Tigerland delivery: Whitehaven 7000 Flybridge journey from Perth to Auckland

A massive sea voyage from Perth to Auckland for the Whitehaven 7000, Tigerland, was all in a day’s work for Captain Tom Carlisle and crew from OceanX Offshore Deliveries.

The trip, which was actually 3,850 nautical miles over several weeks, was a delivery from Tigerland’s base of Perth to new owners in Auckland, where she would be re-named Melvina.

Tigerland is the sistership to the original Whitehaven 7000, Komotion, owned by Bruce and Julie Scott and now renamed “Hells Bells” and giving many hours of cruising pleasure to her second owner.

Tom, known as “Captain Midnight” for his proclivity to work 12 hour shifts overnight delivering motor yachts to their new home ports, has nothing but praise for the Whitehaven 7000 he helmed from Perth to Sydney, then on to Auckland.

“It was definitely one of the most solid, well-built, ocean-going boats I’ve had the pleasure of driving,” he said reflecting on the voyage which began in October 2023 and was completed in early January.

“I aways thought they looked tough on water, but to my eye, they seemed comparatively narrow. But after spending 430 hours on board at sea, under the worst conditions in some spots and waves up to 10-metres, the handling characteristics convinced me she has the narrowness of a warship, not a canoe!

“Whitehavens are really well built with a hull design that’s second to none. This one was incredibly sure footed, even in horrible conditions crossing the Tasman to NZ.”

“Whitehavens are really well built with a hull design that’s second to none. This one was incredibly sure footed, even in horrible conditions crossing the Tasman to NZ.”

In fact, so comfortable with Tigerland was Captain Tom, he invited his wife along on the Sydney to NZ leg!

“She was first mate and absolutely loved it, even though it was the roughest section of the whole trip. She can’t wait to do it again, but I’m hesitant to take her on other boats in case they don’t have the same seakeeping ability.

“I’ve done over 2,000,000 nautical miles over my career and this boat is up there with the best I’ve skippered.”

After an initial delay to get the engines sorted out, they set off from Perth 28 October. The Perth to Sydney leg, with a stop at Esperance for some maintenance, was Captain Tom, with First Mate Joshua Robinson, Engineer Steve ‘Nugget’ Nugent, Engineer in training Chris Ellis and Deckhand in training Tracy Te Ata.


Tigerland, Whitehaven 7000 Perth to Auckland.

We have been all dressed up with nowhere to go until this morning. This morning, we bit the bullet and have departed the Third Windiest City in the World heading to the second Windiest city in the world via the Windiest Ocean in the world. Conditions are not ideal, but this is not a pleasure cruise. Conditions are safe and should improve over the next 48 hours towards Esperance, where we will stop to catch up with Mick from South East Petroleum for some of his famous all natural, GMO free, gluten free, dairy free Dinosaur juice.

Currently about 50 miles away from passing Albany and conditions are finally easing.

We have had between 20-30 knots from the Southwest and seas around 4 metres from the same direction since our departure. Very much as we anticipated. The boat is handling the conditions well, very well actually. We are all impressed with her ride quality and sure-footed motion in what best can be described as very sloppy conditions. No doubt partially due to the big Seakeeper Gyro Stabiliser, and in no short part due to how much boat there is actually under the water. She is a heavy girl.

Fuel burn is around 55 litres per hour at 9.1 knot average, which is some good numbers for this size boat.

Captain Tom Carlisle


After a weather delay: Morning came and with it the sound of all 24 cylinders of Cat Diesels coming to life, warming up like the lungs of a pair of identical twins who are about to get in a pram fight in the supermarket.

Lines cast, equipment stowed and we were making headway. Slow headway to start with, it was pretty ugly for the first 12 hours and the weather window we have been offered is no Prom Queen, but she is single and ready to mingle, beggars can’t be choosers.

The crew from OceanX Offshore Deliveries

Approaching Port Lincoln

Nothing like a 35 knot southerly and a beam set southern ocean swell and chop only five seconds apart, to get the old ticker racing.  God, it makes you feel alive!

Poor Seakeeper stabiliser has met her match tonight, but isn’t giving up without a fight. Strictly all weight downstairs tonight, with the flybridge capped at a maximum capacity of one person.

She’s Lifting Props and rolling us out of cots for the last 80 miles of this legs. Glad we beefed up our rudder situation because the autopilot is giving those steering sticks a proper work out.  Boat is handling the conditions admirably, there is no banging and crashing, no loud creaking or movement internally.  Just a delivery crew holding onto to their mattresses or jamming themselves into corners.  One minute you are sitting on the couch, the next minute you are looking at 3.5 metre free fall, straight down to what is normally the other side of the cabin. The next minute that side of the cabin is 3.5 metres above you!

These conditions aren’t comfortable in anyway, but under these circumstances are not dangerous or detrimental to the boat itself.  For us onboard, great care must be taken while moving around the vessel a fall could result in nasty injuries, but if we needed to attend an unexpected engineering situation, a simple course change downwind will completely flatten out the ride and make anything that needs to be done, smooth and safe for all involved.  

At the end of the day, this isn’t a pleasure cruise, our comfort comes second compared with the safe and timely delivery of the beautiful boats we care for.

Not much more of these conditions, in four hours time we change course to the north and head up past Lincoln Nation Park for a final surf into Port Lincoln.  We will give the boat a quick wash, buy some fresh bread and milk, refuel our diesel tanks and compete a comprehensive engineering inspection, before getting back underway at midday.

To be Continued…



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