1st May 2013 - It is good to see the RG65 class hitting the water in Australia, with a small fleet being regularly raced in Melbourne (see photos below). The RG65 is a development class, it is 65 cm long, and anything not mentioned in the rules is allowed. The simple rules are designed to encourage people to try new ideas at a modest cost.
Plus points for the class are: Light weight around 1kg - Compact enough to fit in a small car fully rigged. - No need for special heavy duty sail servos. - Hulls built in balsa wood are little heavier than expensive carbon fibre mouldings.
11th April 2013 - We have now returned from our trip to Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour in the World Heritage National Park in the far South West wilderness of Tasmania - We are back anchored in Recherche Bay, busy packing orders we have received over the last week, and will have them all sent tomorrow.
We took advantage of a large high pressure system, to travel around the south coast of Tasmania, which is usually a place with fierce winds and large waves (The lighthouse keeper on Maatsuyker Island told us they had gusts near to a hundred knots the week before). We did an overnight stop in Louisa Bay near Maatsuyker Island in relativeley calm conditions and caught up with an old fishing mate and his son who gave us some abalone and crayfish as well as the famed stripey trumpeter, which is one of the best eating fish you will find. We continued on the next day in near calm seas and blue skies and entered Port Davey in magnificent conditions. The scenery was spectacular and could be best described as "Australia's Patagonia".
Bass and Flinders who discovered Port Davey in 1798, described it this way - "The Mountains....the most stupendous works of nature I ever beheld.....The eye ranges over these peaks with astonishment and horror."
Apart from a few cray fishing boats, we had this vast area to ourselves, and travelled 5 miles up the Davey River in our dinghy to find a massive and beautiful gorge at the head of the river. The next day we traversed the Bathurst Channel which comes out into the vast waterway known as Bathurst Harbour. We hopped in the dinghy and travelled up the Melalueuca River to the small gravel airstrip. Flying in on a small plane is the only way to get to this wilderness other than by boat or bush walking for many days. The next day we left Bathurst Harbour and anchored in Spain Bay at the head of Port Davey then travelled on to Deadmans Bay the following day which is again on the South Coast. We left early the next morning, just ahead of a 30 knot westerley wind change and sailed into this snug harbour yesterday afternoon, blissed out with our incredible week in the wilderness aboard Seaca.
Aerial shot of Port Davey and Bathurst Channel Our track around the bottom of Tasmania
10th April 2013 - UPDATE - Click on link below to watch video of Dennis Kenna's incredible model of an 18 Footer skiff complete with crew, as featured in our boat news below on 23rd March 2012
10th April 2013 - Graham Bantock has just completed the first build of his new Marblehead design. The design is named the " QUARK", and features some remarkarkable design features as seen in the photos below - The boat has some new fittings from SAILSetc. that we will be stocking as soon as they become available. Graham had this say about the new Marblehead:
"Progress has been slow on this project but we hope to sail the new Marblehead this weekend. Attached are some shots that show the boat in the workshop. As you will see there have been a good number of changes since PRIME NUMBER and this partly explains the delay. The through deck block at the transom is a new SAILSetc product and has a small seal inside to help keep water out. The boom end/gooseneck/kicking strap is improved. We expect to have production versions of these fittings as well as several other new items in the next weeks. One of the new fittings is a mast joiner that will allow the 14 to 12 mm join in a Marblehead or 10 Rater mast to be dismantled to allow the masts to pack down for simpler transport. This may be of particular use for competitors from outside Europe who plan to compete at the 2014 world championship in Netherlands. We have 8 boats on order at present but delays to our boat production mean we are unable to give an accurate indication of likely delivery dates."
10th March 2013 - This pic of an IOM appeared on Sailing Anachy recently. The boat is designed by John Morgan of Morgan Yacht Design with deck, keel and rudder designed by Calvin Brown, who built the boat and races it in Tauranga NZ
8th March 2013 - Our good customer Gary Gudmunson, has just completed a build of a 1980"s Marblehead design "SCORPION"
1st February 2013 - Whilst at the Nationals, we were impressed with the beautifully made boat below. It was built by John and Grant Hudson, and abley sailed by Grant at the Nationals, who had many good results in A Fleet. John had this to say about the boat:
"The boat is a SKA designed by Brad Gibson. Construction is 1.3mm thick Balsa cut into approx 10mm planks then shaped to suit the male jig framing, hull was fibre glassed on outside then removed from jig and glassed inside using the finest woven fibreglass cloth you can buy with epoxy resin. A jig was made for the deck shape, based on designs seen on the internet, using 1.3mm balsa and a couple of 1/8 ply cross members to support the deck front and rear adding thin strips of cedar in the centre and gunnels to enhance the look, glassed top and underneath with the same cloth as the hull, when deck was glued to hull the boat became very stiff. Boat was then given 4 coats of 2 pack clear, it took approx 3 months to build, the boat is very strong and during the recent National the boat was subjected to hard collisions with no damage occurring. Keel and rudder supplied by us. Grant is very pleased with the performance shown by the design and will continue to race it."
