Spring is upon us in Knysna and after a rather chilly and wet winter period it is most welcome! Our offshore sailing courses are filling up and we’re sure as lockdown restrictions ease, this trend will continue.
Looking ahead we are very excited to hear of many students organising overseas sailing trips to the Med and Caribbean. We trust they will go well with the sound foundation laid at Southern Yachting Academy
To those still sitting on the boom, contemplating when is the right time to do your offshore course, we say it is now. With warmer weather and colder beers in Knysna - all the way!
Mark Orpen of Southern Yachting Academy joins skipper Deon Viljoen on a Pacer 27 in this tears' Round the Island Regatta, on the Vaal Dam, Free State, South Africa.
As national lockdown lifted, it was awesome to see so many entries and 145 yachts finishing the event, despite the wind drop.
"Regatta racing really develops your sailing skills and improves your ability as an offshore yachtsman" promotes Orpen.
Remy Tournayre and Van Zyl Steenekamp prepare for thier SAS Day Skipper examination with Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna this weekend. Great weather and sea conditions, whales, seals, tons of birdlife and a penguin for sideline entertainment.
Traversing the Knysna lagoon, navigating the Knysna Heads and day sailing in the bay between Walker Point to the west and Noetzie to the East, forty hours of practical offshore sailing training meets their logbook requirment.
Sailing the Med. on the cards soon....
Completing a coastal passage from Knysna and night entry into Mossel Bay, the Henderson brothers (Josh, Ben and Sam), Stephen Winter, Hennie du Preez and Mark Orpen settle into a week of offshore sailing training off Cape St Blaize. The warm hospitality of the Port Control, local guest houses, restaurants, the awesome cooking from Annette du Preez, the great sailing in a sheltered bay made this a memorable week of fun, laughter, learning new skills and generally a great adventure. Southern Yachting Academy hopes to enjoy the town during August with more offshore Day Skipper students during August 2020.
Regular checking for water leaks and sea water supply, flow and discharge though the heat exchange unit is critical to ensure the proper functioning of a diesel engine.
Should a seal or impeller perish the sea water flow into the fresh water cooling system will slow or cease, causing broken pieces of rubber to get stuck in the sieve of the heat exchange unit, causing overheating of the engine and damaging the engine head.
A useful tip here is to use 1500 git water paper to remove any minor corrosion, sodium deposits, hardened old gaskets, etc.
Remember to close the sea cocks before removing the impeller unit (or cover) and then ensue the sea cock is opened again once all pipes are reconnected and before starting the engine when done.
The video below shows how to remove the sea water feeder pipe to engine, dismantle the impeller housing from the engine block, change the impeller, seals, bearing, gaskets and/or o-ring and put it all back together again; by one of Southern Yachting Academy instructors.
The LDYC 2020 Round the Island Regatta attracted 220 entries on 01-02 Feb 2020. Southern Yachting Academy (Knysna) featured both as a participant in the event on a vdStadt 23 as well as a major prize sponsor. This was an amazing weekend of competitive inland sailing, live music, socialising and making new friends.
Crewing with Austin Daly as skipper, we finished 4th overall and snatched the class gold! After all the ceremonies, Mark Orpen of Southern Yachting Academy, assisted by LDYC Commodore Luke Quinn, announced the lucky draw prize winner Hennie du Preez, who will be in Knysna during May 2020 to complete his SA Sailing Offshore Day Skipper License. Well done Hennie!
This fantastic inland (Round the Island Regatta) sailing event is certainly worthy for yachties from around the country to enter in 2021! Start planning soon; see you all next year.
If taking a summer holiday in the Mediterranean or Caribbean is on your agenda, then 11-days in Knysna with Southern Yachting Academy will adequately prepare you for a bare boat charter sailing vacation in many idyllic destinations around the world. After all, beautiful Knysna is a 'hidden gem' and both offshore and estuary sailing here is not too shabby by any world standard. Whether it is the RS Tera Worlds, Hobie Nationals, Regional Sailing Championships or Southern Yachting Academy Offshore Yachting Courses, the Garden Route deserves two weeks in your calendar this year!
Preparing to qualify as Day Skippers in January were Reece Crankshaw, Hershell Visser, Andy Vogel, Jacques Louw, Jan Brink, David and Guy Rushmere, Ant More, Wayne and Brayden Barratt. Enjoy Croatia, Turkey and Greece later this year fellas!
