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.

Begonia was launched with all of us watching the water level inside the boat intently. We were watching for those little fountains that appeared along the plank lands the last time Begonia was launched at the lake. Satisfyingly, David Stott’s attention to soaking the planks and allowing them to take up over a week or so had the desired effect. The new pump made by David produced gushes of bilgewater but was soon sucking air due to the absence of leaks.

Begonia looked her brilliant best under sail with Frank at the helm and carved across the lake at speed. The weed building up in some areas of the lake posed a challenge to Chris Kelly and I when we took Begonia for a sail.

Tony O’Neill is learning fast when it comes to the handling of his new catboat. He recovered from the ultimate test – a capsize – on the previous day. Sailing with his son, Tony had the boat well under control by the end of our sailing day. We look forward to seeing more of this boat at WBA events as the tweaking of its rig continues.

Paul and Karen Rubera sailed their extended and enlarged Tammie Norrie Beth in the relaxed style that the boat was designed and built for. The rig, the steering and the crew all seemed to be under very little stress as I sailed a lap of the island aboard Beth.

In the stronger afternoon sea-breeze Jeff and Jill Carroll were tramping along in Bluebelle. Pushing her to the limit they broke a halyard block and the mainsail came down. No more speeding after that, it was a slow drift back to APYC under jib.

This sailing day was a great start to the WBA’s 2014 events. For those who are not holidaying at some exotic location it was an opportunity to make use of the excellent APYC facilities that we are so fortunate to have available. To get together and sail in good company is what the WBA is all about.

Leigh McNolty.

Photos: Paul and Karen Rubera

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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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