The WBA Christmas event happened in December at the Albert Park Yacht Club.  Any other year it would be unsurprising that a Christmas lunch should happen but 2020 was a very different year and even the normal seemed a challenge.  It was a testament to the persistence of the committee to come up with a COVID safe plan to make things achievable.

With 2020 there had been few WBA events but we had snuck in a couple of memorable ones around the Victorian 121 days of lockdown, particularly the Werribee and Maribyrnong Rivers days out and a couple of APYC sailing days in the early part of the year.  The club nights were ZOOM meetings and were well attended and I know from a personal view were a welcome diversion in the deep days of lockdown. Thank you to Peter Bachelor for organising this together with getting “Shavings” out. Also, of note we had the in between publication of “Sawdust”, thanks to Penny and of course the contributors.

Some of the club boats were launched but, I think there was great interest in just talking with others about boats.

The Christmas lunch was a really nice mixed roast and from all accounts was well received. Thank you to the committee member servers everything went without problems. Unfortunately, the President and Sue couldn’t make it to the event but we wish Chris good health and we will see him this year.

Because of the lack of happenings, the annual awards were ‘held over’ until this year [2021] so the presentation part of the lunch was very short.

It was very good to meet up with WBA members again after the difficulties of the year and hope to see everyone at the future events.
Andrew Campbell

OK, we now have the "easing out of lockdown restrictions" so how many of you have / did (as this will be read after 11.59pm Sunday) pack the car, van, boat to head to regional areas and enjoy our freedom?

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!

The diagonal planking has been tackled and completed, and I am happy with the result. The pencil lines are my attempt to get the plank lines to emulate the real boat's planking angles.

There were concerns that some minor bulging on the initial planks would cause a problem when sanding time came, as the planks (made from teak) were only 1.1 mm thick. They sanded ok 'though, at the end.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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...


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.

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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