Keelboats – Racing, General information, some instrument repairs handicapping etc.

As a rule, keelboat racing happens every Saturday in summer and on a few Sundays in winter.  The fleet includes Couta boats, small to medium keelboats and a couple of 40 foot ocean racing yachts.  A good summer race could include up to 8 boats of various sizes plus our Committee boat “Swan”.  For race dates, see this site under “Calendars / Calendar of Events“.  And skippers who might wish to race please register here.  (Once to cover the whole year.)

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Race registration

Members’ vessels are moored either in pens within the Queenscliff marina or off the Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club – on swing moorings or in pile moorings.

Non members interested in participating are welcome to contact the Club Captain to express interest (email or by fronting up at our briefing session normally but not always at 12 noon on summer Saturdays in front of the harbour office.  See the sailing program or Calendar of Events for times and dates – briefing is 90 minutes before published race starting times.  You will usually get a sail but it can not be absolutely guaranteed if you have not made prior arrangements.  Weather or full boats can interfere with our desire to get as many people on the water as possible.  We are particularly keen on finding more people to man the Committee boat and learn about race management, with incentives available.

Non-members can crew in three races by arrangement and beyond that, for reasons of insurance and Australian Sailing rules, (in future, this is a Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 9.56.27 PMwork in progress) by registering for a day “sail pass” by clicking the link on the right  ⇒
Or to read more about participating in a keelboat race before joining, see the “Membership Information” page.

What to bring?  For keelboat races, bring sunscreen, hat, shoes that will stay on e.g. runners, PFD (lifejacket) if you own one (otherwise one can be provided), water bottle, and something easy to eat for lunch. We generally finish between 4 and 5 and many enjoy a social gathering afterwards at the Clubhouse.

The Rules – The “Blue Book” has been discontinued in hard copy but may be downloaded from (for example) i-tunes, as given as a link on Australian Sailing’s website.  For convenience that link is copied here:

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For Apple users a direct link to i-tunes is here.

Safety handbook Maritme Safety Victoria

The current safety handbook for boat operators is here.  But note this is a fairly substantial download.

For Swing Mooring holders.

This is the relevant part of the list by Parks Victoria of authorised mooring tackle contractors.  Further advice can be obtained from the Club Captain.

mooring contractors



An explanation of our performance handicapping system is here.  It is very similar but not identical to that which was recommended by Yachting Victoria, and the basis of the “Top Yacht” software.  For people interested in further discussion of performance handicapping systems, a good one is published by the Southport Yacht Club.  Using their terminology, QLYC now uses an EXPONENTIAL AVERAGE WITH A “GAIN” OF 5.  However, we additionally remove from the equation for updating handicaps any time that is unrepresentative of the vessel’s performance while sailing, such as late to start line, delays recovering lost gear etc.  Additionally, since the explanation linked above was written, we have allowed for the setting of a temporary “floor” below which the handicap for a vessel will not drop.  The removal of this constraint is a matter for the Sailing Committee.  The setting of a floor is currently flagged when the handicap would drop substantially below the median of the last 6 races.  An important thing to note is that performance-based handicapping systems do NOT reward consistently good sailors but reward improvement.

Other myths are explored in the linked Southport Yacht Club page, for example the belief that PHs can be transferred between fleets as quoted below.

Myth – my PHS HC at my club is 0.820 and it will be the same at other clubs/events! An IRC or AMS HC is constant irrespective of where you sail. This is NOT true of a PHS HC. A performance HC is developed within a particular fleet of boats AND is based on an arbitrary starting value decided by your club. If you then go to another club or event, the mix of boats and/or arbitrary starting point may be significantly different.

Some other links.

Up the mast video.  How not to replace a masthead instrument. Quite a long story of Murphy’s law.

Some instrument repairs.

If you have an old Navman 3100 instrument with a faulty display it could be the ribbon cable and can be repaired with a kit from Indigo Electronics (worked well for me!) – see this link:

Or if you have one of these old Nexus NX2 wind instruments: repairs to Silva Nexus NX2 Wind Transducer .  (As done by 2018 Club Commodore and Bosun).  But note that there are variants of this instrument.

Other Sub-menus of “Keelboats” are:

Race results       Race reports     Race courses and notice of race.   Skippers’ essentials


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