Thank you to all who joined our Zoom club night on the 20 October, where we had an interactive conversation on projects, future plans and boating events to look forward to.
Sunday 24 October heralded a sail day at Albert Park where a number of boats were launched...
Gary with Derry the Skerry, Jim and Penny with their sailing canoe, Andrew with Mini Mars and Baby Mars , and Peter and Kirsty with Pitthirrit, their Lapwing 16. Graham installed the repaired pump in Begonia.
Lunch was a picnic on the grass, and a nice day was enjoyed in the mainly mild weather. The wind was a bit strong at times, gusting to almost 25 kts, leading to our members’ boats being well reefed when out on the water.
Now that lockdown is over we can enjoy our get-togethers again but must comply with the conditions for social distancing and sign in, as prescribed by the authorities. We will have activities coming up and you will be notified prior to the events.
Our Christmas Party is to be held at APYC on Sunday 12 December. As this is to be a catered event your RSVP for attendance and catering purposes is to be to me, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org. au) or text (0438519033) by 5 December. Come along for the presentation of the awards and a convivial lunch and sail.
Stay happy, Chris.
Photos by Gary Hardy
This is the 21 century, the emphasis on accredited skills has reached the point of stupidity.
So you want to become a Wooden Boat Builder. You should have a Degree in Naval Architecture with honours in Hydrodynamics and Aerodynamics as well as a Credit in Structural Engineering and a Masters in Drawing and Drafting. Some study of Botany to choose the right timber and of course a Degree in Environmental Studies and Conservation would be helpful.
Now you are qualified to draw the lines. Of course, a Certificate in Sculpture and an Arts Degree just to hone the visual skills. Also Credits in Research and History to help choose a style of craft to be built. What about some Degrees in Meteorology for the weather and waves to understand local conditions a boat may encounter!
To help design the boat, you might need to use a computer, so a Degree in Computer Science would come in handy, with majors in CAD (Computer Aided Design).
A specialized session in lifting so you can move the timber around, you know, a short course of about three to six months should do to start with. Plenty of Occupational Health and Safety!
You are now ready to make something but before you can cut out the moulds, a Mastery of Tools and Machinery in wood is vital. A Degree in Carpentry and Cabinet Making would help, and an introduction to metal work and of course Metallurgy as well as a study in Electrics and Electronics so you don't blow the prop off in the first twelve months through electrolysis.
To ensure the boat is stable, a Certificate in Tank Testing and knowledge of righting moments would help.
Now a short course in Steam Bending with the appropriate Certificates! Maybe even a Boiler Operator Certificate, just to be safe. Before we get too advanced a Masters in Paints, Glues and Adhesives, Bedding Compounds, Preservatives and Finishes is a must, so when the wood and fittings are fitted they can be properly coated, sealed and bedded.
Now the backbone timbers need to be moved into place, a Mastery of lifts and slings or a Fork Lift Licence to make things legal at this stage. Can't go back to the Stone Age using levers and fulcrum points, pry bars and grease! Much too unsophisticated and simple!
A Course in Caulking is useful if the boat is to float and the deck is to be watertight.
That should take care of the woodwork but an engine would be nice. A Degree in Engineering, Plumbing, Tank-making and Electric's should suffice, oh and a Higher Degree in Electronics to set-up all that gear.
We are doing well. You might want a sail. Back to Uni and fmish a course in Wires and Ropes and the variety materials and fibbers for all the rigging and cordage with a Degree in Rigging and a Course on Sail Making, and throw in Canvas Work and Upholstery to finish things off.
Now we are nearly ready to go, just a Ph D in Business Management skills, a Doctorate of Psychology, so you have an understanding of Work Ethics and the Skill in Communication so you get on with your clients and staff. A Doctorate in Philosophy and a Major in Human Relations to round things out. Wouldn't want to upset the clients!
Of course you could 'just build a boat'. Didn't you know you were so clever, did you? All those degrees and courses can only pass on others' experience to you, and then only if you can absorb them. The paper proves you can copy and research. 'It provides the testers with an income'.