Protecting South African coastal waters is a group of committed vessel skippers from the Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). These dedicated law enforcement officials navigate our local coastline by day and night policing poachers, unscrupulous fishermen and smugglers alike. In aligning to new maritime safety requirements and practices, DAFF selected Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna to provide its officials the quality accredited Short Range Certificate (SRC) Course to obtain SAMSA DSC/VHF Radio Licenses. Three days of training including drilling down Mayday, Pan-Pan and Securite calls; these candidates are now certainly better equipped in their work. For more information on the SRC Course, CLICK HERE!
Sincere thanks go to the hospitality and commitment of the remarkable barmen: Lovemore Tembo, Clive TagariRa and Patrick John of the Knysna Yacht Club who professionally serve their members and our offshore sailing academy students at all hours of the day and night. Southern Yachting Academy gladly sponsored them all to a 5-hr Start Sailing Adventure (Introduction to Sailing) experience last Sunday morning between their busy shifts to learn hands-on for the first time what offshore sailing is all about.
Fun and excitement was had by all including Gladstone Knunzi who is learning to be a boatswain assistant and deck hand at Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna. www.southernyachting.co.za
When I first entered the offices of the Southern Yachting Academy, the very first thing that caught my eye was their elaborately detailed logo. From past to present, it portrays elements which are distinctive to Knysna. It has the family crests of some of Knysna's most historically significant families, including the Thesen's, who left behind a rich boat building legacy; several iconic species for which Knysna has become synonymous, including the Knysna seahorse; an anchor, which represents our storied maritime history; and a champagne bottle, which serves to celebrate all these aspects which we love about Knysna.
Of all these characteristics, it was the boating legacy of yesteryear that Mark Orpen felt compelled to revive when he started the Southern Yachting Academy. Inspired by his love for both Knysna and for yachting, he had a vision to recreate the dynamic maritime flavour of the Knysna's past and he started by seeking out two of the legendary yachts which helped propel South Africa into the sailing spotlight some four decades ago.
In 1971, two Van der Stadt 222 design, 42-foot sailing yachts were built to compete in the first Cape to Rio transatlantic ocean race. The first was the 'Albatross II', which was built in Knysna at the Thesen's Boatbuilding Yard, the second was the 'Mercury', which was built in Bremen, West Germany. These two South African yachting teams sailed neck and neck for much of the race, but it was 'Albatross ll' that eventually took the lead and won the race, putting the Thesen Boatbuilding Yard, and Knysna, on the map. Also participating in the race was 'Voortrekker 1', the original South African flagship in the event, also built in Knysna by the Thesens.
While his dream to find and restore 'Albatross ll' was never realised, he did find and procure 'Mercury', whereafter he spent the next two years restoring it with the help of several skilled boat building artisans. Once this beautiful wooden sloop cutter was fully restored, Mark could properly commence with his second mission, which was to to create a platform for sailing training and adventures and thus promote the culture of sailing in Knysna.
They offer Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses, accredited radio telephony and coastal mileage building passages along the Garden Route coastline. Many of the students that have qualified here have gone on to enjoy hugely successful careers in the yachting industry around the world.
And for all those who have always dreamt of taking to the helm - I would highly recommend you begin with their Start Sailing Experience. This is a 5hr hands-on, interactive crewing experience where participants are given the opportunity to sail offshore on the famous Mercury yacht. The activity starts off at the Academy on Thesen Island where you will learn the basic principles of sailing, such as tacking a gybing, tying knots, steering the boat and plotting a course.
After this brief introduction to sailing and under the guidance of one of their very competent skippers, you will then get the chance to implement what you have learnt by being an active crew member. You will sail across the vast expanse of the Knysna Estuary, through the sentinel headlands and out into the big blue. This is a hugely popular activity for both local and international tourists and if all their Tripadvisor comments are anything to go by, then this experience is certainly one to include in your the bucket list!
For more information visit: www.southernyachting.co.za
Compiled by: Lisa Leslie
Southern Yachting Academy students Galen Salgado, Tessa Collins and Conrad Spamer are accompanied by Hannes Steyn and Melinda Long with facilitator Mark Orpen on the SA Sailing Day Skipper Programme in Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa during October '16.
Whilst for some this was ticking an adventure bucket list, for others it was formalising the requisite qualification for an international yachting career. Well done to all of you!
Despite the heavy study load, fun was had by all; esp. navigating the coastal passage Knysna to Mossel Bay (distracted by some fishing, whales broaching, many seals following us, an abundance of birdlife) where both ports were entered at night adding to learning experience.
Visit us at: www.southernyachting.co.za