After our weekend at Nagambie Jenny and I stayed on for another couple of days, but the wind got up so we did not use the boat again.

We headed to Benalla where I had a days work and clients to see, before heading across into the Strathbogie ranges to the east of Euroa. Here we visited friends on a farm at Gooram. This is an amazing area only a short distance from the flat areas of the Hume highway but worlds away with hidden valleys granite boulders and beautiful rolling hills.

Roderick Smith emailed me recently concerning an article published on Rubeena, which is now taking passengers on short trips near Sale twice each day.

“The article covers much of the history. Working from memory, it was built for Sydney Harbour, then came to Lakes Entrance.

We sailed, we rowed, we putted! The weather was initially kind to us, with a warm, sunny morning and light winds suitable for a variety of boating activities. Jim and I arrived early to find the Carroll's crabber Rufus tied up at the jetty, with Geoff Carroll and Chris Macdonald ready for breakfast. They had sailed across from St Kilda the previous day, along with Geoff Divko, their trip enlivened by a sudden squall near Williamstown.

I thought fellow members might find amusement when someone like me has one of those days.

It all started on the Saturday when my good lady wife informed me of my duty to drive her to the Showgrounds at Flemington to attend a horse event with her girlfriends.

That’s ok I thought to myself I will load the zodiac and outboard on the farm ute and checkout Gumnut after I’ve dropped her off. Its only 10 mins away after all and I know the forecast is for 25 to 30 knot winds but hey I’m an optimist.

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.

What a fantastic weekend!

Some arrived on Thursday, with the remainder arriving over the course of Friday.  Overall we had 30 members and 12 boats.

Friday was hot. David, Wal MacCadames and Kevin from NSW took to the water for a putt. Disaster struck when Penguin's rudder broke a couple of kms upstream. An oar was jury rigged into action surf boat style to get back to camp.

This was the best attended Club Night for some time, attesting to how well known Dugga Beazley is in the boating scene on Port Phillip Bay. Dugga’s wife Frances and daughter Karen were in the audience to prompt him on a few occasions and to emphasise the family’s ongoing involvement in commercial fishing on the bay. In fact his family has generations of experience in boats and fishing on Port Phillip.

As a brand new member of the Wooden Boat Association, I have a request for information (might as well hit the ground running!).  My wife, Elaine and I own a 100-year-old 12 foot sailing skiff, originally owned by Professor Flynn (father of Errol Flynn) of the University of Tasmania, and sold to my late father-in-law, Dr Donald Thomson, the well-known anthropologist, some time in the 1920s. 

I am in the process of restoring it and need some information about the likely shape of its centreboard.  When my wife and I retrieved the boat from a shed, it was in poor condition and lacked oars, spars, rudder and centreboard. 

Andrew Campbell’s double bill presentation at our August Club Night covered two very different topics.

The loss of the Minesweeper Goorangai in a collision with the Troop carrier Duntroon just inside Port Phillip Heads on the night of 20th November 1940 was the subject of Andrew’s first presentation. Andrew has researched the incident in great detail, including use of material that has now been declassified. He has reached the view that the commonly circulated explanation of what happened and the findings of the enquiry at the time are incorrect in a number of respects.

In the July issue of Shavings Andrew Yen shared details of his new boat, and promised to launch her at the AGM. Good to his word, Andrew successfully launched and sailed "Khaos Theory" at the AGM, and even provided well-wishers with an “Order of Service” memento, the contents of which is reproduced below. Thanks to Rob Ripley, we also have photos of her on the lake.

Traditions are timeless.  This year we picked up an old one.

With a spanking good breeze, on sparkling blue water, and with a glorious array of boats from the biggest, Andrew Yen’s Chebacco, to the smallest, Andrew Chapman’s little red tender, we had a Sailpast.

The Club boats Begonia and Lindsay Symons were on display at Seaworks last September for the arrival of the Tall Ships. Over that weekend it was decided that Begonia’s trailer needed some more work to stiffen it.

After discussions between Mick, David and Frank the extra stiffening was fabricated and fastened in such a way that it could be removed if needed. It was then decided that the trailer needed improvements in the way it supported Begonia. This work was begun by David Gibson and completed by David Stott over the Summer break.

Over the past year there have been a number of changes made to the website and to the way Shavings is delivered to members.

The website and the newsletter are tightly integrated, with content from the newsletter regularly being used on the website, which makes my work as editor of both much easier.

Combining a sail day and our AGM is always a recipe for a busy day and this was no exception. An early start at the lake with boats being rigged and launched, lunch/meeting room set up, notes checked and last minute items collated before the lunch bell was rung. A crowd of 36 attended with a terrific assortment of casseroles / lasagna / sweets enough to build up stamina to survive the afternoon.

In 2010 I had a decision to make – I’d built a couple of small dinghies to enjoy with my two sons but I wanted a trailer sailer to share with my whole family. Do I build it or do I buy a second hand fibreglass boat?