Lads building the Enterprize decided to get their bit of paper and the day came to be tested. They all passed with flying colours, then the tester said he was new into this game of testing, ticking the boxes. He was a qualified hair dresser by trade! "We do live in a bullshit world"!
I wonder who taught the Vikings how to build boats. Beautiful long ships, the skill and balance of good looks and versatility, longevity, aesthetics, durability, efficiency all in such a harsh environment and all by hand with no power tools.
Imagine how skilful they were, I mean really talented. First, make the tools to create the tools to do the job, then get on with it. Not only were they fine craftsmen, they could navigate, and had some really good times visiting the neighbours and passing on some of their experience. You know, a bit of rape and pillage etc. Well, one had to do something when you go on holidays. Not like these days of footy hooligans, was it!
I concede the point one has to learn from somewhere, we aren't all geniuses or visionaries, so books can help, but there's no substitute for first hand, hands on experience.
I hear and forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand, 'simple as that'.
Today (Friday 8/10/2021) I got out for a sail.
I launched from Altona, and sailed along the sparkling, scenic coast towards Williamstown, past the yellow T28 buoy that lies off Point Gellibrand, said hello to one of the resident seals who happened to be home, tacked around a bit in the shipping channel, then enjoyed a good beat home. Today was one of those gust-calm-gust Northerly wind days, where you are either drifting round with your sails flapping, or leaning back and holding on as the boat takes off at an exhilarating pace. At the last moment, of course, the wind shifted to be absolutely directly off shore from where I wanted to land, so some good tacking practice was included for free. I was 2 hours on the water, and all packed up to head home well within my 4 hour outside time allocation. It was a bit over 8 nautical miles for the trip, all in all a thoroughly satisfactory outing.
Sailing gives you time to think. Here’s a summary of today’s thoughts:
1. I suspect lockdown restrictions may disrupt organized sailing and boating for a while to come.
2. Sailing/boating in company is fine.
3. There may be some WBA members within 15 kilometres of either the Warmies or Altona Yacht Club/Safe Harbour who might be interested in getting out for a sail/row/paddle/motor.
4. The Bay can feel like a large and empty place when you are out there alone. It is reassuring to have at least another boat around.
5. Being less structured means you can pick the day: no rain, no wind forecast over 15 knots, preferably less, preferably sunshine rather than overcast. And you can easily pull the pin if you don’t like the look of things from the shore.
6. Being less structured means you can pick the destination to match the wind.
7. Midweek is great as the ramps are not so busy, but weekends are doable at the moment too with patience.
8. Being on the water is just fantastic, and even 2 hours out is well worth it!
I wonder then, if any WBA members are lucky enough to be within the magic 15 kilometers of this wonderful bit of water, either Altona Safe Harbour or the Warmies, and might be interested in lining up a sail. If so, please drop me an email. We can exchange SMS details, then watch Willyweather obsessively, and hopefully get out for some splendid spontaneous boating and future Shavings fodder.
When I worked in the shop of the local Exmouth boat builder in England we had a young apprentice who was a bit like a large puppy. Feet everywhere and a good-humoured sense of mischief!
One day he was delivering a large battery to the stern of a cruiser we serviced. The owner and his attractive wife stayed on board at times and this morning as the youngster struggled past the wheelhouse the wife looked out of the door in her revealing nightwear and said “Good morning Brian”. The apprentice turned his head to reply and took a second look, as any hot-blooded youth would, and disappeared straight off the transom. We managed to retrieve the battery and revive it. He never forgot it either for all the above reasons.
Another time we were launching a small sailing scow. The apprentice forgot to hold onto the painter and as the boat drifted out of reach we said “jump before it’s too late”. He did and all six foot of him landed on the small fore deck and he grabbed hold of the mast. Scows are very cut away bow, so it tipped over until the mast, apprentice attached, was in the water. Fortunately he let go at this moment and the scow bobbed back up with the merest drop of water in it. The apprentice resurfaced spouting like a whale as he was laughing so much when he went down with his mouth open. He crawled back up spluttering and laughing so much we almost forgot the scow. We found a change of clothes from the rag bag and managed to retrieve the boat all right.
