whilst at sea and under the protection of a hull. Furthermore if one hull was smaller it could be righted in an emergency as Joe Henry did in his Flaquita tacking outrigger, and as Tim Anderson did in his aborted trip from Florida to Cuba. Also the tacking outrigger can have higher clearance under the crossbeams without unduly raising the center of gravity. However we live in a real world, and as a Hobie catamaran can be bought easily, a second hand outrigger canoe is going to be very hard to find.

A small portion of some notes that Scot wrote are listed below

Miscellaneous thoughts about the trip

  • the amount of rubbish from boats and ships washed ashore on the beaches and islands defies belief
  • the total distance traveled was approximately 508 nautical miles or 940km
  • the mental anguish of coping with very strong winds in a small boat and finding a safe place to sleep each night was the hardest part of the trip
  • we took too much food (2x as much as we needed)
  • the trampoline took an enormous pounding from the very short seas and overloaded boat
  • reefing points in the main are essential for such a journey
  • a GPS and full set of charts are a must.