Noelex Yacht Association of Australia Inc


Why I Sail My Class of Boat . . . Noelex 25

By Gwen and Glen Dyer (Published in the 1996 Australian Yachting magazine)

As a small boy sails on the horizon always held my fascination and from my poor vantage point, the beach, I would wonder what it would be like to be out on the water in a craft propelled by the wind. It was this fascination that fuelled my motivation, together with the help from my father to build a Gwen 12 in 1955. This was just the beginning of many years of fun. This craft was followed by a 12 Square Metre Sharpie, and later when our family arrived, I built a 21 foot Waratah which provided the opportunity to introduce my children to the wonderful world of sailing.

In 1982 the lure of the Whitsunday Passage and with some hard saved dollars, we sampled this magnificent area in a Compass 29 Charter Yacht. This brief 12 days in paradise provided me with a clear understanding of what comforts could he incorporated in a craft 29 feet in length. Later that year my son with a few of his mates was cruising the Gippsland Lakes in the Waratah, and was lucky enough to be invited to sail for a day on a Noelex 25. This class was very new to Australia at this stage and on returning home he could talk about nothing but Noelex. A short time later I viewed the Noelex 25 at the boat show and was immediately convinced that all he had been telling me was absolutely true. Design had come a long way in a short time, as it almost offered everything that the Compass 29 did and in some cases a lot more. The big plus was its portability.

Much dreaming and ‘budget’ planning followed. Then in mid 1985 I took possession of a 2 year old, second hand Noelex 25. Many people become attached to their craft and feel that their choice is the best, so I feel it is fair to say that if it meets your comfort and needs this statement is very true. For us the Noelex has done just that. We have over the last 10 years logged up just over 4,000 nautical miles on the log, and that is not counting the numerous times the weed has fouled the paddle wheel on the transducer. This includes a 9 week and 2 six week cruises on the 100 magic miles of the Whitsundays, 2 weeks on the Myall Lakes, a weekend on the Mallacouta Lakes, a weekend down to Refuge Cove and countless enjoyable days on our home waters of the Gippsland Lakes. After all the exposure these outings have given this craft to the elements and a very broad range of conditions.

I can only say the designers got this one right. On the comfort side, the craft is self-contained with the water tank, toilet, stove, ‘Marine Kettle’, (stanchioned mounted barbecue). Seaphone, 27mhz radio, 8hp Auxiliary, 2 deep cycle batteries. 12 volt fridge (which does keep the tinnies cold) all powered by two 43 watt solar panels, wall to wall carpet on the cabin sole, more than ample storage for cruising and above all, very comfortable 4 inch foam bunks. In cruising mode we tow an eight foot Nylex 2 person dinghy powered by a 2 hp outboard motor. While this does reduce the speed a little. it doesn’t really matter when you are cruising.

Moving away from the creature comforts and looking at the towing, rigging and sailing aspects, the basic unit is 1600kg including the trailer. This makes long hauls easy with our best days being 930 km (drive to Airlie Beach has been accomplished in three and a half days driving, and now with a 4×4 towing vehicle I am sure this could be reduced to 3 days). From the rigging point of view, the small mast. only 25 foot long, makes standing the mast an easy two person task, with the help of my wife we have been on the water and sailing within 20 minutes of arriving at the ramp rigging area. The Noelex 25 has a small, but very efficient sail area and the self tacking jib together with the ease of reefing the main, means 1 have a very comfortable craft for two people to handle in all conditions. The space in the cockpit is very comfortable for four adults, and from the family point of view, the craft boasts 6 bunks, this provides for 6 persons with two adults and four children being ideal.

Our boat has completed in many Marlay Point Overnight Races, some of these being in big blows of 50 knots plus, and not once have we had a problem with either the sailing characteristics or gear. In all cases we have pushed the boat hard and have been successful in being in the first 20% of the Noelex fleet. While the Noelex is a true blue-blood cruising craft, a comfortable home on the water, it is also at home on the race track, always being reasonably placed in the 25 foot trailer sailer category. For both cruising and racing this boat has “the lot”. That is why 1 sail my boat — the Noelex 25.

(Glen & Gwen Dyer sail ‘Chariot of Fire’, Noelex 25 Number 707,)