Welcome back to all our members for another scintillating message of news, events and upcoming opportunities for us to be involved in.
Our Club night on 22 September was again held on Zoom. Our guest speakers for the evening were Jane Howard and Lindy Marlow from the Williamstown St Ayles Skiff Thursday. Jane and Lindy presented the build of Thursday and the current and future intention of their club to grow and thrive in the coastal rowing group of Australian St Ayles skiffs.
As with most new organisations recently formed they have been subjected to Covid restrictions which have impacted on their growth of a membership base, resulting in financial stress. When we are able to get together again WBA has invited Coastal Rowing Williamstown to bring their skiff to Albert Park where our members can have the opportunity to try rowing the Iain Oughtred designed skiff.
To assist Coastal Rowing Williamstown, WBA is providing $500 to go towards their public liability insurance as a one-off donation. This also will give them the time to build their member base. You can watch their presentation in the Articles > 2021 section of the WBA website.
As our state powers on towards opening up again (based on the 80% fully vaccinated requirement) we as a club will be following the government and health advice as it becomes available. We have a duty of care to members, family and their wellbeing which to fulfil we all need to wherever possible become double vaccinated. While our activities are mainly distanced there will be occasions for a group gathering, such as the Christmas party, and as our club is largely part of the vulnerable group any step we take to protect all members needs to be considered.
We still don’t know what easing of restrictions are going to be made in the short term so our plans for sailing day and our Mallacoota get away are unsure... hope for an early lifting of restrictions! We will be monitoring the situation and will communicate by email of any changes before the events.
Albert Park Yacht Club is celebrating its 150th year, and have invited us to take part in their sail past on Sunday 26 February. If you would like to be involved, please register your boat at https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=805052&
It is expected that the Alma Doepel will return to the water in the middle of October. Due to the ongoing COVID restrictions the live celebrations planned around the lift cannot take place. You will, however, be able to watch the return to the water via a livestream that will be available on their website, www.almadoepel.com.au. The exact date for the lift is not yet determined, but the details will be announced on the Alma Doepel website, so please check in there from time to time.
Join us at 7:30pm on Wednesday 20 October for our Club Night (to be held via Zoom) where we can chat about our post-lockdown boating plans! Which bit of water will you head to first? What have you missed most about not being able to go boating together?
If you plan to be at Mallacoota for the November ‘weekend’ away, this is a good chance to catch up with others who will be there too. OOD Andrew Campbell will be attending, with more details of the proposed activities and he is happy to answer any queries regarding our visit. You can join the Zoom meeting on Wednesday 20th October at 7:30pm at https://bit.ly/3DrTlpr
When you next visit the WBA website, check out the gallery of Member’s boats, which is now active. If your boat hasn’t been added yet, send the details and a photo or two through to email@example.com.
Let us know what projects you have been working on in lockdown, as an article for Shavings... we need to hear from you. You can send your contributions through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay happy, Chris.
At our Zoom Club Night on Wednesday 22 September we watched a presentation by Jane Howard and Lindy Marlow, from Coastal Rowing Williamstown (CReW), on the build of their St Ayles Skiff.
The St Ayles Skiff movement is now well established across the globe, and aims to encourage community participation in a practical boatbuilding project. More than 20 of these beautiful Iain Oughtred-designed skiffs have been built by various community groups around Australia.
Jane and Lindy's presentation covered the inception, build and launch in 2019 of their skiff Thursday at Williamstown by this group of enthusiastic but inexperienced boatbuilding women, and their plans for the future. After their presentation there was an opportunity for questions from the audience (not included in this recording).
As a kid I was brought up in the seaside town of Budleigh Salterton on Devon’s southwest coast in England’s red soil country. Our garden backed onto the footpath which ran along the beach where the local fishermen kept their boats in this part of the four kilometre long pebble beach. As I grew older I became more and more involved with the fishermen and their boats. We kids would rush down to help launch or haul up the boats. Most of the boats were dinghies of around 3.7m with Seagull outboards. One was 4.9m long with an 8hp Stuart Turner two stroke inboard. Another was a traditional, old deep hulled 5.9m net boat with a 10hp Brit engine. These deep craft were used to drift for herring in the season and they all worked crab pots and fished for mackerel with hand lines for the summer months. Because we kids helped the fishermen we would sometimes get a small crab or some mackerel as thanks.
