Cruising Tips:

Being new to Noelex cruising we were fortunate to get advice from some experienced Noelexians for our first Whitsunday cruise in 1998;

  • a boom tent with timber battens. A rear flap can be unfurled and supported by an extended spinnaker pole. Batten ends tied down to stanchion bases
  • slightly lower the keel when motoring to give better steerage particularly in marinas
  • fit mainsail ties tied to a length of shock cord along the boom to make it quicker and easier to neatly secure the sail
  • lower and fold the jib along the port side, open the anchor hatch against the jib and secure the hatch in the open position with shock cord to secure the sail
  • when the mainsail is lowered, cleat the traveller to starboard (unless fitting the boom tent) to give clear passage to the hatch
  • attach a rope to pull up the boarding ladder
  • take care not to crush the blocks at the mast base when lowering the mast, it also damages the gelcoat
  • polish the hull, it keeps underwater growth down if in the water more than a few days (brush the hull under water every 5-7 days on an extended cruise)
  • additional useful space can be made in the cockpit at anchor by fitting a plywood floor piece in the motor well just in front of the motor (and leaving the motor down).This requires the fitting of rail bearers on either side of the well at a height to give a flush floor extension (with holes drilled for rope ties to attach the spinnaker pole this can serve as an emergency steering oar)
  • leave a bow rope tied on to the cleat under the front hatch so it is always available
  • a 2-tube 12 Volt fluorescent lamp fitted to the cabin roof (over the double bed and just inside the hatch line) and wired to the port rear lamp vastly improves interior lighting at reduced power consumption (and gives a god light for reading and cooking) A LED strip would now be used
  • we have not bothered to insert the well plate below the motor whilst cruising but sometimes use it at night to reduce slop noise from waves
  • the lifelines are left slack for comfort when sitting on the rail in the cockpit and the rear lifelines are not attached
  • spray WD40 on brake discs after washing the trailer to reduce disc corrosion
  • MAGMA BBQ on rear stanchion with 1kg gas bottle clamped below it
  • cockpit cushions(ours are foam rubber inside zip-up vinyl covers)
  • spray insect repellent up the sink drain and in the anchor well (a very large tarantula joined us in the sink having sheltered in the drain whilst the boat was at home)
  • “Wash & Wax” treatment after sailing and a sun cover keep the decks looking good
  • a horizontal floor fitted in the cupboard below the sink makes storage of kitchenware etc easier
  • a chopping board cut to fit over the sink is useful (and hides dirty dishes until washup time)
  • BBQ’s Galore sold a collapsible table with four removable legs which straddles the traveller track for Happy Hour and stores flat aft of the double bed
  • the best addition is a chair sold by K-Mart. It is of French manufacture, folds to a compact size, has rubber boots, metal frame, fabric seat and must have been purpose designed to fit perfectly over the motor. It adds a luxury seat to the cockpit compared to balancing uncomfortably on the transom rail
  • Retreiving:

    We found that it is easy to forget things to do when coming in to the ramp to haul out. We now count off five items as we come in to the shore (that’s as many as we can remember and we have five fingers to assist memory)

    • keel fully raised
    • bow rope placed on roller ready to hang on to
    • log transducer up
    • rudder up
    • motor up


    Fifteen years, ten Whitsundays cruises, and over 600 days on the water later, mainly in the tropics, some further tips:

  • keel winch wire replaced with spectra
  • boarding ladder extended by one rung
  • LED anchor light
  • 12 Volt cabin fan
  • cover/wind scoop over front hatch
  • trailer winch handle extension makes easier winching
  • WAECO CF50 refrigerator and 70 litre plastic food bin on trolley to replace original
  • fine mesh throw-over held down by sand-filled “snakes” to cover pop-top and hatch to keep out mosquitos and sandflies
  • put props under the trailer if not used for extended periods to take weight off tyres & bearings

    SURE THING” NX990. February 2013.