19th January 2013 - See below pictures taken today by Cassie, the last day of the Australian IOM National Championships. Congratulations to Michael "Knuckles" Grieve sailing a Pikanto for winning this event in a high quality field. Paul Jones was second sailing a Chienze, with Craig Smith close behind in 3rd sailing a new prototype.
4th December 2012 - New Racing Rules of Sailing 2013 to 2016 - Click Here for download
26th November 2012 - We have a new boom end fitting for connecting a SAILSetc boom to any of our ball raced goosenecks. It's code is the 103b and it lowers the boom 5mm closer to the deck than the tradititional 103a fitting.
Boom fitted to Ball Raced Gooseneck with 103b Boom fitted with traditional 103a fitting
13th November 2012 - Could not resist posting this shot, sent to me by Leigh Norman of an 18 foot Skiff in San Francisco.......
16th October 2012 - Robert Grubisa and Zvonko Jelacic (2009 IOM World Champion) from Croatia have jointly designed a new IOM design called the KANTUN - Their design goals were to achieve a yacht that would suit all wind speeds and wave conditions by minimizing parasitic drag and increasing boat stability. With all their experience in building and sailing at the highest level over many years, this will certainly be a boat to follow at the upcoming IOM European Championships, to be held in Cres Croatia in mid November.
13th October 2012 - For anyone who has not been keeping up with the latest America's Cup developments, see below Team New Zealands latest trials of its 72 foot catamaran foiling like a Moth in Auckland Harbour. - Gives new meaning to Fly Emirates....
The USA Team Oracle have launched a similar foiling giant cat in the last few weeks and with Team Artemis about to launch and Luna Rosa also building, we are set to see some amazing speed sailing in the latest evolution of the America's Cup. The event will be sailed in San Francisco in 2013.
UPDATE - Bill Bradley in New Zealand is building a GOTHIC and we will follow the build - click here
4th October 2012 - Frank Russell has just released FREE PLANS for his new Marblehead design "GOTHIC".
It is a development of his successful IOM design "GOTH" which has had many boats built both here and overseas. The first "GOTHIC" Marblehead is being built in New Zealand, with the plug just completed. Frank is a legend of radio sailing with many great designs being produced over many years including his very successful 10 Rater design "PHOENIX" series and the A Class "Sidewinder" design. Hopefully someone in Australia can build a "GOTHIC" Marblehead in time for the Australian National Championships in January.
CLICK HERE for 6 page plan download, and print off
1st August 2012 - Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing some exciting new products to our range. We will be the exclusive distributors of these parts in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region.
We have been working with our friend Alberto in the delevopment of these fittings, and they are designed to provide quality fittings that compliment and extend our existing range. We have had various fittings offered to us in the past, but have waited until we were sure that any new fittings we offered to the market would be of the best quality for our customers. See below some samples of our new range, which is mainly for IOM yachts, but most would be suitable for other classes like Marbleheads, 10 Raters etc.
Ball Raced Variable Geometry Gooseneck with Carbon Fibre Body for IOM and similar - Fits 10.8 to 11.1mm masts
Sidestay Hook Forestay Hook Flat Hooks Prewired and Sealed Switch
Rigging Screw made from 7075 Aluminium Carbon Fibre Spreader Kit with 7075 Aluminium Collars
26th May 2012 - Cassies Marblehead is FOR SALE - Vibe Design, Cassie purchased this boat new in 2007 - It has 4 carbon rigs Cassie achieved some notable results including 1st in the Bournville Trophy and numerous other high placings in state and national events. Boat and rigs are all in good condition and ready to race. Includes RMG Winch and rudder servo. Radio not included. - Price Reduced Now $3,000
23rd May 2012 - Following the success of the "Dreadnought" design Marblehead, (see below) David Turton commissioned Jeff Byerley to produce an IOM along the same design lines - The "Destroyer" IOM prototype has been produced and did very well at it's first serious regatta recently - Jeff had this to say:
"I drew this boat up some time ago and upon seeing it, Dave Turton commissioned the design to be built.
It is based loosely on the Dreadnought Marblehead design, with a reverse bow featured.
On it’s second outing it placed second behind Paul Jones sailing a Cheinz. Another two Cheinz’ were 3rd & 4th.
More development will take place over the coming weeks, eg.,mast rake etc..
It is not planned to be a replacement for the Cheinz, but is an experimental exercise."
23rd March 2012 - This remarkable model of an 18 foot Skiff was built by Dennis Kenna. We discussed this project with Dennis over a coffee about 12 months ago, and we are amazed at what he has produced. It is a faithful reproduction of an 18 footer that Dennis sailed in the 1970's - He had this to say about the project:
I sailed an 18 footer on Sydney Harbour for 5 years back in the mid to late 70's, I have always wanted to build a model with a crew and having had the plans of our last skiff, I decided to give it a go. The hull took me around 4 months to build, and then the painting and fitting out had to be done, and the sails made, so the whole project took around 15 months to complete.