The smaller boats could be hauled up the beach by hand over holly log ways which had been greased to make the task easier. Holly was used as it is a tough timber, but as it only grows in small bushes it never became a commercial timber.
Hello everyone, here we are again socially distancing for the next few weeks. I am not going to use that “ lo*****n “ word!
So, what have we been doing over the last month? Our club night was on zoom and those joining had an opportunity to swap yarns and activities. This was attended by 12 people, so an intimate gathering.
Having said in my last missive that this would be my last report prior to the AGM, I now have to retract that statement due to the lockdown and postponement of our AGM to 29 August 2021. I am not going to tempt fate by making that statement again. Keep watch on your emails to be kept informed of any alterations out of our control but do plan to be available for the AGM at Albert Park on 29 August. Please notify Leigh McNolty of your RSVP by 20 August for our catering purposes (I know that we have had RSVP’s for the July date but please confirm for 29 August).
Our proposed Yarra River trip on 22 August has been rolled over to 26 September and a visit to Alma Doepel before she is re floated is to be confirmed... notice will be sent separately as this will be a day visit. Planning for the Mallacoota get away is happening and Andrew Campbell has arranged an interesting itinerary for us .. more to be revealed later. In the meantime, stay safe and I look forward to seeing you at the AGM.
Inspired by the various building projects reported in Shavings, I acquired a set of plans for a CLC Skerry and a delivery of plywood as my Christmas/birthday present last year. If the whole thing went pear shaped, literally or figuratively, I hoped I could dispose of the evidence at the next council hard rubbish collection and few would be the wiser.
After some scarfing, sawing, shaping and stitching, I quite quickly had a boat shaped object, and discovered that my sense of spatial dimension, or perhaps capacity to measure and imagine, are not so great. The basic hull filled my shed and left little room to actually do any work.
We get a lot of offcuts in the boat building trade. These sound and useful bits of material may not be of use in a larger craft one is building, but there would be many situations in which they could be used.
When we built the 4.3m clinker boat for the WBA we ended up with a lot of strips from the edges of the planking. These bits were either Huon pine or New Zealand karri, too good to just throw away. So we decided to put on a small foredeck and narrow side decks to use them. The offcuts were cut into strips about 38mm wide. I added some bits of white beech that had been sitting around for a while to make the margin boards. The strips were sprung around to produce a good looking deck and it all worked out well once the joints were filled with black rubber. After a few months no one could tell the difference between the Huon pine and the karri.
Australia’s oldest and largest fishing club and its treasure trove of over forty working wooden boats from the last century.
On Sunday 27 June, twelve members of the WBA Vic enjoyed a pleasant luncheon at a Melbourne icon the Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club. The upstairs restaurant is literally on the beach with stunning views over the Bay. After an excellent meal we all embarked on an interesting tour of the Boatshed, in which are stored over 40 old Clinker style 14’ 6” (4.3 metre) wooden fishing boats. These are still working fishing boats with most still in semi-regular use for amateur bay fishing. The rack stored boats are launched via a travelling crane and two overhead gantries projecting into the bay. This is the story of the club and its boats.
An ancient scroll describing the yoga tradition for boarding a boat has been recovered in the excavation of a shipwreck…
Step 1 - Take a slow inhalation and as you exhale, set an intention to embark on the boat boarding pose with stability and ease.
Carefully press the ball of your right foot on the edge of the boat.
Step 2 - As you lean into the posture, notice the subtle shift of your weight moving forward.
Appreciate how this translates into your muscles, from your feet into your core muscles. As your right foot takes your weight, engage your left glute to lift the left leg.
Be mindful of keeping your shoulders lifted, light and balanced. Reach your fingertips as far away from your left heel as you can. Hover, holding this intermediate balancing posture for five, slow, belly breaths (or repeat the mantra "calm, blue ocean" silently five times), keeping your drishti (gaze) on the horizon.
