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Anchoring restrictions

Further to David Miles’ letter (Afloat Feb’12) I would like to compliment the Maritime Services boating staff as they do a wonderful job at the coalface of controlling and monitoring our waterways to provide a much more pleasant and safer environment for us, the boating public.
Our club applaud their efforts and have always found the MS coalface troops to be friendly, understanding … and they are always approachable.
But, what are the bureaucrats of MS trying to accomplish by placing anchoring restrictions to Manly Cove and Quarantine?
These pristine locations have been a prized playground for the public and boaters ever since the settlement of Sydney. Of all areas of Sydney Harbour these locations are respected by most all boaters and are areas where (self-imposed) speed is reduced to idle mode making for safe havens for swimmers and boaters alike.
Perhaps Maritime Services bosses should consult their coalface troops as to the sensibility of MS planning to severely restrict anchoring in these locations, as this type of unrealistic decision-making badly reflects on the troops who must carry the brunt of unrealistic and unpopular over governing.
At any time throughout the year, we and others boaters can be seen anchored in these bays and transferring families onto beaches in tenders to enjoy the shopping at Manly, using the beaches, showers, fresh water availability and toilet facilities provided and well maintained by Manly Council.
In the interest of happy/safe boating and all Sydney boaters, we appeal to Minister Duncan Gay to seriously consider all the ramifications associated with the recommendations that have been placed before his office.

Herbert Porter,
President of the Whittley Club NSW.

Life raft servicing – expired flares levy

I write to Afloat in the hope you can help put so common sense back into maritime legislation.
My life raft servicing contractor has informed me that under legislation they cannot return out-of-date flares to me, and further more I am required to pay an “environment levy” to dispose of my property which cannot be returned to me.
The crazy part of this situation is that if you are in such a desperate situation that you need to be discharging flares, I would respectfully suggest the expiry date on the flare is immaterial to you or the responding rescuers.
This is not an excuse for boaters not to carry up-to-date flares but more about allowing a person in dire straits to have more than one ‘string to their bow’.
In a supervised training exercise, I successfully operated three flares of some 24 years of age and all operated without failure.
This matter needs to be urgently addressed.

Colin Alleck,
SV Bullant Rouge.

Last timber boat build on Sydney Harbour?Last timber boat build on Sydney Harbour?

Fifty years ago the launching of a timber boat was a common sight on Sydney Harbour however nowadays it is a rare occurrence. Time will tell if the launching of Lena in January is the last large timber boat to be built and launched in Sydney.
Since 1969 Fountain’s Boatshed has been at Wharf Rd, Birchgrove just 2km from the Harbour Bridge. Using skills handed down from their father, Len, the Fountain brothers Cliff and Warren have built a heavy 40 foot trawler-style hull on the site. The boat will be finished off as a weekend cruiser and to do some outside fishing.
Freshly cut Ironbark from the NSW South Coast was seasoned on the edge of the waterfront and transformed into the heavy skeleton of the boat. The planks below the waterline are Spotted Gum with Huon Pine planking used for the sides.
The Gardiner diesel was installed in December in preparation for the launching in January using the spring tides.
At present Cliff and Warren are working on the completion of three timber boats at the boatshed.
The traditional slipway is carved out of the Birchgrove sandstone and has been carefully set up to cater for motor boats and long keeled yachts making it ideal for repairs and maintenance of the traditional style vessel as well as modern yachts.

Peter Smith,

Safety at work in the Solomons

Both Terry Johnston and Bob Nash mention Occupational Health and Safety (Afloat Feb’12).
Contrary to Johnston’s comment, did you know that the Solomon Islands do have OH&S? The Safety at Work Act. Have a look at It seems all the Pacific Islands have OH&S.
I know of serious injuries which have occurred as a result of employers and employees failing to consider OH&S, however, not my close friends or family. I suspect that Mr Johnston and Mr Nash may also have close friends and relatives who have been spared from suffering seriously injury at work because of OH&S.

Matthew Rafferty,

Paris Mean Time

Until I read your Editor’s Column ‘French say it’s time to say au revoir to GMT’, I was not aware that there was a push to change away from GMT, or UTC as it has become, to the atomic clock.
A move away from the natural standard (one day is noon to noon at 0 longitude) would make traditional celestial navigation impossible.
The latitude sight would remain unchanged. However, determination of longitude by this method would not be possible if time is no longer relative to the 0 degree meridian of longitude.
Even in this day of GPS this fact must not be forgotten. Should the unnatural standard be adopted, I believe that for navigation purposes it must still be tied to a terrestrial mark.

Mark Hutton, BEng (Mech), MAICD,
Royal Park, SA.