The purpose of this Queen’s Birthday long weekend expedition was to meet our South Australian compatriots (the SA WBA) at the border of our respective territories. Our plan was to voyage together up the Glenelg River in convoy on the Sunday afternoon to see how far we could reach into the remote gorges of the National Park.

We met, launched, fitted safety gear and loaded food at the Warmies, departing on-time at 10:30 in single and small groups, motoring down the channel to the marker, then crossing the Yarra and headed single file upstream. We had relatively fine weather, mild to brisk head wind to a mild crosswind after we rounded the Westgate bridge. There was very little river traffic, except for the occasional ferry craft producing wash and spray that surprised the unwary crew. About the halfway mark we slipped past some canoeists and then the odd sculler out for their morning exercise.

Another cold and windy evening was braved by an intrepid group of video devotees numbering 14 with Jenny Chinn ensuring that "the boys" behaved themselves.

No, not Melbourne’s St Kilda … the original location: an archipelago off the coast of Scotland where the 30 last permanent inhabitants left the islands in the 1930s.

The sun shone, a light South-Easterly ruffled the lake and the day was warmer than average for April. A great day for a sail you may have thought , but only one WBA member’s boat hit the water on our April sailing day. Rob Ripley had the K. S. Ripley launched and sailing early. He had the lake pretty much to himself for the rest of the day.

Our aim for the Club Night on 19th April was to increase the number of members with the ability to rig and sail our club-owned boat, Begonia. Five of us attended the evening, plus the two “tutors” Frank Raisin and Graham Signorini.

Frank, who has had years of experience sailing Begonia, created an instruction booklet on the topic. With Sue’s computer skills and Frank’s knowledge, artwork and photos, they have created an impressively presented and useful guide on all things Begonia.

Graham guided us through the trickier parts of the rigging process, alerting us to the traps and pitfalls such as clearing the lazyjacks to go around the peak and throat halyards.

As we rigged Begonia on the APYC forecourt – under spotlights – the questions and comments from the group of eager learners helped to add a few useful dot points to the booklet and they will be included in the edition that goes into print and onto the website.

The small class size meant that everyone could get their hands on the halyards, sheets, uphauls, downhauls and lashings. We may need a remedial session on tying bowlines. The booklet is now available here. It can be updated and improved as members make use of it and provide feedback.

Leigh McNolty

The 2014 Geelong Wooden Boat Festival enjoyed excellent weather, water conditions and participants. Geelong foreshore was at its best, and was handling a large display of classic vehicles too.

The wooden boats were there, but were in the thick of lots of local boats which weren't necessarily wooden.  People had brought large vessels from various bayside marinas.  A different class and size from my Murray and Goolwa events, and not available for onboard inspection.  Dear sailing ship Enterprize was the hit of the show: great people, and local cruises plus positioning and going home.

The EGWBA met for a BYO meal at the Paynesville Men's Shed on Thursday the 20th February to maintain contact with each other and plan some outings and meetings for 2014.

Located at shed 2, North Wharf Rd. Docklands , the evening commenced with variable weather turning into a solid downpour just before the 7.30pm commencement.

We were made very welcome by Tom Parkes and Robert Vandestadt, with a late arrival of Tim Horton to ensure all was well.

The WBA had yet another great day for our annual Rye Sailing Day. Gentle to fresh breeze, plenty of sun and, best of all, a great turnout.

The sailing day on 19th January was a bit of a new venture for the WBA since we have not held a sailing day in January in past years. Some of our members holiday out of town in January and we have considered that the numbers would not be sufficient. But this day of perfect sailing weather brought a number of members to the lake, some with boats, some without, some intending to sail, some intending to socialise. There were four WBA boats on the lake enjoying the 10 to 15 knot South-westerly sea breeze.

There is a major new event on the wooden boat community’s calendar. The Inverloch Wooden Dinghy Regatta is going to become a ‘must do’ item for those who are interested in classic wooden dinghies. Kerrin and I attended the three-day regatta on an Australia Day weekend of perfect weather for dinghy sailing and racing. Frank Raisin sailed his stunningly fast 16 foot skiff with a scratch crew. Tony and Linda Remington and Andrew Campbell came along as spectators. There were also some “newsletter only” WBA members whose names I don’t recall in attendance.

On the morning of our Christmas Party the sight of Acrospire, the 21 footer, under full sail was inspiring for those who know the challenge of trying to control all that power. Acrospire was part of a small ceremony to scatter the ashes of Ken Riley, a long term member of APYC who helped develop the Sailability program.

The weather on the day was something of an early Christmas present with a mild southerly breeze and clear skies.

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.

Wooden Boat Association Membership Benefits

  • Shavings, a monthly newsletter bringing timely news about events and activities in Victoria.
  • Monthly meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club.
  • 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