Hi there again,
What with last month’s Rye sailing day and this month at the Barwon River, we’ve been to a few interesting places recently - the Barwon became fairly shallow toward Lake Connewarre but we all managed to return!
The same weekend as the Barwon River trip, I visited the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum‘s “Fishy Tales” night. For those that haven’t been to a ‘Fishy Tales’ it is a relaxed night with speakers on various maritime subjects while sipping on a wine. This time there were speakers from HMVS Cerberus Preservation Society, Alma Doepel and a boatbuilder who started at Queenscliff and ran a large boat building workshop at Beachport South Australia.
This month’s club night coincides with the South Australian Wooden Boat Festival, so our next club night is in May which will be a presentation from Float a Boat. We hope to get a good turnout for this and we have invited our friends at the APYC to join us.
The St Ayles skiff group in Williamstown are at present doing the early stages of their construction. I visited them at their shed at Seaworks and it was generally a ‘hive of activity’ with everyone cutting out and trimming the stages for the mould. The WBA supports the group and we were able to assist with a community reference for funding to get a trailer which will aid them (when they have finished) to get to the class races.
On the June club night, we have invited the St Ayles group to visit us and tell us about their aims for the future.
I am off to the South Australian Wooden Boat Festival but visiting a few places along the coast on the way, also visit friends along the Murray on my way back.
I hope to see you in the future.
Over the years of browsing the Float a Boat shop in Ringwood, I had been intrigued by the large model boat (as I thought) on the counter as a display item.
When I asked after plans for the boat, Adrian informed me that there were no plans – the boat is in fact an original full size craft that had been brought in by a customer for refurbishment to supplied specs – but never reclaimed.
A great forecast for the day, and a mate rings up to see if I would like to go fishing. I have to think carefully about this, as he doesn’t have a wooden boat! On the other hand, his boat is bigger, he is doing the towing and launching, responsibility for finding the fish and shouldering the blame for failure is his, I don’t have to spend an hour cleaning up etc. when I get home …. and his missus is a fabulous cook who always forces his friends to stay for homemade delights with accompanying beverages.
So I pick up the 3rd mate, rendezvous with the skipper and we head off to Warneet to catch the tide.
All is well, although the skipper did drop a bucket accidentally over the transom, which managed to snap off the transponder on the way past……. But we simply drop into “what we used to do before transponders” mode and head out.
Well you know what fishing is like, you sit and chat for 4 or 5 hours, throw the keepers in the fridge and the others overboard, then getting tired ,and having eaten all the food you go home! Usually!!
There was a good turnout for the unofficial Sailing Day on 22 Jan! We were pleased to meet new member Simon Webb and his crew, who travelled from near Bendigo with Oughtred-designed Arctic Tern Oenon to his first WBA event. The Lake was busy with walkers, joggers, cyclists and pic-nickers, and the pleasant day and light conditions were perfect for mucking about on the water. Jimmie Baillie rowed Hunca Munca the length of the lake and later sailed with Geoff Carroll in Bluebelle, Penny & Jim gave guest Chris the helm of Talisman while David Stott put son Andrew’s $100 Pacer through its sea-trials, declaring it satisfactory subject to new rigging. Leigh McNolty, Jill Carroll, Jenny Stott, Andrew Stott and friend and Andrew Campbell did not venture out on the water but we enjoyed a convivial lunch together. Members of APYC were also out and about, their social sailing day timed to coincide with the WBA’s – an excellent idea.
“Ultimately I would like to make something that can carry the six of us for an afternoon of sailing but I think that would be too much of an undertaking for a first attempt at making a boat. I would rather start with something that is achievable and fun to build with the boys”.
Discussions with Chris Kelly, Bill Jones and others, led to that the conclusion that although simple, the boat would be too small for his purposes and this led to research into finding something that may better suit the family and would not be beyond the resources available at present in Vanuatu.
A few options were checked out, and the Selway -Fisher 11’6” Acorn Garvie http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/sf/dinghies/sdp/acorn/index.htm was put forward as an option. It is a relatively simple build, follows the lines of the Graefin in many ways and help is available from the designer if required. Yes Leigh, it looks very much like a Mirror dinghy!
There were over 50 boats entered in the regatta this year, about a dozen more than last year. The increase in numbers shows the word is spreading about the great venue, hospitality and variety of historic boats to be seen at the Inverloch regatta. Perfect weather for all three days made it a magnificent weekend to be on the water.
The regatta opened with a cruise across the inlet to Point Smyth on Thursday (Australia Day). To see the whole fleet lined up along the beach over at the point was spectacular. Walking from boat to boat, recognizing the designs and looking at the details of the rigs and gear, I realized that this year we have a real representation of the sailing scene of 30 or 40 years ago.
On Friday morning the boats were displayed on the beach for judging and as Chair of the judging panel I had a challenging task assessing the finer points of construction, restoration, rigs and fittings. I was joined on the panel by sailmaker Mark Rimington, professional boatbuilder Reuben Kent, SGYC race officer Lyn Leppin and Past SGYC Commodore Ian Jones. Their combined knowledge and experience helped us assess all aspects of the boats.
We spent over three hours moving from one boat to another, listening to the owner’s stories of how they found the boat and what they had done to restore it and get it to the regatta. Deciding the winners of the four category awards plus the special awards for Gwen 12s and Sailfish took some careful evaluation of the short listed contenders but we reached agreement in time for lunch!
Friday afternoon at 2pm was the scheduled start time for the regatta race. There were three starts. The fast boats started on the 2pm gun and the Sailfish started 3 minutes later, with the slower boats starting three minutes after that. At least that was the plan. Precise timekeeping may not be the most salient virtue of wooden dinghy sailors. Despite a well conducted start procedure on the committee boat, there was a degree of confusion about the start times out on the water and many boats started a bit late, including myself. Nevertheless it made a great spectacle for the crowds lining the shore.
Hands On Learning Australia is a programme committed to preventing the harm of early school leaving by creating opportunities AT SCHOOL for young people to discover their talents and experience success.
In addition to their normal schoolwork, participants in the programme are involved in “making and doing” at the school they attend. They have access to resources which allow them to learn life skills, and under the oversight of trained coordinators may also learn how to use the tools required for various tasks. For those interested, more at http://handsonlearning.org.au/ .
Towards the end of last year your club was involved in helping the Westernport Secondary College HOL group prepare for one of the fun events of the year – the annual raft race between HOL Schools, held at Mornington.
You may want to check out the only video I could track down of a previous race, and get a picture of what happens - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m54rEKnKd8 .
Design is one of the keys to a good raft, along with simplicity of construction, availability of resources, skillsets of the builders, time constraints – and of course, floatability (is that a word?).
A number of designs were considered, and the suitability of many different construction materials was discussed – from plumbing pipes and car tubes, to large garden tubs and plastic barrels. In the end, the kind donation of a stack of packing ply from Cambridge Commercial Equipment – a commercial refrigerator supplier in Hallam – resolved the issue, and plywood it was.
The Wooden Boat Association was formed in 1989 for people who enjoy wooden boats and wooden boat building.
Members appreciate wooden boats for their aesthetic qualities, the beauty of the boats and the materials from which they are constructed, and the pure romance of wooden boats.
In this age of mass production, each wooden boat is as individual as her owner.
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Have you recently had a great day on the water, voyaged from A to B successfully, or completed a small project such as a locker lid or new spar? Our members would love to hear about it!
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