Don't forget to keep lifting the pelvic floor and the edges of your lips, whilst keeping your forehead unfurrowed, jaw relaxed and heart open.
Congratulations, you have performed the boat boarding pose.
To recover from this pose, either fall into the boat or fall into the water.
Enjoy the Namasplash.
This is my final report prior to our AGM and this month has passed quickly.
Our club night was held on zoom due to a covid cancellation and was attended by only six members but ... a good and lively discussion was held by the attendees on topics close to their hearts.
On the 17 June 11 people attended the lunch arranged by Bob Morgan at the Albert Park Angling Club. We all had a good meal and enjoyed the views across the bay to Williamstown. Bob showed us the storage facilities below the Club where members store their fishing boats and the gantry launching / retrieval system, a most enjoyable time on a cold but sunny day.
Now, having mentioned the AGM scheduled for Sunday 27 July ... put it in your diaries, RSVP to allow us to arrange catering and come along for a day of sail and information. You should have received a separate email reminder of this as well.
Andrew Campbell has agreed to be the OOD and organiser of our trip to Mallacoota over the 17 - 24 of November, make your bookings soon and advise Andrew of your intention to be there. A proposed itinerary will be posted by Andrew in the next couple of months.
Looking forward to catching up at the AGM.
Like all Melbourne residents, 2020 was a difficult year with over 100 days locked down and isolated for that time.
Fortunately, in the months prior to the lockdown I had taken the opportunity to ‘dabble’ with the thought of making my first scratch-built radio-controlled model. Inspired by a friend in Sydney, Dave Glasson who has makes ‘perfect’ scale replicas of boats and ships he has worked on as a Navy conservator, I wanted my model to be:
• A functional replica of an existing boat.
• Made from the same materials as the original boat.
• Be able to ‘pass’ as an ornamental model while having good waterproofness.
• Small enough to store in my study.
My choice was to build a 1/8 scale replica of my own mini tugboat Mars, using similar methods and scaled drawings to the original boat.
At our April club night we were asked to talk about a book that influenced our journey as amateur boat builders and sailors. I chose a book about a boat called Mingming II because it described the type of sailing that I once aspired to do. The book is Mingming and the art of minimal ocean sailing by Roger D Taylor.
While some of you enjoyed a sailing day at Albert Park on 18 April, I was up country in the Mallee area checking out the art silo trail ... dry country until we reached Ouyen, where a manmade lake has been established for recreational use by all local communities ... swimming, fishing & boating . We had a great trip and I understand that the activities on Albert Park Lake were also enjoyed by those who attended, congratulations to Peter and Kirsty on the launch of their new boat, Pitthirrit and welcome to Roger and Cathie Spooner from Geelong.
Upcoming events to keep in mind are :
Wednesday 19 May, club night at APYC, commencing at 7.30pm.
Geoff Carroll will regale us with a show-and- tell session about his experience building “Tenderly”, the new tender for Rufus. Some of the stories might even be true! An interesting and fun night is guaranteed, and a light supper will be provided after the talk.
Sunday, 23 May, sailing day at APYC, commencing at 10.00am. Take advantage of the late autumn sunshine to get out on the water in your own boat, or one of the club boats.
Sunday 27 June - A booking on behalf of the WBA has been made for lunch at 12 noon at the Anglers Restaurant, Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club, Kerferd Road Pier, 129B Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park (cnr Kerferd Rd, Melway 57 E5). It is a great spot in good or bad weather, but we will be seated inside as it is the middle of winter! Street parking should not be a problem. The menu is a la carte, with drinks from the bar at very reasonable prices. Our booking is in Bob Morgan’s name and you will have to sign in on arrival, as is usual for licensed clubs. After lunch (approx. 2pm) Bob will conduct a tour of the boatshed where there are approx. 40 clinker boats from the 1920’s to the 1960’s.
For history buffs, the club is on the site of the 1860’s Middle Park Half Battery gun emplacements which along with the Williamstown fort were the last line of defence for Melbourne. The pier itself was built in 1897 and the club house built in 1909. The original building is still there although it has been extended several times. To book, email email@example.com, with “Anglers Restaurant booking” in the subject line.