The hull is a metre long, with a beam of 400mm and 490mm from wing tip to wing tip at the widest point.
The whole skiff is built out of marine ply and coated in fibreglass resin inside and out before painting.
The crew are all around 300 mm high and were recruited from the local second hand shop.
The mast is 1830 high and the boom is 630mm.
The sails were made by Steve Arthur, and what a fabulous job he did, they are fantastic.
The fittings were all purchased from you, thank you.
The centre board is 500mm long in the water with a kilos weight hanging off the bottom, and the rudder is 200mm in the water.
The rig is based on the intermediate or second rig we had in the boat, 18 footers all had three rigs small, medium and large for different wind conditions.
I have set the skiff up as a pond skiff after deciding that making her R/C would spoil the look on the inside with all the gear needed to make it R/C. It ended up being a good decision as she sails and looks a lot more realistic this way, and is a lot of fun also. I have been amazed at just how well she sails, no weather helm or lee helm at all, I just set the rudder and sails and off she goes and go she does, after all she is a skiff.
Dennis sailing an 18 footer in Sydney in the 1970"s Sevie, Woody & Howie having a blast today
11th March 2012 - UPDATE - We visited the SE Queensland M Championships last weekend and were very impressed with the performance of the " Dreadnought" - Against some good competition, Dave Turton had 29 wins out of the 34 races sailed, I sailed the boat during the lunch break in a brisk breeze. I found the boat to be well balanced and it had good acceleration out of the tacks upwind and sliced through the chop downwind without burying or pushing a bow wave.
1st March 2012 - Below is Jeff Byerley's new Marblehead design, tentativeley called "Dreadnought" - The first boat has just been built for David Turton and will be competing in the SE Queensland Championships this weekend - Cassie and I will be attending this event and look forward to seeing it in action. - Jeff had this to say about the new design:
"The design is based on using the chine concept, using low wetted surface area, small volume,and a medium prismatic number to cope with most conditions. ( There is no boat designed that will be ideal in all!). The reverse bow is used to try and overcome the pitching that flares can produce. It is designed to use a swing A rig and pocket luffed conventional on the others. All unstayed.
JB's DREADNOUGHT 2012 HMS DREADNOUGHT 1906
22nd February 2012 - FRAKTAL having it's first sail - note narrow beam and cheeks to increase bouyancy - GB happy with first outing, but may move fin back about 10mm to achieve optimum balance.
18th February 2012 - Here is the lastest IOM design from Graham Bantock. The design is called "FRAKTAL". It has its first sail today. The 2nd hull is being moulded now.
21st January 2012 - Our good friend Leigh Norman has an interesting and eclectic collection of model yachts and boats. Below are 2 interesting craft.
This is a planked Marblehead from 1949, named “Niad”.. Thought to have been made in Australia by Steve Daniels. The sweet lines of this yacht are reminicent of early Sparkman & Stephens designs - Note vane gear.
A two foot model which we think was made before the war by a maker who worked for Geo Towns who made rowing shells on Parramatta River. It is named ” MYRA “ which was an 18 footer raced on Sydney Harbour. These craft are usually made of Australian cedar and were hugely popular in Sydney with large numbers racing on Sydney Harbour, with lots of betting being conducted on the racing. A large course would be set on the harbour and men would persue them in rowing dinghies to the mark, then reset the sails and rudder for the next leg. Ferries full of punters would follow these amazingly over canvassed craft around the harbour.
Results 2012 Austalian National Championships held in Hobart (top 4 each class)
IOM - 1st Michael Grieve (Knuckles) - 2nd Craig Smith - 3rd Paul Jones - 4th Michael Hickman
Marblehead - 1st Lisa Blackwood - 2nd Denis McLoughlin - 3rd Michael Hickman - 4th Lincoln McDowall
10 Rater - 1st Lincoln McDowall - 2nd Graeme Howie - 3rd Jeff Byerley - 4th Andrew Reid
A Class - 1st Graeme Howie - 2nd Michael Hickman - 3rd Gary Cotterall - 4th John Cole Cook
15th January 2012 - Clive Udy has just purchased this old 36r vane sailer at an antique auction. The boat is in very good condition including the original varnished terylene sails, the rotating mast mechanism and it features a bluff bow. The design was called a Jemima Duck. We have helped Clive track down some info on this yacht and Graham Reeves a UK Model Yacht Historian says:
The 36 "Ducks" as we call them were either designed by H B Tucker or D A McDonald. The idea came from Tucker in 1939 and was followed up by McDonald in the forties. The first 36 Duck to win the UK National Championship was in about 1947. The varnished terylene sails are correct for the fifties and were probably made by Roberts of Hove.
