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.
It has been another interesting month for the WBA, in particular the club weekend at Paynesville - thanks Penny for your article in this month’s Shavings.
Highlights of the weekend were the trips up river/s rather than on the open lakes because of the weather, and the visit to the Paddle Steamer Curlip.
The Gippsland Lakes Classic Boat Club (GLCBC) has taken on the Curlip restoration and the WBA has decided to support their efforts. This will involve some re-planking, some re-fixing, and many other tasks. If anyone is interested in assisting, the work schedule is posted on the Curlip Facebook site – or you can let me know and I can put you on to the boat builder.
During the next weeks (Nov.) the APYC deck is being replaced by a (very) small team of WBA stalwarts but if anyone else can spare the time, the assistance would be welcomed. Please contact me if you can help.
The Werribee River sailing day is approaching and is destined to be a good day.
Of course the Christmas Lunch and sailing day at APYC is also a must for members so mark that date in your calendar.
Cheers for now,
Despite the disturbing weather forecasts, the hardy WBAers who headed to Paynesville for the annual weekend away, managed to snatch some quality time on the water. Andrew Campbell (Mars) and Jim & Penny (Drascombe lugger) arrived on Thursday night and woke to a fine Friday, albeit with a northerly change due. We launched at Bairnsdale and, after a brief flurry of activity to quickly lower the lugger’s mast so as not to come to grief at the foot- and road bridges, motored leisurely down the Mitchell River. The river was high with all the recent rain water coming from upstream, picturesquely still.
The threatened front followed us downriver, an ominous shadow, past cliffs reminiscent of those at Werribee’s K Road, as we travelled between the silt jetties towards Lake King. As we crossed the lake and neared Paynesville a light wind sprang up and the front appeared to pass by. Leaving Penny with the boats, Jim and Andrew returned to Bairnsdale to pick up the cars and trailers. Suddenly there was an almighty whoosh – the wind had come in, the Strait was covered in whitecaps, boaties hurried into the pens and hunkered down. All according to the forecast, no? Nope, it was a south-westerly and way stronger than expected! The boats were retrieved without incident and we returned to Resthaven, where we were joined by Jenny & David Stott (Penguin), Leigh & Kerrin McNolty, David & Jan Gibson, and Brian & Robin Flewell-Smith (Rowdy, a very recent purchase).
If you have a look at the Boatyard section of Shavings or the WBA website you will see an advertisement for the Tumlaren class yacht “Yvonne”. Like a favourite song that brings back memories of a defining moment in your life, this ad brought back memories of a time when the pursuit of “Yvonne” was a serious obsession of mine. It was a challenge I faced with many others on the race course off St Kilda every weekend in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
This was a time when 12 or more Tumlarens could be relied on to start in the Saturday race every week, and the class was at the centre of keelboat racing on the bay. “Yvonne” won the Tumlaren Class state championship trophy year after year helmed by Selim Nurminen, a man of few words but an abundance of seemingly intuitive sailing skills learned from a life at sea and in sailing boats. His Scandinavian background no doubt gave him an affinity with these boats that were often described as “a viking ship with a lead keel”.
To cross the finish line ahead of Selim in “Yvonne:” was the rarest of experiences. I achieved it only once in my four years of Tumlaren racing. On that day I was foredeck hand on “Galatea”, skippered by Kim Chipman. Kim kept the finishing gun cartridge as a trophy. Yes, the race committee had an old shotgun that was used for the starts and finishes in those days.
I apologise to all those who have kindly sent in photos and oar construction references – another anonymous contributor has insisted on equal exposure, and for undisclosed personal reasons I have chosen to publish his letter in an unedited format. (ed.)
“Although coming from the anonymous lineage and bearing the same ”anonymous” title, I must point out that I am not related (as far as I know) in any way to your previous anonymous contributor. I do however have some experience in oar use and construction and would appreciate the opportunity to share my journey with oars – which the keen reader will note draws some conclusions which vary from my unrelated pre-contributor “Anon 1”.
I was late entrant to the rowing for liesure scene, and having a lot to learn I consulted with my friend Angus Marsland, who over the past ten years or so has contributed to my designs - and disagreed with lots of them. That’s what friends are for!
I started off my oarsome life by – as many do – purchasing a set of good old “Okky” oars made, I think from hoop pine(?). Functional, traditional, heavy, not unnatractive, and available. They worked ok, but I had a lot of trouble keeping the blades vertical as I stroked through the water.
Then came the event that put me on the path to achieving perfection. Using a design received as part of the plans supplied by John Welsford for the construction of one of his dinghies, I made one oar based on his plans …. It never touched the water – BUT…. some of he advice he gave in what to look for in oars has stuck with me to this day - something like (my summary), ‘most oars you buy are as useful as lumps of wood – heavy, unwieldy, innefficient. If you must, buy a pair, shave the shafts down to a taper ending about 25mm x 30mm where they meet the blades, and plane/sand the blades down considerably – no more than 6mm thick at the edges’.
I did this with my beloved Okkys and noted some improvement in balance and appearance.
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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!
Please send a short paragraph and a picture to the Shavings Editor, preferably by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can include your account in Shavings.
We also encourage members to share their achievements and experiences at club nights. Bring along photos, drawings or examples and feel welcome to talk about these as part of the meeting.
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