Summary of Opua to Sydney in a Semifly 45

A planning summary of Dickey Boats late 2018 delivery of a Semifly 45 from Opua, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


March 1, 2019
Summary of Opua to Sydney in a Semifly 45

A planning summary of Dickey Boats late 2018 delivery of a Semifly 45 from Opua, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The Mission

Delivery of a Dickey Semifly 45 from New Zealand’s northern-most Port of Entry/Exit (Opua) to Sydney, via Lord Howe Island - a passage of 1236 nm plus fishing time and course variations for the weather.

The Vessel

Dickey Semifly 45, the flagship model from acclaimed custom boat-builder, Dickey Boats in Napier, New Zealand.

Specifications in brief:
  • LOA 14.2M
  • Beam 4.85M
  • Build material Aluminium
  • Powerplants Twin Volvo IPS 600
  • Fuel Capacity 2200L plus 800L in a plumbed bladder stowed below decks
  • Water Capacity 450L replenished by water-maker
  • Total fuel efficiency passage-making (includes all systems such as generators) at 8.5 knots ≈ 2.3 litres per nautical mile
  • Fuel burn at 25 knots ≈ 5 litres per nautical

For more information visit

Notable safety equipment for passage:
  • 8-man life-raft equipped with a float-free release
  • Float-free EPIRB
  • Onboard AIS
  • AIS equipped lifejackets
  • Appropriate flares, fire extinguishers and built-in suppression systems, bilge pumps etcetera
  • Satellite phone and text communications via Iridium G
Fuel Planning

With a total of 3000 litres on board, the Semifly 45 can complete the journey direct to Sydney at 8 knots in 6.5 days, with 600L of fuel (37.5 hours) in reserve. Stopping at Lord Howe Island to refuel would still be prudent allowing a comfortable margin for fishing and running if required.

Weather Planning
  • Multiple weather models were assessed with as the primary pre-departure reference. The ideal weather pattern is a stable high centered mid to low in the Tasman, delivering moderate south-easterlies, decreasing on the approach to Lord Howe Island
  • No sailing date was locked in until the 8-day forecast looked favourable across at least two reliable models and within three days of a possible departure
  • Weather updates underway were delivered via Iridium Go text message and downloaded GRIB files, also via Iridium Go
Customs Clearance in New Zealand
  • As the northern-most Port of Entry/Exit, Opua is the practical choice for departure
  • It is a well-serviced port with reliable fuel, boat services and supplies
  • The Customs office is a short 3-minute walk from the fuel berth, with fuel receipts supplied for tax-refund purposes in Australia on exported vessels
Lord Howe Island
  • Located 420 nautical miles east-northeast of Sydney, pristine Lord Howe Island is an ideal refuelling stop on the journey
  • Entry to the south-westerly facing lagoon for first-time visitors should be conducted under the guidance of a pilot vessel, arranged before arrival via details on this web link:
  • Use of moorings is advised by and booked via contacts on the above link
  • Infrastructure for vessel servicing, including phone and internet is limited, so self-sufficiency is advised for passage-makers. There is no mobile phone coverage
  • Fuel is available and arranged in advance. It is expensive, but the service is friendly and flexible
  • Lord Howe Island is not an official Port of Entry into Australia; thus there is no Customs Clearance available. Passport records are collected
Customs Clearance Sydney
  • Inbound vessels are advised to communicate with Australian Customs in advance and with any relevant updates
  • Full Clearance includes Biosecurity checks and Passport control, which may be conducted separately. Imported vessels can expect further inspection and are advised to have processed all paperwork in advance
  • Biosecurity is treated seriously, and inbound craft should make no assumptions about any goods. All rubbish must be kept on board the boat and a quarantine flag flown until the clearance is granted

Read the full story - Opua to Sydney - traversing the Ditch