Home' Afloat : AFLOAT March 2016 Contents Take monthly with water March 2016 51
her second voyage, and travelling back to
London, she departed Adelaide, her last
Australian port of call, on 10 July 1909, heading
across the Indian Ocean bound for Durban
and Cape Town.
She left Durban for Cape Town on 26
July 1909 with 211 passengers and crew, but
failed to reach Cape Town. The big liner had just disappeared.
Despite massive sea and coastal searches and several
conflicting sightings from passing vessels nothing was ever
found of Waratah, her passengers or her crew. The weather had
deteriorated, with winds of 50 knots (90kph) against the tide
and ocean swell to build waves of up to 30 feet (9m) and there
were reports of thick black smoke issuing from a ship, claimed
to be Waratah.
The mysterious disappearance of Waratah created a sensation
in the press and in shipping circles. Theories put forward included
fire and an explosion, that the ship was top-heavy, and that
engine failure had left her drifting helpless in the Indian Ocean.
This is an absorbing story related with passion by author
Andrew Van Rensburg and the book is a culmination of passion
and research, with stories of the lost passengers and crew adding
an emotional aspect to the rather dry report of an official enquiry.
Waratah Revisited comprises two sections, the first breathes
life into the characters that perished aboard Waratah ; the second
focuses on the detailed inquiry into the loss of Waratah. But does
it solve the mystery of the Waratah? h
by Alan Lucas
published by the author and distributed
RRP: $34.95 (307pp; 15cm x 24cm)
Alan Lucas is Australia’s most prolific
writer of nautical guide books and, in my
view, one of the nation’s best authorities
on the practicalities (and problems) of
Of great value to his readers are his excellent illustrations to
go with this advice, be it cruising the coast or offshore, or solving
technical boating problems.
Simple Solutions is Alan’s 24th book, beginning with his
legendary Cruising the Coral Coast which has gone to nine editions,
followed by Cruising the New South Wales Coast (six editions).
He has personally cruised, and recorded meticulously for
subsequent boating magazines and nautical books, his voyages
as far afield as New Caledonia and Vanuatu, and onwards to the
Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and Europe.
Simple Solutions is, as Alan writes in his introduction, the
product of many decades afloat during which many nautical
problems have been overcome, either temporarily or permanently,
in mid-ocean or at secluded anchorages.
The chapter on anchoring is worth reading and should be
thoroughly absorbed for practical application.
“After a great day’s sail, don’t be a cable miser when dropping
anchor,” writes the author. “Cable in the locker is merely unwanted
ballast compared to the importance of being in the water with
plenty of scope paid out ... 5:1 cable length to depth of water should
be absolute minimum with at least twice that in dodgy ground.”
Chapters of this expertly illustrated book deal with a massive
number of problems one may encounter while cruising, with
simple solutions to jury rudders, what knots, anchors and
anchoring, masts and rigging, wooden boats and fibreglass, and
finally, Mal de Mer.
Simple Solutions is worthy of a prime place on the bookshelf
of every cruising yacht or cruiser, or even at home for regular
perusing of how Alan Lucas solved a problem.
The true story of a ship’s mysterious disappearance
by Andrew Van Rensburg
published by united p.c.
RRP: $48.99 (242pp; 12cm x 20cm)
Having just read the interesting article Mystery Fires by Alan
Lucas in last month’s Afloat, it was perhaps coincidental that I
am reviewing Waratah Revisited, as a fascinating look-back at the
mysterious fate of this, then, innovative and luxurious three-
decker passenger/cargo ship en route from Australia to London.
Built at Whiteinch, Scotland for the Blue Anchor Line, Waratah
was a twin-screw steamship with an overall length of 465 feet
and a registered tonnage of 16,000 tons.
She successfully completed her maiden voyage to Australia
and return in late 1908. The following April, Waratah undertook
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
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In this much-anticipated Second Edition of the
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Boatbuilding Manual features 200 photographs,
including an entirely new section that follows
the complete boatbuilding process from start to
finish. PB 256 pages $73.00
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