John and Mavis Smith of Adelaide, who brought the Borneville Trophy to Australia in the 1960's also provided info:
At one time we used to sail a 36r named "Jean III". They were an interesting boat to sail, because having no restriction on sail area, or masts etc. you were always in a state of too much or too little sail for the conditions prevailing. The 36r must take the prize for the easiest boat in the world to measure, if it fitted in a box 11" x 7" by 36" inside dimensions, with the lid closed it rated if it did not fit it didn't rate There was a duck design 'M' class but I cant remember who had one but we sailed against them.
The photo below is of the radical new design which won the latest Mini Transat race across the Atlantic in a record time and by a record margin from the 2nd place boat - It appears that model yachting was 70 years ahead of the game with the Gemima Duck design. Although this design's strongest point is for reaching, it may not be too long before we see it showing up on other yachts that are designed for a box rule???
3rd January 2012 - We took a group of friends out yesterday to watch The King of the Derwent yacht race and to see the incredible power and beauty of "Wild Oats XI" up close. To hear the awesome noise of the rig groaning on the tack at the top mark and to see the speed of this 100 footer was truly amazing, as it virtually lapped the fleet. Wild Oats tacks downwind like a catamaran, as its hull speed exceeds the wind speed.
16th December 2011 - We had an incredible week in Port Arthur that turned into 10 days. Cassie caught plenty of flathead and calamari squid, which together with beef, vegetables and fruits given to us by friends in the area, meant we were virtually self sufficient. We had family and friends to visit and a car for sight seeing, but with Christmas fast approaching, we pulled anchor and sailed out of the port and around the incredible rock formations of Cape Raoul, and across Storm Bay to the Derwent River. We had a great sail up the Derwent to our marina berth and are now looking forward to Christmas and New Year celebrations in Hobart.
Seaca anchored in Port Arthur Making first model boat with grandson Ryan
Approaching Cape Raoul "The Raoul" up close
The Iron Pot lighthouse at the mouth of the Derwent River
5th December 2011 - After a great trip down the wild and spectacular coastline of the Tasman Peninsula, including an up close encounter with a family of whales, we spent the weekend huddled in Fortescue Bay while a cold and vigorous weather system passed over us. This morning we left and headed south across Monroe Bite to Tasman Island and had at least a hundred dolphins as escort all the way. We passed between Tasman Island and the towering cliffs of the mainland, and had a bumpy ride from there to Port Arthur. We are anchored off the Port Arthur Historic Site and Cassie has already caught up with packing all the orders for dispatch tomorrow. We will spend the rest of the week here as the forecast is for great weather, and we have friends to visit in the area.
Anchored behind old wreck in Fortescue Dolphins in Munroe Bite Dolphin escort to Tasman Island
Our anchorage off the Port Arthur Historic Site Happy Wanderers...........
2nd December 2011 - After a busy week in Triabunna catching up with all the orders and family and friends, we are now sailing down the Mercury Passage between Maria Island and Orford, bound for Fortescue Bay on the rugged coastline of the Tasman Peninsula. We will be out of range until we arrive in Port Arthur around Monday/Tuesday. Weather is perfect today, with blue skies and a 15+ knot nor easter pushing us along at 8 knots.
Near where Tasman anchored and landed in 1642 AD The Lanterns - at the entrance to Fortescue Bay
26th November 2011 - After a perfect run across Bass Straight, with 15 to 20 knot nor easterly winds allowing us to sail at 8 knots for most of the way, we arrived in Triabunna, a great little fishing town on the east coast of Tasmania, at 7 am this morning. We covered over 400 miles in about 52 hours.
With pods of whales and schools of dolphins to entertain us, as well as abundant bird life and amazing sunsets, the long wait in Eden proved to be worth it.
Time to rest..........
Cassie took this pic just south of Gabo Island Sunset over St. Helens, Tasmania
24th November 2011 - 6am - We left Eden this morning at 2 am and are now just off Gabo Island, which is the south east corner of mainland Australia. We are entering Bass Straight in a 12 knot South Easterly, which is forecast to go Easterly then Nor Easterly this evening. We will be out of range for the next 48 hours and are looking forward to a pleasant crossing.
Cassie on watch One reef in the mainsail Denis watching the wrong way........
20th November 2011 - With another gale warning issued for the Bass Straight this afternoon, (30 to 40 knot south westerlies) we continue to enjoy our time snugged up in Eden. The weather charts show a high pressure system moving across the Great Australian Bite, and we are optimistic we will get a good weather window around Thursday. We visited the Eden Killer Whale Museum yesterday and reacquainted ourselves with the fascinating true story of Old Tom the killer whale:
"On the South Coast of NSW near the port of Eden, shore-based whale hunting was a thriving industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Whalers hunted baleen whales (mostly humpback and southern right whales) for their blubber and bones as well as their baleen which was used in the manufacture of women’s clothes. A group of killer whales in this area was known for its cooperation with human whalers in hunting other species.
