We are now into week five of stage 4 lockdown (in case you need reminding) and we have seen the numbers of new infections falling ... all good for an easing of restrictions in two weeks time!

This last month we have had a club night via zoom which Andrew Campbell has reported on and was well received by all there, if you missed it you can view the recorded presentation by Roderick Smith on the Paddle Steamers of the Murray River in the "articles" section of the website.

Our AGM this year will be via zoom on the 23 September at 7.30pm. Login details will be provided later this month and the annual reports will be available for reading. Our current committee will be re standing for election but we do have a vacancy to be filled, nominations can be emailed to the secretary (Leigh McNolty).

Leigh McNolty is reporting on the nomination process for the "Alan Chinn" Award and expressions of interest for nomination will be called for ... details provided in Leigh's article.

Insurance ..... something that you don't need until you need it ! To cover yourself against any potential third party / liability / property damage claims it is recommended that you check your boat insurance is current. If attending any regattas or festivals where you have a boat on display you may need to provide a certificate of insurance.

Keep in mind the AGM on the 23 September via Zoom, catering this year will be strictly "bring a plate" to virtually share, and your bar may be open!
Hope to see you there.

Thank you to all who attended (online) and participated in the 2020 Annual General Meeting. This was held on Wed 23 September with an attendance of 21 people.

The minutes of the previous AGM were read and accepted and reports submitted (mine is included separately in Shavings), David O'Dempsey performed his duty as Returning Officer in prose and the nominations for committee members were elected unopposed, with the addition of Bob Morgan to replace retiring member Ian Baker to whom I offer our thanks and gratitude for his service. At the conclusion of the business session we were all able to discuss our projects and interests while the tea / coffee/ nibbles were virtually shared.

Since the AGM we have had our first committee meeting and it has been decided that the presentation of awards for this year will be held over until the Christmas party which is scheduled for 13 December ... keep the date free as it will be an event to remember!

Firstly we welcome a new member - Glen Davies of Springvale who is building an Oughted Gannet. Glen, how about giving us the story of the build for the next "Shavings"?

Sadly I have to announce the cancellation of the annual weekend away, supposed to be at Paynesville this year. Unfortunately we will not find out what the lockdown easing plans of our Government will be until after the 19/10 so we cannot plan yet.

On Wednesday 21 October we have a Zoom meeting at 7.30pm where Bob Morgan will bring out some antique building plans for sail boats and discuss them followed by a general discussion. If you have any plans or "how to" build notes from the 50's or earlier then share them with us.

Keep watching for notifications folks on what we are allowed to do. Currently if you are within 5 kms of rowing / paddling / sailing waterways then you can use your boat provided you get there, splash in, splash out and travel home within the 2 hours allowed.

Keep the articles coming for the next issue of "Sawdust" , email to Penny by 19/10 or share your happy times and experiences or projects with us in the next "Shavings".

Looking forward to our new normal coming soon,


Our August club night was held online, in Zoom, and featured a presentation by WBA member Roderick Smith, showing some of his great photos of paddle boats on the Murray and Darling Rivers.

The August WBA club night was a COVID compliant night streamed on zoom, attended by 20 or so members. If there is a bright side to a computer-based meeting, it beats going out on a cold night in the middle of a Melbourne winter. There was a few requests for supper, which required a bit of organising by the committee.

CK1 1Another month passed and there doesn't seem to have been much change in appearance of the boat.

I’ve cut holes to take the various electric components in the bulkheads including in the bow and stern for navigation lights, fitting the bilge pump box and sealing the join. CK2 2

I’ve added masking tape over the inwale area and the false ribs between the inwale and seat tops which will accommodate a grab/ tying off rail.

Three coats of 2 pack epoxy primer have been applied to the interior and the electric cables have been run in conduit from stern to bow.

This was all in preparation for the internal painting which was due to start last week, however we are now in lockdown and the Victorian Wooden Boat Centre is outside my 5 km. range!

 I have brought my equipment home and now will make a pair of 8'6" oars to occupy some of my time while waiting for the 6 weeks to run its course.

More of this next time.

Mast – 12mm diameter wooden dowel or aluminium tube  Kayak sail
Boom – wood about 15 X 10 X 1100mm long
Sprit – wood about 15 X 5 X 970mm long
Mast base – swivel from a tiller handle extension
Sail – any lightweight fabric such as rip-stop nylon, about 1.5m2. Bright colours are good for visibility.
Miscellaneous – one very small block, bits of string

So, wishing doesn't make the Corona virus go away! Here we are in stage 4 lockdown and I am sure that you are all finding ways to occupy your time while distancing from family to keep everyone safe.

