At Easter this year Jenny and I attended the above event at Toronto on beautiful Lake Macquarie, in New South Wales.

Penguin had been relaunched for the Yarra trip at the end of March and performed well. In the following weeks, painting, attention to a couple of leaks that got past me, and a few other bits and pieces were completed and she was ready to travel to Toronto. After the Yarra trip she had taken up a bit, and with some salt water in the hull for a week or so, she held water all the way to Toronto.

 

Wal and Chris Macadames were key organisers of this event, and were extremely busy in the lead up to the weekend. Friday is the normal launching day at the former Catalina ramp at the old RAAF base at Rathmines, from where we putt'd round the lake to Toronto. Chris had told us there was no rush, and to launch at our leisure, but at 9 am Wal rang us from the ramp to see where we are, as they are already launched and waiting for us! So then it was a rush to the ramp, and when we arrived not only were all the other boats launched, but they had motors running and were circling around. We still had Penguin in travel mode with everything well tied down after the 1,000km trip of the day before - talk about no pressure!! So we quickly and efficiently untied, and threw our gear in the boat, followed by a quick launch. The ever reliable Stewart Turner motor started first go, all aboard and away we went.

Being friends of the organisers, we had a terrific berth with plenty of room and no risk of bumping the jetty. Saturday and Sunday are the display days, and we were blessed with mild to warm and sunny days, which after the recent Melbourne weather we enjoyed thoroughly.

A number of boats were on the hard this year and they created a lot of interest. Dave and Jenny Myers had their boat Polly on the trailer and had a lot of interest in the sealed fresh water cooling system Dave had recently installed. It was interesting that being able to look under and in the boat at close quarters encouraged people to really ask serious questions about the boat.

An interesting boat currently under restoration and on display on a trailer was Alfra, a Chris Craft design from a popular mechanics magazine, built in the 1929/30 by the Towns Brothers in Newcastle. It is a “sports sedan racer”, powered by a “universal” 6 cylinder motor, and in its day was a successful racing boat. The roof line clearly shows the influence of the late 20's American car design. This boat is now under restoration.

About 70 boats were present, including a large number of putt putts. The jetty area has been greatly improved since we were there two years ago, making boarding so much easier. Again we had a great time and enjoyed the hospitality of our friends in the local Lake group and it was well worth the trip.

David Stott.

Member login

Join the WBA

Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

The Wooden Boat Association is based in Melbourne, with regular sailing days scheduled on Albert Park Lake, as well as other venues around Melbourne, and at least one weekend each year elsewhere in the state.

Especially welcome is the first-time wooden boat builder or restorer, who can expect to receive ample advice and assistance in getting their dream onto the water.

Benefits of Wooden Boat Association Membership 

  • Become part of a friendly and sociable group of people with a common interest in wooden boats.
  • Receive Shavings, a monthly newsletter bringing timely news about events and activities in Victoria.
  • Regular meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers and activities. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club, with visits to other venues from time to time.
  • Monthly sailing days, on Albert Park Lake and other locations close to Melbourne.
  • Use of the Association's own boats, two traditional sailing boats, Begonia and Lindsay Symons, our canoe Stringybark, and our extremely rare Port Philip 12.
  • Access to the Association's extensive library of boatbuilding and other nautical books.
  • Companionship with sister associations in other states

Join the WBA now