That’s enough for now folks, I hope to see you on either 19 May or 23 May, or I dare hope, both!
Cheers all, Chris.
Like all Australians, Hanh and I managed the original COVID19 lockdown at home in March.With the second lockdown, like all Melbournite’s we pushed the limits of boredom through the 121 days.
Hanh busied herself by taking up vegetable gardening from the basic principles. Basic principles realised vegetables from dried seeds from previous vegetables we had bought at the supermarket. I supported the concept as I could see the advantage if the pandemic turned to some kind of greater event.
Our first autumn sail day was held on the 28 March and was (I believe) well attended and a good day was enjoyed, a “thanks” to Penny for being the key keeper for the day and opening and closing the facilities.
You will have received an email detailing the coming events for this and next month.
Wednesday, 14 April, club night at APYC, commencing at 7.30pm. Share your favourite readings from nautical literature (or even writing that could not be called literature). Bring your own material, or make use of our library resources. Choose a work that you found inspirational, instructive or funny, and tell us about it and how it relates to your boating experiences. A light supper will be provided.
Sunday, 18 April, sailing day at APYC, commencing at 10.00am. Get out on the water, browse the Club library, catch up with friends over lunch on the deck.
Wednesday 19 May, club night at APYC, commencing at 7.30pm. Geoff Carroll will present a show-and-tell session about his experience building “Tenderly”, the new tender for Rufus. A light supper will be provided after the talk.
Sunday, 23 May, sailing day at APYC, commencing at 10.00am. Take advantage of the late autumn sunshine to get out on the water.
We did have a working bee on 13 March to tidy up and move some of our collection in the lower hall of the yacht club, thanks to those who helped, Jim, Penny, Jimmy, Rob and David for your able assistance. There is more to do in the future and I will call for assistance again.
For a club lunch, Bob Morgan has kindly arranged a booking for 20 at the Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club, Kerford Road Pier, Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park. The date is 27 June, 12.00 pm. Bob will conduct a tour of the premises and the boatshed after luch at approx. 2.00 pm there are about 40 timber from the 1920’s to 1960’s to be seen. Please contact me to make a booking on 0438 519 033. First in best dressed!
Also in Shavings you will find details of accommodation available at Mallacoota which is our location for the WBA annual getaway. Normally we run these over a weekend but due to the distance we suggest that a little extra time be allocated... the weekend date is 18 to 21 November (Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne) so based on what time you have available, book your accommodation accordingly.
A schedule of activities will be worked out and communicated in due course.
I look forward to seeing you at some or all of these events!
Cheers all, Chris.
by David N. Webb, skipper of the Yawl Mariko
Bangladesh may not be the first place that comes to mind when discussing the building of traditional timber boats. However, when I went there in December 2019, I found that stepping on and off boats of all kinds was part of daily life there. Bangladesh is a country of waterways: everywhere land and water are interspersed at regular intervals and, aside from urban apartment dwellers, the lives of the majority of its hundred and sixty-three million people are to some extent amphibious.
I have just done two days of hard labour.
My offence was to make a mast that is 50mm across at the top, 80mm across at the base and 6.1m long. There was plenty of time to contemplate why sanding took so long on this project. I’ve made several masts with cross sections around 50mm during the lockdown, and sanding them never took more than a few hours. I actually made my physical and mental torment worse by starting at the narrow end.
Welcome all to 2021 ... this is going to be a much better year!
I am sorry that I was unable to attend the Christmas Party but thank you to Andrew Campbell for taking over and to all the committee for their great work in organising and holding the event. We were unable to hold many events in 2020 so you all deserved a good day for Christmas and it wouldn’t have been a party without your attendance, particularly those who travelled from outside the metro area... Russ and Margaret Hurren, Colin and Jan Hunt - always good to have your support.
We had a sailing day on 17 January at APYC and we had a small attendance, but it gave us the opportunity to get Begonia into the water, and with Leigh and Graham aboard she sailed well. In fact, if she was fitted with a trapeze, Leigh would have used it at one stage.
Your committee will be arranging an exciting schedule of events for the coming year so watch for notifications and reminders.
Best wishes to everyone for 2021.