    More hints learned from experience

    Some of the things we have learned having trailed our Noelex 25 “Sure Thing” ten times from Lake Macquarie for extended cruises in the Whitsundays.

    • Distraction
      How easy it is to switch your attention to your loving crew when there is a request for assistance, particularly as this is a normal reaction at home practised over many years. If this occurs at a time when navigation should demand priority we have a potentially serious problem. A near miss of a channel marker while departing Hamilton Island was a wakeup call highlighting this critical area.

    • Life jackets
      Whilst we very rarely wear them, we have on a few occasions, not because we felt threatened but because we judged it appropriate for the conditions even though we did not see any others being worn on similar vessels.

    • Fire
      Never thought it would happen. We were toasting on the grill with a kettle on the burner above, preparing for breakfast with the pop-top up. We were alerted by the smell of metho. A wind gust had blown out the flame on the grill, the toast was soaked in metho, there was metho in the tray below and the burner above was still alight. Fortunately we were in time to turn off the burner before the metho below ignited. A fire blanket was handy if required.

    • Refrigerator
      Our WAECO CF50 refrigerator suffered from voltage problems, using a cigarette lighter outlet (it is fine when used with a 240Vac converter which provides in excess of 12Vdc). Three poor contacts caused more than half a volt drop and were warm to touch (1) spring loaded contacts of the fuse inside the plug (2) spring loaded contacts of the plug in the socket (3) the connecting lead plugs into a socket on the front of the WAECO and this connection is also (intermittently) less than perfect. The WAECO has protection against low voltage and would occasionally switch off. These problems were overcome by soldering a 2 core 4sqmm cable to the terminals on the inside of the WAECO socket (so the original connecting lead can still be used when required) and using an 8A circuit breaker and 20A plug/socket to connect to the battery. There is no measurable drop in the circuit breaker or plug/socket and minimal drop in the lead.

    • Rudder release
      Still looking for a device to allow the rudder to kick up to prevent damage. As an interim a jamcleat is mounted on a stainless steel hinged plate with a Velcro strap around it and the tiller. A tug on the jamcleat will release the Velcro strap and the cleat pivots to release the rudder downhaul. The Velcro strap is trimmed to size to give an appropriate release tension.
  • Trailer brakes
    The (lever/ratchet) handbrake on the hydraulic master cylinder which actuates slave cylinders on all four wheels was applied overnight. The next day one wheel hub/disc became hotter than normal and it appeared that the brake pads had not fully released. As a temporary solution the hydraulic line to the wheel was disconnected & plugged and the brake caliper prized loose. On return home all calipers were dismantled and it was clear that they were all in need of attention, mainly just freeing up and cleaning/lubricating the slide pins.

  • Exif_JPEG_PICTUREBoarding ladder
    An extra rung on the boarding ladder which telescopes in or extends when required has been a simple and very useful modification and is really necessary for a large person with limited upper body strength. It is made from products available from BOAT BIAS, stainless steel tube and 90 degree “T” fittings. The tube slides snugly inside the existing ladder and is restrained when extended by internal SS flexible wire.

  • Eyeball the trailer
    A shackle bolt securing the leaf springs had lost its nut and must have sprung out when the boat was launched. It was only noticed by chance to be missing just before hauling out, showing the importance of having a look at critical parts of the rig before hitting the road. None of the four critical bolts had locknuts of any type, they do now.


  • Backup motor
    When the CDI coil failed on our 8hp Yamaha it was useful to replace it with the 4hp from the Zodiac tender to provide safe maneuvering when returning to the marina.

  • Motor lockdown
    When the outboard was serviced it was not left with the leg locked down and prior to launching this was not checked, it is always left locked down right? Fortunately the tiller held the motor down when it was reversed off the trailer on launching, thus preventing the propeller from chopping a hole in the transom.

  • Alan Benn.
    “Sure Thing”. November 2011.