The Moreton Bay Classic – PART TWO – The Race


The Moreton Bay Classic – PART TWO – The Race

Following on from yesterdays story showcasing the inaugural running of the Moreton Bay Classic – probably the biggest classic one day on-the-water event in Australia, today we get to see the race fleet up close. The last group of photos are from the post race festivities in Horseshoe Bay.                                                                                                                           If you missed yesterdays story – scroll down to view it or click this link

As mention yesterday – the time is long overdue for an event like this on the Waitemata – no drag racers, no show ponies, no big ego’s or bad attitudes and no 24hr marathons  – just a good old fashioned woody day out accumulating in a bay for a BBQ. Details soon. 

The South Passage – A Short Wooden Boat Film


Todays woody story comes to us from Andrew Christie in Brisbane, Andrew filmed and edited the short film on the glorious launch – South Passage, built in 1952 in Brisbane by Percy Tripcony.
South Passage is 50’ in length with a beam of 13’4”, and she draws 4’6”. The sound and footage of her Gardner 6LX diesel will be music to Dick Fisher’s (Akarana) ear and hopefully inspiration to Jamie Hudson (Lady Crossley) to get the tooth brush and Brasso out 😉
Sit back and enjoy 6 minute of wooden boat porn 🙂

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019 – Photo Parade – 200 Classic Wooden Boat Photos – Part 1




Well woodys while I was gutted that I had to cancel my trip to the festival, I honestly believe that we have ended up with a better view of the festival. I have been inundated with photos from woodys from both sides of the Tasman. The coolest thing is that the show is so big and the exhibitions so broad, that there have hardly been any duplications – my new best Aussie woody friend – Andrew Christie has excelled with photos from the air (drone) and on the water (he borrowed a clinker dinghy from the ‘Living Boat Trust’ and rowed around the docks). My kiwi woody friends –  Colin and Sheryl Pawson + Fiona Driver and Rod Marler + James Mortimer  have supplemented Andrew’s photos with more stunning photos from their camera’s. As an aside Andrew won the AWBF 2019 short film festival, with his entry ‘Wooden Boat Lunacy’ featuring a Billy Holmes built motorboat – Folly III. This short film has been featured on WW – link here
Rather than mix them all up – I thought it would cool to group them by photographer. There will be more to share with you over the next few days, seems like everyone has maxed out the mobile data packages 🙂
Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them – Enjoy
Andrew Christie




James Mortimer
Photo 8-02-19, 08 45 37
Colin Pawson



Fiona D and Rod M

Tooroorong > St. Helena


As purchased 4 years ago


mocking up the new house 1

getting closer.




Moreton Bay Video – Dec 2017



Hello woodys – today’s WW story is a goody, it started off with an order from Australia for some WW t-shirts, several emails later I discover that the recipient of the t-shirts, Andrew Christie is a serious woody. I will let Andrew tell the story of his acquisition of the classic launch Tooroorong (later to be re-named St. Helena), read below. Enjoy – I did 🙂
ps check out the cockpit canopy ‘wings’, new to me but with the hours of sunshine they get in Australia, they are a great idea.
“St Helena is a 32 foot long timber cruiser.  Her hull is Queensland Beech glued with resorcinol and clenched with copper nails. Her decks are ply sheathed in dynel and her cabin top is made from Australian Red Cedar.  Her hull is also dynel sheathed below the waterline.  She is powered by a Yanmar 4JH3-HTE turbo diesel. When built she had a petrol Chrysler.  She has a two burner Force 10 stove in her galley, and two refrigerators, one forty and one eighty litres which run permanently from four solar panels on the roof.  Her electronics are built around a Raymarine 12 inch Axiom pro.  I have hunted the internet for classic fittings like the half mile ray on the roof a new old stock genuine morse controller.  Many of the brass fitting were cast on patterns I had made or from old ones I found in boat yards or boot trunk sales.
I believe she was designed by Clem Masters (RIP) a prolific designer and builder from Sandgate, but the builder is unknown.  Her registration papers say she was built in 1968.  Although I don’t know the builder, she is however built to a very high standard and was completely rot free and sound when I bought her.  It is better to be lucky than smart.  The long term owner before me, Mort Hudson, sadly had developed alzheimers which meant he had to sell her, but this also meant he could not recite her history.  Mort had named her Tooroorong after his wife’s peanut farm. It seemed to be a tactic that had worked for him and a theme which would follow.
Her original name might have been Venetra.  Mort’s wife Barbara mistakenly recalled her name was Helena during the restoration which resulted in the decision to change it back. My wife was keen to go back to the original name before we learned of the error but we decided on St Helena as many classic Moreton Bay boats bear the names of local places and by that time we thought of her as Helena.  It is important to keep your wife happy as we see below.  
I believe St Helena was a southern boat as before I spent two years restoring her she was enclosed and had a small trunk cabin aft which was pretty difficult to live with and not suitable for a sub tropical climate.  The restoration is a whole other story.  We had planned some quick work and a $15,000 ceiling.  I should run a government with my ability to blow out a budget. Two years later in an enclosed slipway on Breakfast Creek is proof enough of that …
As it turned out, brother in law loved wooden boats.  He is an intellectual but also an artisan.  He had a peculiar wooden shoal draft sailing boat to I think an Ian Gartside design which he kept in Cabbage Tree Creek.  He had also built a beautiful strip plank canoe of cedar which was bright finished.  And he collected Wooden Boat Magazine.
Anyway, my wife’s sister, who, what shall I say, might be viewed by some as a hard hard woman, took a dislike to his boat.  She was embarrassed because the purist in him would not use an engine and crunched into the jetty on docking and she found the sailing experience uncomfortable. This whole boating business was a folly and an annoyance. She started speaking at family gatherings about how it made good financial sense to be rid of the boat.  Whatever (said slowly and with bitterness) I thought. More noise.  
I did however become concerned when I heard Johnny start parroting her narrative.  While she wore the pants he told me that he was not worried it would sell because it was such a peculiar boat that it would appeal to very few people. Who knew that the only other person in Australia who would be interested was looking for such a boat to try an experimental junk rig on.  I said to him after the event, “why wouldn’t you just have made a typo with your phone number in the advertisement – your wife would never realise”.  We are all wise after the event.
Shortly after it was advertised my wife came to me, “Jimmy’s sold the boat”.  “That’s not good”, I said. “You watch, this will be the end of them”.  Well within months they had separated and the blood letting began.  As part of his punishment boxes of Wooden Boat Magazines were hidden under my house.  
And so I came to stand on the top of that very slippery slope.  I read those magazines.  One by one. Then religiously.  The 18 foot catamaran I had in my late teens whispered in my ear.  My favourite book as a boy was The Dove.  This was going to be bad.
I started looking at sailing yachts.  I wanted a Herreschoff. It had to have a bright mahogany house, teak decks and brass, brass, brass.  Anyway, as I stood on the most lovely one in Sydney Harbour about to make my dream a reality I remembered just in time the lesson above.  In my family a sailing boat is a divorce. I decided a cruiser would be more likely to keep me in the family business.  God bless my wife. She put up with the restoration while I told her outrageous lies about how much it was costing. But despite this now she suggests we use the boat more than I do. Provided we take the dogs.  Those damned dogs and their hair.  On my beautiful boat.  Never mind, happy wife.  Happy life.  I think I got the good sister.
She doesn’t know I am still looking for a yacht.  I saw a lovely Dark Harbour 20 in England the other day.  The quote to freight it out here wasn’t that unreasonable.  Surely the house renovations can wait a little longer.  What could possibly go wrong?”