The killer whales' partnership with humans lasted from the 1840s until 1930.The killer whale pod was led by a large male with a distinctive dorsal fin called Old Tom. The killer whale pod would intercept baleen whales on their migration journey and then, working as a team, would shepherd them into Twofold Bay. Once the whale was contained within the bay, the orcas would alert the whalers by breaching or tail slapping at the mouth of the Kiah River, just outside the whalers' cottages. Whalers then launched their wooden hulled rowing boats and rowed to where Old Tom and his pod held the whale entrapped. Following the harpooning of the baleen whale, the killer whales sometimes grabbed the ropes that attached the harpoon to the boat in their teeth and helped to haul the dead baleen whale to shore. The wear marks made by the rope can still be seen in the teeth of the skeleton of Old Tom, which is on display at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.
In return for their help, the killer whales were fed the tongue and lips of the baleen whales (a favourite part of their diet). Many of the Eden killer whales were individually named. There was Old Tom, Hooky, Humpy (died 1927), Cooper, Typee (died 1901), Jackson, Stranger, Big Ben, Young Ben, Skinner and Montague. By 1930, shore-based and offshore whaling had reduced humpback stocks significantly. This resulted in a reduction in the number of orcas in Old Tom’s group. On 17th September 1930 the old whale returned to its favoured hunting area to die. Upon finding the body of Old Tom in the water, local whalers decided to preserve the skeleton. The killer whale-human partnership lasted for almost 90 years. It is a unique example of whales and humans working together."
Old Tom herding a whale for the whalers Old Tom photographed with unnamed whaler in Eden 1908
16th November 2011 - A 30 knot southerly change that was forecast for Eden at dawn this morning, swept through at 3 am, so we had to quickly get up and move off the wharf, before the waves built up. We moved over to a southern bay and rode out the gale on anchor. With no let up in the cold fronts moving through Bass Straight, we may be here for another 5 to 7 days. With orders to fill and send, and the friendliness of the locals, we will continue to patiently wait. Cassie caught 3 flathead whilst we were on anchor today, and we have just had them for dinner.
Cassies catch Boat moored astern of us
13th November 2011 - We have had a pleasant weekend in Eden, and are lucky to have one of the best fish and chips shops I have encountered, nearby - We have been filling orders and taking walks around the headland which has abundant birdlife and brilliant views out across the ocean. We are keeping an eye on the weather charts, but nothing promising for the next few days. We will just enjoy our time here. It is 10pm and it is raining with distant thunder and lightning.
10th November 2011 - Dusk - Our neighbour in the anchorage, Dougie, has completely restored this Swanson 42. He has outfitted the yacht with all the right clobber, to make it a perfect cruising yacht. The Swanson 42 is an absolute classic from the board of Ron Swanson, and is part of a series of double ended cruising yachts he designed and built. They were built in 28, 38 & 42 foot versions and over 100 were produced. They are a strong fibreglass build with a very sea kindly hull. Ron Swanson was a legend of Australian sailing and his designs won many Admirals Cup races and Sydney-Hobarts.
10th November 2011 - As I write this, we have a 30 knot sou'wester blowing with heavy rain, thunder and lighting thrown in. After spending a couple of pleasant days at the Eden wharf catching up on orders and doing minor boat jobs, we moved across the bay early this morning, and anchored in a safe refuge, in anticipation of this blow coming. It does not pay to be tied up to Eden wharf in strong winds from the south, as the waves build quickly and it is easy to sustain damage in a short time. Even though you need to be on constant alert, and be ready to move at any time, I prefer to be here than in a sterile floating marina environment. With a line of cold fronts marching across the Great Australian Bite, we look like we will be in Eden for sometime to come, as the Bass Straight is no place to be in inclement weather, and we will patiently wait until we get a good 40 hour weather window.
Seaca rafted up to a fishing boat at Eden Wharf View astern
November 7th 2011 - Arrived Eden 3.30am - Anchored - Off to bed.............
10 hours later after a great sleep, we have woken to a sunny day in Eden. We raised anchor and moved into the mooring wharf, where we are busy packing orders for dispatch tomorrow. Eden is a remarkable place with lots of maritime history and full of real characters, and is the last port down the New South Wales Coast, and the jumping off point for crossing the Bass Straight. We will wait here for the next weather window that is favourable for crossing "the paddock". We copped 20+ knot headwinds for the last 40 miles to Eden last night with a strong wind warning issued predicting up 30knot southerlies, but the boat handled it well and we got into port before the seas built up too much. We spent almost 3 days and 3 nights at sea and covered 450 nautical miles, with the boat proving impressive in all conditions. Cassie took the photos below of the coastline near Coffs Harbour and a sunrise in the Stockton Bight.