Best wishes to all who have family members in aged care facilities and remember that the vast majority of facilities are giving our loved ones the best of care and our thanks to those carers who continue to work under very trying conditions.

Our AGM will this year be held via Zoom on the 23 September 2020 at 7.30pm. You will all be notified of the access to the meeting and the annual reports will be emailed individually to ensure that you view them prior to the meeting. Our committee are all standing for re-election but we do have one vacancy for a general committee member. If you would like to be part of the dynamic and innovative team please apply for nomination.

Our last Zoom club meeting was well attended with 19 members on line and we enjoyed the presentation by Andrew Campbell of his Murray River trip last year, including the running repairs to "Mars" when she was lifted by the wake of a wake boat and deposited onto a submerged stump, holing the hull.

This month our club night will again be via Zoom on 19 August at 8.00pm hosted by Peter Batchelor. The evening will consist of a welcome to members by myself with any business being announced. We will then progress to a presentation by Roderick Smith on Paddle steamers of the Murray / Darling Rivers, which will run for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a Q & A session for 10 minutes . Roderick has a deep knowledge of this topic and it will be a very interesting evening. I hope to see you all there.

Keep in mind that "Sawdust" will be coming out again later this month and we want to hear about what you are doing . Send your articles to Penny Braybrook.

Stay safe and cheerful!

Chris Kelly


Last month I said that the restrictions for COVID-19 were easing! Well, I spoke too soon and now we are going back to a more comprehensive lockdown. I am sure that you are all being responsible and following the recommendations to reduce the possibility of contracting this virus.

Our river trip was a success and how lucky to motor through some of the now locked down suburbs (social distancing) by being on the water. A great day, see the report further in Shavings.

Our AGM is usually held at the end of July but we have decided to postpone this for a couple of months. What format it will be depends on the infection rates and ability to hold physical meetings (watch this space for further information).

This raises a further opportunity for members to stand for committee roles... it is always good to have fresh ideas and as I have said before, you get out of the club what you put into it. So have a think about putting your name forward for nomination.

On Wednesday 15 July, Peter Batchelor will again host a "Zoom" meeting for members. The instructions for joining the meeting are in this newsletter, and Andrew Campbell has volunteered to present a pictorial report of his trip on the Murray River last October. We will also be joined by a number of members of the WBASA.

I hope that you can join us, and in the meantime .... Keep healthy.

Cheers all, Chris.

"Oh what a day it was...... " etc.

Yes, the sun shone bright on sparkling waters but the air was cool. We assembled at the "Warmies" at Newport as arranged and when your correspondent arrived there were already three eager boaties ready to launch.

• Andrew and Hahn Campbell with "Mars"
• Garry Hardy, Ozzie and Gerry with the Core Sound 17
• Tim and Sharon with the recently refurbished speed boat, joined by David and Margaret O'Dempsey.
• Graham Signorini in "Nabari"
• Jen and Norm Boreham with "Flexi"
• Chris and Andrew in "TakaPunt"
• Jim and Penny in the Drascombe Lugger

Boats launched, we proceeded up river to the Maribyrnong/Yarra confluence, then up stream to Aberfeldie Park where we rafted up to the landing and had a convivial lunch, observing social distancing.
On the water it was a perfect day with little traffic in the morning but by the time we returned to the ramp the car park was full of trailers and a queue was forming to retrieve boats.   It was a fun and enjoyable day to be out on the water again and I hope that it is not long until we can do so again..  Enjoy the photos below, courtesy of Andrew and Hanh Campbell and Sharon Drinkall.  

Thanks to Gary Hardy and his friend Gerard for this great record of our trip up the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers, Sunday 28 June.

Cheers all, Chris.

Maribyrnong 2020 1  Maribyrnong 2020 1
 Maribyrnong 2020 4 Maribyrnong 2020 2
 Maribyrnong 2020 5  Maribyrnong 2020 6
 Maribyrnong 2020 7  Maribyrnong 2020 8

OK we seem to have survived COVID lockdown and restrictions are now easing, so we go into the next phase of our "new normal", social distancing is still required and gatherings of up to 20 people are now allowed.

During breaks from my boat building at docklands I have observed more activity on the water with kayakers and boaters appearing more frequently. We are still not able to safely utilise the APYC facilities but we will keep you informed of developments as restrictions change.

