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 responsibility of organizing (herding?) an orderly and respectful parade of disparate rowing and sailing craft past our newly installed ‘Great Leader’ Chris, was given to me.  With rustic bugle technique (helped by David’s “spit a tea leaf” hint) it was not too onerous.

Luckily the theme of the day was “Have Fun”.  Graeme brought a set of signal flags and ‘dressed’ Begonia; Jim and Penny followed the theme of their Viking “Shortship” and dressed it with shields, wore menacingly authentic garb including horned helmets, and bowled past the saluting stand in fine style.  Geoff Carroll, gentleman that he is, donned blazer, cap and cufflinks, and led an appropriately rousing round of cheers.
With perhaps the largest fleet of WBA boats ever, it is impossible to acknowledge all the individual efforts which collectively contributed to the universal glow of goodwill.

So, after two weeks of miserable winter (as only Melbourne knows how) a beaut day was turned on for us. 

Later (I must note this) Begonia again worked her magic to ‘soothe the troubled breast’, and bewitched and inspired at least one potential new member!

Frank Raisin

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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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