Embark vicariously upon an extraordinary voyage with our TIMEZERO Ambassador Mick Hay

Most people might think that the quickest way to go home is the best way, especially when you are thousands of miles from home. Well, Mick Hay’s idea was to go by boat and when you’re in Europe but your home is in Australia, then this becomes that much more of a crazy idea. However the Starlight crew planned to do just that!


Mick Hay and his bunch of friends decided to embark on this out of ordinary trip after buying an ageing Scottish vessel (built in 1932 to scour the seas for cod & haddock). They restored it and planned a long navigation trip: Go back home by crossing the planet through the oceans. The starting point of the adventure was Malta and now the crew have recently stopped at their first checkpoint in Trinidad.

The motive of the expedition is quite simple, to make people dream: Look for dance floors, tubes, groovers and surfing, fishing and flipping all the way get back home. But they have something more on their minds: record and produce music with their onboard studio!

TIMEZERO has been there onboard in order to help them achieve their dream, and the Starlight Captain and TIMEZERO Ambassador tells us about his experience and how he uses TZ Navigator v3 to stay the course.

Can you introduce yourself?

“My Name is Mick Hay, I am one of the three owners of Starlight, a wooden boat built in Scotland to fish the North Sea in 1932. The three of us plus some other friends have spent one year restoring Starlight to her original glory and are attempting to sail from Malta to Australia.
I am also the Captain of a Mediterranean based 31m Motor Yacht named Imperial Dream. I have been working in the Yachting industry for nine years.”

Why did you choose TIMEZERO software?

“I have been navigating with the TIMEZERO software for 7 or more years. I have found it to be very user friendly, informative and it has a very wide range of exceptional features. I am very impressed with the speed I can navigate through the application. I myself move very quickly when operating any computer program and unlike many other navigation software applications or chart plotting devices, TIMEZERO can maintain the pace without any frustration. The user interface is operator friendly with all the key functions arrayed in obvious places. I really like the option that a user can customize the tool bar to suit their preferences.”

What is your feeling regarding the new TZ Navigator v3 configuration?

“I really liked MaxSea and I knew the program inside out so, when I opened the new software it was a surprise. I guess any transition phase is difficult in some sense. It didn’t take me long to understand the software and familiarize myself with all the commands and features.”

What was the last trip you took; how did it go and what challenges did you face?

“Since we left Malta we have sailed all the way to Trinidad where we have lifted the vessel for repairs. We covered over 4000nm during the voyage and stopped in Corsica, Spain, Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Barbados.

During the entire trip, we were presented with many problems to solve. Ripped Sails, chaffing, ropes snapping, engine breakdowns, prop shaft overheating, water-maker high pressure pump breakdown, rigging issues, fire/bilge pump repairs, injuries and last but by not the least was mother nature.

We were hit with some bad weather on our first night at sea. Water penetrated the boat and destroyed our navigation computer. We navigated the remainder of the Mediterranean with an old intermittent laptop. Very important to have TIMEZERO installed with all the charts on at least two reliable computers onboard!”

Why is TIMEZERO software so important for someone in your domain?

“We live in a digital world, paper chart plotting is slowly being phased out, it’s sad but it is the reality (I couldn’t even buy a paper chart in Barbados). So, unless you are still navigating with paper, the importance of a healthy functioning navigation program is paramount to any ship. Without it you are sailing blind and are endangering the vessel and anyone onboard. Like I said before, a reliable back up computer with all relative charts installed is also a must have.”

Whether you use a paper chart or a digital one within your navigation software, some key points are compulsory to know to be able to read them correctly. If you need some clues to help you in understanding more about marine navigation charts, please download our guide here:

How often do you use our software?

“We use the software onboard Starlight 24/7 when at sea. We plan with it and also consult the software when shore side for any geographical or navigation purposes.”

What is the most important feature for your domain?

“I am really impressed with the new route feature. With an easy right click, I can plot a route in seconds then alter it just as fast. I can even lock it once I am happy to prevent any changes being made by accident. Even if this happens, click “Undo” button to cancel the manipulation!


There are many other features which stand out, cursor information data is great, just hover the cursor and get position, distance and bearing.

Anchor and guard zone alarms, easy click and just as easy to adjust. Event markers, I use this to note flag changing locations. I like that all of the important information regarding a route is displayed once the route is activated.

I like the new feature to upload GRIB files, this enables precise planning for weather windows. You can even save a few days in advance! Watching the passage in advance in the planning page is a great feature. I can see exactly where the ship should be at a certain time if adhering to the plan. This also helps planning to avoid threatening weather. I like being able to print all route data with way points and distances, I transfer this to the paper chart with ease.

The software has all angles covered, if you want to know some information about your passage, chances are… you can find it!”

If you want to follow the incredible Starlight adventure, visit the dedicated website available here : http://www.thewetwayhome.com/

To download you free guide about the 5 Things You Need to Know About Marine Navigation Charts, click on the following image :