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Southport, Australia to Opua & Auckland, New Zealand / 1,310nm / 6 - 20 Mar 2019

14 days / cat 1 ocean passage / CREW full

Crossing the Tasman Sea is one of the most revered ocean crossings on the planet. With nothing but open ocean from the bottom of Australia/New Zealand to Antartica; 1,000nm to the south, the ocean swell can build in height with no land to stop it for more than 2,500nm until it hits the shores of the Pacific Islands. There many reasons why more people have climbed Mount Everest than have sailed across the Tasman Sea and the rapidly changing nature of the Tasman Sea's weather system is one of them.

I have crossed the Tasman Sea three times (two solo) on Ocean Gem, the keys to success include waiting for the weather window, downloading live weather en-route and sailing a vessel thats easy to mode for all wind and swell conditions. Despite its reputation for extreme conditions, the Tasman Sea is easy to cross safely if you stay clear of the winter storm season (late May to August) and wait for a safe weather window. It’s an absolute bucket-list voyage and a hugely satisfying personal achievement. We'll depart Southport and spend the first 7-8 hours getting clear of the Australian Coast, before setting a course toward the top of New Zealand's North Island to the destination of Opua in the Bay of Islands, where we will stop briefly and clear customs, before continuing to Auckland (known as the City of Sails) and the current home of the Americas Cup. The sea life, milky way, phosphorescence and  tranquility of  crossing an ocean and seeing no other vessels for the bulk of the voyage, really make this a special sailing experience. 

Secure your place on the crew with a 20% deposit. Need more info? email:


14 days

The 1,280nm route from Southport to Auckland via Opua across the infamous Tasman Sea.

The 1,280nm route from Southport to Auckland via Opua across the infamous Tasman Sea.

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Best time to sail the Tasman Sea
Crossing the Tasman Sea

Here’s what you will experience onboard

  • Hoisting, trimming and reefing both upwind (main, genoas, and jibs) and downwind sails (poled out headsails, spinnakers, gennakers and code 0’s (subject to weather).

  • Acting as watch captain (day and night), helming, navigating, checking weather and monitoring AIS and radar and for both traffic and rain squalls.

  • Downloading and analysing the latest weather forecasts and calculating best route to destination.

  • Navigating, hazard identification, entering waypoints and calculating updated ETA’s.

  • Routine checks of bilges, engine, electrical systems, sails and hardware for preventative maintenance.

  • Watch roster planning, matching responsibility to experience, crew management and communication.

  • Familiarisation of all safety procedures, sail planning, storm preparation planning and abandon ship procedures.

  • Training in the use of PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices), PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons), safety tethers, dan buoy’s, storm drogue, liferaft and any other equipment required to ensure you remain safe in all conditions.

  • Advice on how to take responsibility for managing clothing, hydration, sleep and nutrition to maintain your health and well being aboard.

  • Planning our arrival and route to safe harbour including timing with daylight (if required), weather factors, navigational hazards, communications / customs and sail/motor arrival plan.

  • Multi-day, offshore passage making 24/7 on a significant Category 1 offshore passage.

David Hows Tasman Sea crossing Beneteau
Night sailing on the Tasman Sea


You can fly directly into Coolangatta or Brisbane on or before the 6th March. When you arrive we will familiarise you with the yacht, systems and safety equipment and you will join us for a crew dinner ashore. Our crew will officially assemble on the 7th onwards and we will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 8th March 2019, when we will leave the Southport Yacht Club, clear Customs and then depart. You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive, but if you plan to arrive prior to 6th March, you will need to arrange accommodation ashore. You can stay onboard when we arrive in Auckland and depart out of Auckland airport, 30 minutes by car/bus from Auckland CBD.

Best weather time to cross the Tasman Sea


Your crew package includes; all meals onboard, meals ashore in Southport and in Auckland, accommodation onboard, your Ocean Gem crew shirt, an Ocean Gem crew jacket, marina fees, the use of a PFD (personal floatation device), PLB (personal locator beacon), and a safety tether. Your bedding, a pillow and towel are also included along with suncream.


Tasman Sea


Your crew package excludes; accommodation ashore, flights and transport to and from departure and arrival ports, alcohol, toiletries, clothing and wet weather gear. Its always recommended that you book flights with date flexibility incase of unforeseen changes due to weather or schedules. Accommodation options if you want to stay ashore either side of trip: AirBNBBooking.comWotif & HomeAway.

Sydney Hobart Crew
Sailing the Tasman Sea

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