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.

Congratulations Andrew, on the launch of a beautiful boat! May you enjoy her for many many years.

The Christening of Khaos Theory

Albert Park Lake
Four Bells of the afternoon watch (2pm) 27th of July, 2014


Welcome well-wishers, sea-farers, photographers and doom-sayers.

For thousands of years, men, women and children have gone to sea, sailed lakes and drifted across muddy ponds.  We have built boats to carry us safely, and in the main we have crafted them from the living fibres of trees.

Thus, wooden boats have been entwined with the history of mankind.  From Vikings to Magellan, from Cook to Blackbeard, these boats have featured in our legends and our dreams. 

Carefully crafted timbers have borne our ancestors across seas and kept them busy painting, sanding, sanding, sanding and pumping the bilges.  Today we toast wooden boats of all kinds and the wisdom of those who will sail them.


The construction of a wooden boat takes on a life of its own.  Quoting Arthur Ransome, one of my son’s favourite authors:  “The desire to build a boat is one of those that cannot be resisted.  It begins as a little cloud on a serene horizon.  It ends by covering the whole sky so that you can think of nothing else.  You must build to regain your freedom.  And always you comfort yourself that yours will be the perfect boat, the boat you may search the harbours of the world for and not find.” 

I note the clouds in the sky today ….

This is the fourth boat I have had a hand in building, if I don’t count those that sank or didn’t make it to the water.  If you come aboard today, be assured it is thirty years since I built a boat that sank.

In the last four years I have laboured, tinkered and pondered till after midnight in my shed.  It has been most enjoyable and educational. I have transformed what was a pallet load of plywood sheets and 70 litres of epoxy into the beautiful artwork you see here.

I wish to name the boat beside me Khaos theory, a name derived from the initials of my supportive family and a name reflective of the effect she has had on my supportive family.  Yet in chaos there is beauty – and so we see in this beautiful lady.

God bless Khaos theory and all who sail in her.


Andrew Yen 2014

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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.

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  • 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.
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  • 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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