November 6th 2011 (Dawn) - When the weather gods give you a gift, it is often best to grab it with both hands. - With continuing northerlies down the east coast of New South Wales, we decided to cut across Stockton Bight to Jervis Bay. It is about 6am and we have just arrived at our waypoint off Jervis Bay, and with a continuing northerly forecast for today, we have decided to push on to Eden, which we should reach about midnight tonight. Yesterday we had fresh northerlies which had us sailing at 8+ knots, which continued into the night. We hit something in the water about 10pm last night (I suspect a whale) so I turned on the engine to act as a warning signal and reduced sail a bit to settle the boat down, so we could get some rest. Cassie and I are a bit sleep deprived, but will catch up on some zeds today. - We are now motoring along in calm conditions, with sunny skies and masses of Mutton Birds (Short Tailed Shearwater) returning from their annual migration to the Arctic Circle. These birds travel about 15,000 kilometres in each direction annually. They have been known to fly this remarkable distance in six weeks. About 18 million mutton birds return to Tasmania annually and historically have been harvested by the Tasmanian Aboriginals, as they are a great delicacy. I also have just seen an Albatross, which is a sign we have come a long way south.
November 5th 2011 (Dawn) - After a couple of pleasant days in Coffs Harbour and having caught up on orders, we decided to take advantage of a calm spell before the forecast nor easter and left Coffs at 3.30pm Friday. We motorsailed through the night with a light easterly breeze giving way to a very light south wester around midnight. Cassie and I alternated on 4 hour watches and have had a pleasant and uneventful passage overnight with only a couple of other boats seen all night. We are approaching Seal Rocks and should be off Port Stephens around midday. We will review the weather forecast then, but will probably push on to Sydney or beyond, as a 15 to 20 knot north easterly is expected. We saw the ketch/yawl below in Coffs - She is built of Huon Pine and was commissioned by the Tasmanian Government in 1928 as the Government Cutter in Bass Straight. It was manned by police for patrolling the Bass Straight and had a large sail area which enabled her to have plenty of speed to catch poachers. Her appointments below deck were of the highest standard and suitable for the Tasmanian Governor and Cabinet Ministers who often used her for visits and inspections around the Bass Straight Islands. Originally named Allara, her name is now Aralla and the current owners have a big job ahead.
November 3rd 2011 - Having sent all the orders, we had a fun day watching the Melbourne Cup with our good friends Andrew and Joan Watson in Yamba. We departed Yamba at 11 am on Wednesday 2nd Nov and had a glorious sail to Coffs Harbour in a 12 to 15 knot Nor Easter. We saw multiple pods of whales and dolphins on the way, with some spectacular jumping and tail displays as we neared the Solitary Islands. We arrived at Coffs Harbour at dusk, to find the marina full, so we tied up to the fuel berth for the night, and topped the tanks up this morning. Whilst in Yamba, we saw the Nicholson 35 below, which was fully restored and in perfect condition. Built in the 1970s and 80's by Camper and Nicholson UK, these are a classic boat from the early days of fibre glass production boat building. I was humbled to meet the owners, who were in their 70's and were on their second circumnavigation of the world.
November 1st 2011 - With a perfect forecast to travel south, we threw away the "to do" list and departed the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon for an overnight passage to Yamba, New South Wales. With a 15 knot Northerly we had a great sail, passing the Byron Bay lighthouse at midnight and arrived into Yamba early on Sunday morning to a display by a humpback whale. The whales are migrating back to the Antarctic for summer at this time. We have caught up on all the orders, and will travel to Coffs Harbour when the next weather window appears - Yamba is a beautiful coastal town on the north coast of NSW, with fishing and surfing as its main attractions.
28th October 2011 We have had an intense week setting up shop, which is fully operational and running smoothly, with orders being dispatched daily. We have done a myriad of boat jobs, including hauling out and applying new anti fouling - We had a celebrity boat boy arrive to assist with the anti fouling, and we were impressed with how well JB picked up the difficult task of applying underwater paint whilst keeping his clothes clean.
Nice Work Mr Byerley..............
20th October 2011 After driving over 2000 kilometers in 2 days, we have now packed all the stock on board and it is business as usual. We are currently in the Brisbane / Gold Coast area and will be here for about 1 more week. Anyone local thinking of purchasing hard to ship items like masts or keel bulbs etc. should contact us for pickup. The boat comes out of the water tomorrow for a clean and anti-fouling. - Any volunteers....................
10th October 2011 Welcome to the new home of Radio Sailing Shop. We are packing all our stock into the truck and driving to Queensland on the weekend of 15/16th October and setting up Radio Sailing Shop on board. We will spend about 10 days in Queensland preparing the boat, and will then cruise down the east coast back to Hobart during November. We will still be dispatching orders almost daily from the ports we visit on the trip home, and have full broadband and phone facilities on board. "Seaca" is a Buizen 48 Series 3 Pilothouse Sloop, and we will keep you posted on our trip south.
