A good crowd of around twenty members attended the June club night. Rick Mitchell was introduced by president, Andrew Cohen. Rick opened his presentation with a little background on the manner in which he had acquired his skills as an outcome of some experimental archaeology. A suit of sails for the Duyfkin was one of his adventures which required some research that took him to the Vasa Museum in Sweden for information on 17th century sails.

Rick Mitchell and Brian Flewell-SmithA display sail showing the difference between 17th century and 19th century sails was interesting, made more so by Rick‟s humorous explanations of the different purposes that ships were sailed for in the two centuries.

The audience was then treated to a display and explanation of the sailmaker‟s toolkit, including his bench. It was interesting to learn that there are two different palms, one for seams and the other for sewing on rope. There were other terms and tools explained including needles, threads, fidds and palms. Rick then challenged his audience as to why when so many build and sail their own boats they do not make their own sails too. There are three joys in sailing. First to sail a boat that you have built; second sail using a set of sails you have made yourself and third, to beat the other boat.

Peter Batchelor, with Tony and Linda Remington, examining one of sailsRick explained some of the issues involved in cutting and sewing the cloth to make an efficient sail. He summed up the concept of tradition in boat building, sail making and sailing as being how we know what works.

It was a fascinating and informative evening that finished with a list of sources for tools and materials that will be useful to many of the members.

Andrew Cohen thanked Rick at the end of his talk on behalf of the those in the audience.

Geoff Carroll

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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

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