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.

Begonia was launched to check her leaks, which were soon clearly in evidence. Frank’s most powerful pump was working full time to keep Begonia off the bottom of the lake, so a quick return to the trailer was the order of the day.

Talisman was in the water early for Jim and Penny to make the best use of the breeze. Later they had Geoff Carroll aboard acquiring some more sea time and the inspiration to get his Crabber in the water next year.

David Stott’s Whitehall also entered the water before lunch for some easy rowing.

Tom McAdam (and others – pictured here is Andrew Yen) also had his CLC Skerry Rosalie moving swiftly with a demonstration of his expertise on the oars.

The Batchelor family launched Kirsty Ann for a brisk sail and took a few other club members for laps of the island and other adventures.

It was great to see David Ayres sailing his beautifully built clinker Tammie Norrie. The rig he had made worked perfectly in the conditions.

After lunch, interest in sailing appeared to be renewed with more boats hitting the water.

David Gibson took Lyndsay Symons for a sail. Looking for ultimate performance, he pushed her beyond the limits resulting in a capsize. Peter Batchelor was on hand with Kirsty Ann to provide a tow back to shore.

Tom and I had the spinnaker up for a swift run down the lake in my Mirror. Tom’s Mirror racing experience proved valuable. At the end of the day Frank and I helped some inexperienced sailors from ASC by towing their boat out of the reeds and across the lake to the Clubhouse.

Not only did the WBA excel itself in the culinary department with a sumptuous spit roast lunch, but we had a large number and variety of boats on the water enjoying a perfect day for sailing, rowing and messing around in boats.

Leigh McNolty.

Photos by Rob Ripley


Photos by Leigh and Kerrin McNolty

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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

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