8th September 2011 - Hot off the press - Jeff Byerleys new 10 Rater Design emerges from the workshop. - Showing the influence from recent developments in the IOM Class, this boat is bound to be a rocket. - Launched 2 weeks ago, Jeff is very happy with the performance so far.
The design name is JAB. It has conventional number 1 & 2 Rigs and a pocket luff number 3 rig. The designed waterline length worked out perfectly at 1230mm.
7th September 2011 - Jon Holmes has been developing his "mini A Class" (see post 21st July below) - The design is appropriately called "Lower Case" and is seen here sailing with a smaller rig. Jon has been working on the balance of the boat by moving the keel back slightly and other tweeks. It will be interesting to see it sail in a competitive fleet.
1st August 2011 - Hobart is fortunate to have the skills of Clive Udy, who builds faithful working models of our famous Derwent River sailing boats. Below are some photos of the International Dragon Class that Clive builds in incredible detail. Clive hand makes virtually everything, and builds them exactly the way the full size craft were created. These are true working models, and after being fitted with radio gear and winch, they are a beautiful sight to see sailing.
1st August 2011 - Pictured below is a faithful reproduction by Clive of the Derwent Class Yacht. Designed by Percy C. Douglas in 1927, the Derwent Class has sailed continuously on the river, with a few fine examples still being sailed in club racing today. Clive has extensively researched the build from original plans and photos, and note that he has even built a faithful reproduction of the cradle used to haul out the boats. The full sized craft were 24'-6" long with a 6'-10" beam and drew 4'- 1" with great sailing characteristics. I look forward to seeing Clives boat sailing soon.
July 21st 2011 Our resident design genius Jon Holmes - The designer of the hugely successful VENOM A Class, has been working on a "Mini A Class" design, and has just launched the prototype. With a short waterline, the boat is allowed a big sail area, but as it is a smaller and lighter design, Jon has taken a draught penalty, by adding a longer keel and reducing the sail area. He is experimenting with the right balance between the draught and the sail area, to arrive at an optimum balance. This boat will be a rocket down wind in a good breeze, and should plane off the wind. I am looking forward to seeing it sail soon - Thanks for sharing your photos Jon.
May 25th 2011 - Here is our old mate, Michael Grieves - aka Knuckles, beautiful new Pikanto IOM. The hull was built by Tim Brown and the rigs and sails were made by Mark Paterson. This is probably one of the most formidable IOM's in Australia at present. Knuckles reports it is wonderful to sail, and so far his results have been very impressive. Thanks to Knuckles, Tim and Mark, for giving us the opportunity to supply all the rig kits, masts and fittings for this fine craft.
May 20th 2011 We supply fittings for all types of building projects and this project below was completed by 14 year old Callum. The hull which is carved out of solid oregon was given to Callums father when he was 10 years old by his father. Callums dad added the coach roof as a boy, then it lay idle until he gave it to Callum recently. Callum has fitted a winch and servo and rebuilt the coach roof and epoxied the deck to make a fine working r/c yacht which has taken 3 generations to bring to fruition - Callum plans to upgrade the sails and give the hull a new paint job in the future - Good work Callum, your grandfather would be proud of your great effort - we sure are.
November 10th 2010 - Our good friend Pat Parisienne has aquired a new IOM yacht. It is a BTL design from Scott Condie (see below - May 2010) and Pat has built the rigs and finished the boat to his usual high standard. We are looking forward to having a hit out with Pat and Scott at the NSW IOM State Champs at the end of the this month. We are pleased to have supplied the Rig Kits and other fittings to complete the build. Sails by Brad Gibson - Good looking boat Pat.
6th November 2010 - A great part of our business is the interesting people and interesting boats we get to supply winches and fittings for.
John Fries of Florida has built a 7 foot long R/C sailboat which he will race in Antigua as part of the Antigua Week yacht races for full sized yachts. in Johns words........
"We are building a boat to race in Antigua in their model yacht series. The classes range from 5-7 feet in length. The conditions are usually 15+ trade winds or more with good size waves. So, our boat is quite robust in design....."
We are happy to have supplied John with a 380EH Smartwinch for large R/C yachts and a variety of deck and rigging fittings.
14th October 2010 - Leigh Peterson of Melbourne is building a new Marblehead design from the board of Frank Russell. He is building it from scratch and it looks a very sweet design and Leighs workmanship is very good. - Leigh says........" This is Frank Russell's latest Soroban design. I built the plug with 4mm balsa planks on the shadows provided by Frank, and completed it with a single layer of fibreglass and epoxy resin which has been filled and sanded. The hull comprises one layer of 200gm carbon fibre and one layer of 120gm fibreglass with FGI epoxy resin. This has been filled with a microballoon/epoxy mix, which has been sanded down. I have also applied a two part primer, and sanded this smooth. The deck will be foam laminated with carbon fibre (in load bearing areas)and fibreglass."
