It pays to be patient. Our WBA friends learnt this at the planned launching of Rufus, or rather late launching on 11th October. Sadly after waiting most of the afternoon, the Carrolls and Rufus failed to turn up until most had to head home. Then in the rush to launch the mast raising turned disastrous as it rotated sideways and destroyed the tabernacle!  John from TriState Towing arranged for the fabrication of a new tabernacle. Greg their fabricator produced an accurate copy of the original which was installed with the help of Jimmie Baillie. Nevertheless, Rufus went into the water and into her berth at St Kilda Marina without her mast and bowsprit.

Fast forward three weeks from the original attempt to launch to Saturday, 1st November. Once again the WBA faithful turned up.  This time, despite howling winds and the occasional shower, they were to assist in raising the mast in the new tabernacle.  With Jimmie’s help, I had installed both standing rigging and the halyards during the morning as well as the bowsprit.  Many who assisted in turning the hull over back in 2010 were back, Chris Kelly, Geoff Divko, Graeme Signorini, Linda and Tony Rimmington, Kirsty and Peter Batchelor, Jim Stockton and Penny Braybrook as well as Jimmie Baillie and various family and friends

After careful thought, a deal of muscle and the help of the boundary fence (to which a block had been attached) the mast came up sweetly and was locked in place. Standing rigging was lashed on and the various halyards sorted.  Boom and gaff were secured and the president was pleased to see a WBA burgee hoisted to the mast top.  There followed a brief speech and Rufus was officially named and toasted in Magner’s cider as a tribute to her designer,  John F Magner of Carlsboro, Washington State, USA.  Just as the jib and staysail were to be installed a brief storm sent everyone scurrying for shelter.  Six went below decks to the cabin and the rest to the cabins of their cars.

Our thanks go to the many WBA friends who have supported and assisted in the project over the eight or so years of building.  Geoff Divko helped with the timbers for the keel, Jimmie Baillie spent many hours helping with the spars and mast, Chris McDonald provided much advice and in the end a stump puller to haul Rufus and the strongback across the yard to be ready for the trailer before moving day.  Chris Kelly and Andrew Cohen provided the opportunity to sail their gaff cutter so I would have an idea of the rigging and handling of a similar craft to Rufus and then there are the many other members who over the years contributed advice or a supportive audience at the club nights when I presented progress reports on the project.  So Rufus in many ways is truly a WBA boat through and through. Lastly Jill and I would like to thank Alan Chinn whose provision of the plans made the whole impossible dream a reality which now floats serenely at the St Kilda Marina.

Geoff Carroll

Jill Carroll's photos


Penny Braybrook's photos