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.

Begonia was rigged by some of the people who had been attentive students at the Club Night on “Rigging Begonia” four days ago. The instruction book – with a few handwritten annotations - guided us to the point where she was ready to go to sea.   However, when Begonia slid off her trailer she almost kept going to the bottom of the lake. Rivulets of lake water were immediately running into the boat from most of the plank lands below the water line.

The new pump did a sterling job until we could return Begonia to her trailer. It is a case of learning an old lesson all over again – Begonia must not be allowed to dry out. Once back in the yard a handful of salt and a few buckets of water were added.

This was not to be a day of inactivity on the part of the non-sailors. After a hearty barbequed sausage lunch provided by our President and scrumptious biscuits and cakes baked by Penny, Sue and Pat, a group of land based adventurers went on a walk around the lake, all five or more kilometres we are told.

Meanwhile Chris, David G, Graham and I launched the Port Phillip 12, not with sailing in mind but with the aim of finding where she leaks. There is an unfortunate theme developing here with the club boats. Nevertheless there is a plan in place to solve these minor issues. After all there can be a lot more wrong with a boat than a leak or two. And I don’t mean the mast falling over the side. We have already fixed that one.

APYC hold a social sailing day to coincide with our sailing days and a few of their members turned up to sail Optis and the Status 19, making some use of the fair weather on the lake. Chris and Jonathon Pulham from APYC put the rescue boat in the water in case anything untoward happened. It didn’t.

By mid-afternoon boats were packed up and the clubhouse locked with some difficulty due to the new security system. We were on our way at a reasonable time, watching Graham power away on his Harley Davidson lookalike pushbike, an interesting way to travel and another way to make use of a sunny April Sunday.

Leigh McNolty.

Photos by Leigh McNolty and Rob Ripley.

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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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