Leigh hopes to have his new Marblehead in the water and sailing in a few weeks, and it is really good to see a new Australian designed Marblehead being built. Hopefully there will be more of these built in the near future, which would be a great thing for this fine class of boat.
16th September 2010 - Our old mate, Brian Lever must be suffering aquaphobia, as he has just put this land yacht together, and in his words.....
Hi Den and Cas,
As promised here are a few pics of the prototype Land Yacht. Have tried it out and WOW does it go in a breeze. I am using in-line skate wheels and alum channel for the main part and 8mm carbon tube for mast and boom. Mast sits on a dished out nylon tube with a plastic rawl plug in bottom of mast so it can swivel. The Planet radio is great but I may need to get a stronger servo for the sail control later but will try out in more breeze first. - Cheers Brian
ps. forgot to mention that the sail is a cut down IOM "A" rig Jib, and mast is 1mtr. long. Hoping to get a bigger mast and sail shortly.
September 15th 2010 - Peter Williams has just received a new IOM boat from UK boat designer/builder Bill Curtis. The design is called "Shadow" and this is one of the first boats out of the mould - nice looking machine, we look forward to seeing it on the water soon Peter.
August 28th 2010 Here are two newly built Emo IOM designs, constructed by Ben Durie from free Plans by Frank Russell. Ben has produced his own plug and mouldings and the boats shown here are number 2 and 3 from the mould - Ben has increased the height of the freeboard by about 10 mm in the forward sections on these hulls. There is a link to Frank Russells free plans for the Emo on our "Free Boat Plans Links" page.
June 19th 2010 - Mark Rogers has just built a timber kit Marblehead from the USA - It is a Tippencanoe T50 which Mark has modified considerably to make it more competive, especially in regard to the rigs, fin, bulb etc - It has a displacement of 4.3 Kg and a 200mm beam. - Pictured here with C Rig.
June 8th 2010 - The skiff is back - A newcomer to our sport with a lot of big boatbuilding experience, Dean Snow, has worked up his own design rc yacht, inspired by the TS2. Dean has built the plug and and produced a mould, and is about to lay up the first hull - Looks like very good workmanship, and we will put more photos in the gallery as the build progresses.
June 20th 2010 - Dean has produced his prototype first hull in Carbon Fibre with off cuts he had at hand (it may be the only carbon fibre IOM in the world, as it is not permitted to use C/F in a registered boat) - Once again, the workmanship looks excellent, and as Dean is new to radio controlled yachts, I am sure he will produce some great rc yachts in the future.
June 27th 2010 - Dean has completed the rigs and fitted the sails and is very happy with his first sail, and is already working on his next hull in glass fibre.
Over the weekend he got good conditions for testing all his rigs, and in his words.... ".lots of fun, quite amazing how fast these little boats go down wind!"
We are pleased to able to supply Dean with Rig kits, Deck Kit, Winch, Sails, Bulb, Radio etc for his new remote control yacht.
May 2010 - Here are some photos of Scott Condies new IOM radio controlled yacht. The design is called a BTL, and at its first outing in a major event - The NSW GP1 Event (The Susan McAnna Memorial Trophy) Scott finished equal first to Paul Jones, which is a great achievement. Scotts boat shares a few things in common with my recent Pikanto build, so I am looking forward to having a sail with Scott soon and comparing notes.
Mar 2010 - The photos below are of a new IOM design called the Condor, which is being jointly developed by Warren Norrie and Robert Scholes of the Wollongong Model Yacht Club. Robert is mainly the designer and Warren inputs on design and is also the builder. This rc sailing yacht is a new development, after their range of Wozza designs. The photo below right is the completed Condor hull next to some of the Wozza profiles - The Condor has a lot of tumblehome and looks a sweet hull - I will post some pics of Condor sailing soon
March 2010 - Here are a couple of photos of Leigh Normans new IOM - It is a new design called Arrival from the board of renowned U.K. Designer Dave Hollum and built by Phil Playle - ex SAILSetc. boat builder. I believe this is the first Arrival in Australia - pardon the pun
Jan 2010 - A few snaps from the 2010 Australian IOM National Champs, held at Patawalonga Lake South Australia
Cassie has had a play around with some photos - Below is a starting line photo from a Marblehead event.
If you have a favourite photo you would like enhanced, like any of the examples below, and printed in photo quality, email us a copy. POA
On our way through Melbourne, we caught up with Craig Smith who has prepared a Pikanto for Dallas Duessen (90), and we had a tune up session with my Topiko (36) in a brisk seabreeze at Paterson Lakes, whilst Cassie took some pics - Dec 2009
Dibley DB3 Sailed by Paul Goddard to win the 2009 NZ National RM Championships 1st Nov 2009
Sailing at the Central Queensland IOM Champs in Bundaberg July '09