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North Queensland Haulout Facilities and Costs

By Sue Richards last modified Aug 24, 2011 10:01 PM

Published: 2011-08-24 22:01:15
Countries: Australia

Published 3 August 2011

On my slow voyage home to Melbourne from Davao, Philippines....

I damaged my rudders and propshafts on a reef near Cape York, made temporary repairs, then had a slow trip down to Cairns where there are plenty of facilities for major repairs. Unfortunately though, the quoted cost of hauling out and hardstand for a week or so at Cairns was over $3000 - way over my budget - so I beached the boat on a small sand beach at the seaward tip of Admiralty Island (in Cairns harbour) and did essential repairs between tides.

I planned to sail south to Cardwell (where I was told, haulouts are much cheaper)to do some below-waterline fibreglass repairs and antifoul. However, cyclone Yasi put an end to that plan, not too bad at Cairns, but battering Cardwell very severely.

So I sailed on down to Mackay where I was advised that haulout was available at costs more in line with cruiser's budgets. That was good advice! - way below Cairns prices (at $400-600 for haulout and relaunch) and very reasonable hardstanding costs, particularly for a stay of a month or more.

My boat is currently anchored in the creek fronting Mackey's Boatyard and owner/operator John Bates is kindly keeping an eye on it while I'm in Melbourne for a while. On return, I will haul out for a couple of months to do some hull repairs and anti-foul. The yard is well located with a supermarket, restaurants, engineering shop, petrol station, etc within 200m. The full facilities of Mackay are only a kilometer or so away.

The relevant information for the very welcoming Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron and similarly welcoming Mackay's Boatyard at Mackay is below.

John Macey
Andiamo IV, Jul 2011

Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron
42-48 Tingara St, Portsmith, Cairns
approx 16d 56.8m S, 145d 46.3m E
Tel (07) 4035 2685, Shipyard Tel (07) 4035 1881,
Visitors are welcomed. They have haulout and hardstand, club rooms, restaurant, bar and amenities. The city bus service has a bus stop at their main gate.

Mackay's Boatyard
Walker's Complex, Harbour Rd, North Mackay
approx 21d 7.3m S, 149d 11.8m E
Tel (07) 4953 2283, Mob 0402 738 999 or 0401 814 943,
DIY cruisers on a budget are particularly welcomed. Harbour access is tidal and the very accommodating owner John Bates, will pilot you in from Mackay Marina, or from the harbour entrance, on request.


Published 24 August 2011

Subject: Cairns Haulout .... Cheaper Option

I too found the cost of hauling out in Cairns to be prohibitive; I did find a slice of sanity at Smithy's Slipway, a local yard up the inlet, whose owner Roger Smith is not only helpful with his knowledge and expertise and tools, but also more reasonable for quick in-an-outs ... he has a slipway, so long stays might be more difficult. We pulled out for some prop repairs, very reasonable ...


In addition, he has moorings for rent ... we weathered Cyclone Yasi at one of Roger's moorings ... will be forever grateful.

Jon Glaudemans