Despite the dire weather forecast, our sailing day for April turned out to be fine with some good sessions of sailing between the periods of light winds. A highlight of the day was the launch of Rob Ripley’s new boat.

There was a serious launching ceremony with the appropriate biddings to the spirits of the sea in placation for the name change. Then there was the tradition wetting of the bow with the required bubbly liquid and the good health of the ship and all who sail in her was drunk by the gathered throng. Rob and Pat had been accompanied by the entire family crew with many hands being lent to see the boat safely in the water. The picture shows her sailing well after the launch.

Peter Batchelor brought his boat and David Stott arrived later with his pulling boat just in time for a row after lunch. Geoff Carroll had several visitors which he took for a sail in his shimmy, Bluebelle. The entertainment of the afternoon was Geoff’s daughter, Katie, and son-in-law, Mike, rowing Bluebelle around the point to the launching ramp. The course was somewhat meandering but they eventually made it safely.

Lunch was a pleasant affair with all gathered on the balcony overlooking the lake and able to catch up on events of the previous two months.

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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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