February 2018



From the President’s Desk

The last two months have seen a steady stream of activations for Abell Point Marina VMR1. We have been called out for 18 activations in total, 5 of which were for members, 6 for non-members, plus there were 2 medivacs for QAS and 1 activation for the Police.

The wind generator for the Channel 81 repeater at Mt Robinson was completed before Christmas. A new repeater unit was installed at Hayman Island, and more has been done to ready the site for it’s upcoming full upgrade. A lot of rubbish and debris has been cleared away from the area to allow better access and to take away the chance of any debris being blown around during an adverse weather event. Our gratitude goes to the Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association, Helibiz and Hayman Island for their assistance.

The stairs and access area to our base have been replaced, and the temporary balustrades will be replaced with the permanent items soon. The training room has been refurbished thanks to a grant from Macrossan and Amiet, and is looking good.

We are going through the final stages of upgrading our stability requirements for the new vessel. When completed, this will allow us up to 12 persons on board in any area, and also allow us to tow any size vessel as long as we can maintain a minimum speed of 3 knots at a bollard pull of less than 4 tonnes – that equates to a maximum of 2700 rpm. Vessels smaller than twice our weight may be towed at any safe speed. The boat continues to impress all of our active crew. 🙂

We are now posting all activation reports on our Facebook page, with photos wherever possible. Post viewings in Facebook range between 3.4K and 7.5K people – well done Marlene.

And remember, we are always on the lookout for suitable and keen volunteers to help us in all aspects of running VMR Whitsundays – not just boat skippers and crew, but radio base operators, emergency phone holders, help with fundraising, administration, sausage sizzles, etc. See http://vmrwhitsundays.com.au/volunteer/  for more information.

Regards, Mal

Clipper Fever at Airlie Beach

It has been a massive time for celebrations marking the major stopover of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which was hosted by our Platinum sponsor, Abell Point Marina, with major support by our long supporting sponsor, Fish D’Vine. According to the official blog, this stop-off is turning out to be “…one to remember…”.  The support from the public made this an outstanding success. Our rescue vessel, Abell Point Marina VMR1 was proud to add our own small contribution, ferrying journalists and media,  and leading the fleet out for its next leg – 9,582 km over 53 days to China. Wonder what it’s like on board one of the Clippers?  Here’s a short video clip that will give you an idea….looks like they keep busy! 😉

Membership Cards

Although long overdue (sorry ’bout that) the new cards have now been mailed out to financial members.  Have you received yours? If not, it could mean that your membership has expired so please contact us at: membership@vmrwhitsundays.com.au. At $325 per hour, not being a member could get expensive!

Update on Projects

VMR Building, Cannonvale

In the December Samson Post we thanked Dulux and their partners for the serious paint job on the VMR building exterior.  The new stairs have been installed but cyclone backlogs and Christmas break prevented the balustrades and safety rails being installed.  We are now back on track and the new balustrading is installed.  Just the painting of the steel frame to be completed!  The steel deck and stairs is built to latest safety standards with climb proof rails and a safety gate, preventing children from danger.

In the meantime our attention has shifted to the interior of the VMR training room.  We have replaced the flooring to match the Marine Club downstairs, installed a new air-conditioner and are now planning a new fit-out for cupboards and shelves.  We have also updated our training materials, with thanks to a grant from Macrossan and Amiet.

Mt Robinson VHF Radio Repeater (Channel 81), Whitsunday Island

The completely new repeater and aerials which have greater power generation and storage capabilities have now been supplemented by a wind generator – filling the gap for generation at night or during inclement weather. Thanks to Westpac Disaster Fund, Channel 81 has never been clearer, stronger or more resilient. In conjunction with Whitsunday Bareboats association, and with assistance from Marine Safety Queensland (MSQ), the Bareboat channel 86 shares our site and we share their transmission tower.

Hayman Island VHF (Channel 82)

Following Cyclone Debbie, the channel 82 installation was partially restored, pending an upgrade planned by MSQ to their channel 16/67 installation, when we planned to work in conjunction in common items.  However, the MSQ installation has been postponed until the end of the storm season, so we replaced the repeater unit, removed cyclone trash from Mt Hayman and secured the site in readiness for stormy weather.

Channel 82 will also be supplemented by a wind generator and more superior aerial, with plans to ensure that its cover will extend to the Dingo Beach/Hydeaway Bay mainland and a stronger signal to Great Barrier Reef areas.

Thanks to Helibiz

There are many to thank for their willing assistance on these huge projects, but none more than Des Davey at Helibiz, whose expertise and generosity has enabled us to clear the trash and carry in men and materials for the new installations.  Please support Des whenever you can.  Helibiz can be contacted at 07 4946 9422.

Boating in the Whitsundays

Have you checked out the new ‘Boating in the Whitsundays’ page on our website? Some great info there such as distances, pre-departure checklists, maps, information about VHF radio, navigation, tide tables….plus some very useful info about what you can do in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Definitely worth checking out…and perhaps sharing with your friends. 🙂


Thanks to all who contribute through our cash collection cans.   During the last month the can at Whitsunday Seafood Bar totalled $83.60 and Magnum’s tin yielded $249.15…great effort!  Also, two generous members added a much appreciated donation to their renewal fees.  Many thanks to Walter Lewin and Allan Larkin.  We still have plenty of work to do in the area of fundraising for this year though.

Notices to Mariners

Two new notices to mariners have been added to the Queensland Transport Website for our region since the last Samson Post.  These relate to:

  • construction underway of the “D” arm in the Port of Airlie Marina, and
  • a submerged vessel in Shute Harbour which may pose a hazard to navigation.

For more details, please go to the Qld Government Transport website.

Boating Safety

It’s beautiful out on our Whitsunday waters, but first things first…it is important to make sure that you and everyone on board your boat is safe! This short video will provide some good suggestions about equipment.


Finally….Something for the Kids

Do you have kids who love boating but spend a lot of time saying “I’m booooored.” 🙂  Here’s an idea….what about a boat race activity.

All you need is a piece of pool noodle, a pencil (for the mast), a scrap of gift-wrapping paper….and a straw to blow them! Have fun!


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