Our Annual General Meeting which is usually held in late July is currently under review and again, we will advise whether we will postpone or make other arrangements (perhaps a "Zoom" meeting), depending upon restrictions at the time.  This is also being monitored and will be advised to you.

Your committee held a Zoom meeting last week which was a success and it was suggested that we have an on water get together later this month so, .....

Expressions of Interest required in attending a boating trip on the Yarra or Maribyrnong River on Sunday 28 June
Restrictions will apply ... only family members in each boat.

Please let me know if you are interested on 0438519033 .  A decision on " go / no go" will be made by Wednesday 24 June and communicated to those who have responded to the EOI.

Keep on doing what you are doing , stay safe and well and we will be on the water soon.

Cheers all,


An eventful month and one which will be in our minds for the future ... this is the month that the term " new normal" caught on along with "flattening the curve".

The COVID 19 virus is serious and we as the committee have to take it seriously to ensure that ALL our members stay safe and here to enjoy the WBA activities when we are advised that it is safe to do so.

We have had to take the action of cancelling all club night programs for the foreseeable future and our "away " from APYC sailing events will be re-evaluated in accordance with risk assessment prior to each event (providing we can maintain "social distancing", our trip on the Yarra may proceed if we don't have a lockdown. . . we will see).

In the meantime "Shavings" will continue to be distributed each month and there will also be email supplements to keep you all informed, amused and involved in the activities of the individual members. So, now we need input from you to share whether it be a project, an event you have been to or innovative ways to outwit the hoarders and overcome any shortages we have all experienced. Please send these to myself for distribution (chrisk1@bigpond.net.au).

Our club night was attended by 20 eager people to learn more of our second river the Maribyrnong, aboard the Blackbird and captained by Peter Somerville on the upstream leg and Warwick on the downstream leg. Both were very informative showing a passion for the river and its history.

We enjoyed a meal after the trip at the Station Hotel and left replete. Thank you to Graham Signorini for arranging the evening.

The following Sunday was a row, paddle day at Andrew Cohen's at Patterson Lakes. Although the weather was not promising in the morning, Penny and Jim arrived with kayaks, Jack Ellis also with a kayak and myself with a rowing skiff. Steven Taylor also arrived to participate and he enjoyed a paddle in one of the kayaks – the first time he had been in one since high school!  Andrew found a location for his BBQ out of the wind and produced a feast for the hungry throng. Again, thanks to Andrew for hosting the day and being chef.

Please everyone stay safe and we will look forward to catching up when we are able.
Cheers, all

Early in 2019, as I took Rufus out for a sail, I began planning to take her to the Gippsland Lakes for a couple of weeks. I realised that if I wanted to visit some old haunts along the shores of Lake Victoria or the Bunga Arm, it would be easier to anchor off shore rather than run onto the beach. Pushing Rufus off was not a task I relished. So, I started to think of using a tender.

There was a stage in my search for different small boat types that I was interested in designs with twin hulls (maybe I still am?), and I came across the Numbat.

This is the President's report when we have had no meetings or activities!

We are now into week six of lockdown and from the emails received we seem to be applying ourselves to the situation reasonably well. Some are continuing with projects...

David Stott’s veteran car refurbishment is uninterrupted by other activities away from home, although he did say that he looks forward to going to the shop so he can dress up!

David O'Dempsey... building his nesting boat, although this is on hold while he has a knee replaced. David did tell me that his anaesthetist said that he had a friend who is building a boat who could use some advice (Peter Batchelor!) and that David's postie told Margaret that she knew of a neighbour who built boats (Andrew Yen!).

Geoff Carroll... is continuing his build, see the article further inside "Shavings".

Rob Ripley... is also getting on with his build.

Chris Kelly... is creating dust as well as splinters (report following).

Jim Stockton... creating his coracle.

So, as you can see there is construction underway and we will be interested to see the launchings later in the year.

In idle thought, David's comments reminded me that we are all interconnected (6 degrees removed), so speak well of people as you never know who you may be talking to!

For our "Sawdust" publications, let Penny Braybrook know what you have been doing so that we can maintain contact in lockdown.

See you all again soon!
Cheers, all


The South Gippsland Yacht Club has now successfully run seven Australia Day Regattas celebrating the wooden racing and cruising dinghies of our recent past. Well, at least most of us sailing these boats consider the 1960’s and 1970’s to be the recent past.

