Hanh and I ventured to the rally on the Friday before the weekend start. We didn’t bring Mars as I didn’t think it fitted the entry criteria and I had just bought a small second hand motorhome that I hadn’t used yet so I only wanted to worry about one thing at a time. I think as it turned out Mars would have met the criteria but I was happy to watch this out.

Within minutes of arriving at the caravan park a neighbour, Graham had offered us a place in his boat for the rally. He needed a deckie as he was otherwise by himself and was concerned about coming along side at the rally and smashing against other exhibiters.

Who would have believed it but he just happened to have a Mini Tug. It was called Cockatoo, of an unknown design but it appeared to be a dory hull shape and was powered similar to Mars with a 8HP outboard in a well. Being a bit longer and more slender it had a faster hull speed than Mars though.

After the parade I met up with Chris Kelly as arranged and stood by Bergonia for a while to give Chris a break and a chance to look around.

I also caught up with some friends I had made during the Murray River trip last year.

Paynesville certainly retains its claim to be the boating capital of Victoria with some beautiful large and small boats on display varying from the smallest Oultred 8 foot lapstrake sail boat made from recycled wardrobes etc. to restored 48 foot Army workboats, Lakes classic fishing boats and Tumlauran and Dragon sailing boats.

Speaking with the organiser Peter Medling said he was happy with the turn out and thankful of the WBA support. He said it would be likely to be an every second year event.

Andrew Campbell.


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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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  • 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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