This was the first year that the number of entries did not exceed the entries in the previous year. The small decline from 60 entries to 55 was attributed to the bushfires over the preceding weeks and some nervousness about visiting Gippsland, even though the nearest fires were over 200 kilometres away from Inverloch. The weather favoured the regatta yet again with good sailing breezes for all three days. The shifting sands and the tidal currents provided the usual challenges to those who sail on Anderson’s Inlet.

Variety is the essence of the regatta with social events on and off the water, racing events, novelty events and displays of models and vintage skiffs in the stadium, however the key focus is the variety of boats that are brought to the club yard and the beach for sailing out on Anderson’s Inlet. 

A large number of our members visited the Victorian Wooden Boat Centre in our February club night at Melbourne Docklands.  The Wooden Boat Centre has been in existence for many years and is currently run by Nick Atkins. The Wooden Boat Centre provides space for boat building or restoration projects while Nick can provide advice or assistance with projects.

The night began with our members inspecting the projects underway. These were varied between kayaks and canoes, rowboats, sailboats and a mini tugboat. There were many designs which included some of Nicks’ own designs.

Our Club night for February was at the Wooden Boat Centre and hosted by Nicholas Atkins. It was great to see the number of members arrive for the presentation or was it the sausage sizzle? Many thanks to all involved in the preparation, cooking, and clean up. Andrew Cohen and Allan Bernardi performed a duet on the BBQ and the hordes were fed.

Nick's presentation was very well received, showing how traditional boat building methods can be enhanced by the application of modern technology. Although Nick did tell me that he would struggle to talk for 30 minutes time went very quickly and the interest level did not wane. Thank you Nick for making your premises available.

Our Rye sail day was held amidst a very crowded parking area, but I understand that the ramps worked well (refer to David's report).
Last weekend was the Williamstown Seaport Festival with the tall ships “Young Endeavour”, “James Craig” and “Enterprize”.

Our club boats were at Seaworks, rigged and on display where Andrew Cohen kept a keen eye on them and recruiting for new WBA members. He utilised some assistance from the Pirates Tavern to "press gang" some applicants! 

Seaworks2       Seaworks1

As part of the festivities a cruise was arranged by the “Alma Doepel” Trust as a fund raiser aboard the “Victoria Star” ferry. Some 250 people were aboard for the 4 hour trip from Victoria Harbour to Williamstown then to St.Kilda and back again during which time we had a close look at naval vessels in port and the working dockyards.

Due to the Grand Prix, there is no access to Albert Park so our club night on the 18 March will aboard the Blackbird for a cruise on the Maribyrnong River followed by a Hotel meal (more detail to come... watch your emails). Spaces are limited so get your bookings in early.

Our sailing day on the 22 March will be at Andrew Cohen’s at Patterson Lakes, where you will be able to row, paddle, and putt.

I look forward to catching up with you all at the coming outings.
Happy sailing!

The 54th International Mirror Class Australian Championship was on after Christmas, and Daniel, my fellow Mirror sailor at Altona, was keen. We invariably fight it out for second last place in the local club races, but perhaps we could get lucky and come maybe third last for a change.

I wrangled my Mirror 57868 (circa 1977) onto the roof of the car, hitched up Daniel's 15823 (circa 1969) on a trailer behind, Daniel hitched up his splendid 10 foot Franklin caravan as our accommodation, and we headed down to Paynesville.

The Championship was hosted by the hospitable and wonderfully efficient Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club, organized in conjunction with the Mirror Class Association of Australia. I think 16 Mirrors entered, 10 mostly fibreglass in the serious Racing Division, and 6 all wood construction in the more relaxed "Jib and Main" (JAM) Division.

Further to my earlier story of ‘rescuing my holed boat’, Hanh and I remained camped at a secluded boat ramp on the Murray River for a couple of days, so were casual observers of what seemed to be a daily pattern. We mostly occupied ourselves reading, collecting firewood and I picked up ancient rubbish, dropped by earlier visitors and watched the occasional river traveller pass.

The boat ramp was well provided for by council, having not only a double paved boat ramp and carpark but a large free undercover BBQ area, environmental toilet, rubbish bins and a bush BMX bike track, a bit of grassed open space and lightly forested space.

For such a secluded place we were surprised to find a variety of visitors to the ramp, visiting for many different reasons.

Our Christmas Party was well attended with a role up of 38 people all bringing a plate to share and the BBQ conducted by Andrew Cohen and Mick Benveltzen. Thank you to you both for your culinary duties!

Graham Signorini had the club boats out and in the water and these were enjoyed by members sailing after lunch and ably packed up with Leigh McNolty's assistance.

We had a couple of presentations to be done during the festivities ...

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