Anchoring restrictions in Jervis Bay

I know there have been quite a few letters already on the subject of anchoring restrictions at Hole In The Wall on the south side of Jervis Bay, but I feel compelled to add my voice to this absurdly ludicrous situation.
We have just returned from eight weeks cruising Tasmania and its many surrounding islands, much of it a pristine wilderness. We anchored in dozens of superb bays and coves where the only constraints on choosing a suitable anchorage are the wind and sea conditions. The prime considerations being safety and comfort.
The NSW coast has very few desirable all-weather anchorages for cruising yachts that actually sail in wind, rather than motor in calm conditions. We have always found Eden a comfortable anchorage while waiting for weather to head across Bass Strait or for the return trip up the NSW coast.
Broulee and Batemans Bay can offer some shelter, but Jervis Bay is our preferred anchorage, particularly in a southerly.
Jervis Bay is a large expanse of water with an internal perimeter of approximately 25nm. The best anchorage in JB is near Hole In The Wall, which accounts for less than 0.25nm of the 25nm perimeter, and guess what – you have to anchor outside the 10m low water depth area, which is so far out that the protection from a southerly gale is seriously compromised!
The Creswell Navy base eliminates another huge area of good anchorages, and the marine reserves further limit access to potentially useful anchorages.
JB is 125nm from Eden and 100nm from Pittwater, making it the ideal stopover while passaging the NSW coast.
Please can someone justify to me why we are denied the right to choose a safe anchorage in the <1% of JB, when much of the other 99% is inaccessible.
Also, the five mooring buoys situated closer to shore have 24 hour limits, but are typically sat on for days at a time. Officials obsessively police the anchoring restrictions but not the long stayers on these buoys, all for the sake of a little patch of sea grass which regularly gets torn out in swathes by gales form the north.

Chris Daly,
Reliance, Newport.

Short-sighted boat licence renewal

In my letter ‘A Licence for all States’ (Afloat May’09) I pointed out the legal (and monetary) dangers of crossing state borders without first obtaining a licence which satisfies the peculiar requirements of that state.
Because my cruising is in other states, I reluctantly obtained a NSW Maritime licence. That licence has just come up for renewal and I duly presented the papers, together with my pound of flesh, to the local RTA office (now conveniently merged with NSW Maritime).
Because I had previously had a spectacles endorsement on my licences, which was removed from my driver’s licence after cataract operations, I presented that licence at the counter and specifically requested the removal of any such endorsements.
My licence duly arrived in the mail with “Visual aids required” endorsed thereon.
Back to the RTA, queued up, and was told, “We only act as an agency for NSW Maritime, you will have to contact them. We have no access to their records.”
Maritime advised, “You will have to come to our office and pass an eyesight test.”
I pointed out that my driver’s licence had no such endorsement and now that they are merged, could they not check that record, or at least allow the eyesight test to take place at the RTA. Without visiting them for an eyesight test, I was required to send them a copy of my driver’s licence, certified by a JP.
In a ministerial statement (15/7/2011) Ms Berejiklian said: “Transport for NSW will be responsible for the co-ordinated delivery of transport services across all modes of travel, with a focus on the customer.
“This is about making life easier for the customer.”
I think I will just prove my sight condition when apprehended. It is all too hard!

Ian Hoey,
Frenchs Forest.

Dogs in National Parks

No, Mitch Geddes (Afloat Feb’12) – and let me preface this by saying that I am a dog lover – the reasons that dogs are not allowed in National Parks are not because your little mongradoodle will go on a killing spree during his shore break but because:
A. People have a right to enjoy the native wildlife that abounds in our beautiful National Parks without a chorus of yapping from little white fluffy dogs scaring the scales and fur off every living thing within earshot.
B. Every time a precious pup has a ‘leak’ as you put it, it endangers the life of any native animal that eats the grass that has been ‘leaked’ on. Native animals have no resistance to diseases that dogs carry including distemper, worms, liver and heart conditions .
I like dogs too but there are good reasons that they should stay at home or aboard.

Shane Withington,
Church Point.

Boat Wash

While towing our dinghy eastwards under the Harbour Bridge it was swamped by huge boat wash.
We had to stop in the most dangerous part of the Harbour and struggle to bail out the dinghy, before it snapped the tow rope. We then faced the challenge of recovering our floating oars which had drifted off in a choppy swell.
All this with ferries and other large craft speeding past at 15 knots. We realised how quickly a serious accident could occur in this area, and I was very glad I did not experience this incident on a busy weekend!
NSW Maritime must reduce the speed limit to a sensible 8 knots as the current limit of 15 knots creates the maximum wash from power boats.
We also need a standard ‘no wash zone’ extending from the Opera House right around to Darling Harbour.

Rob Mason,

To school by boat

The article ‘Tea and Scones on Lake Wallis’ by Winsome and Graeme Andrews (Afloat Feb’12) brought back many childhood memories of growing up on a dairy farm at Coomba on the shores of Wallis Lake.
We travelled to school on the shallow draft boat The Ivy. It was a 14 mile round trip to attend school at Forster. The school boat ceased running about 1948 as most families from the farms had left.
Many happy days were spent at Shallow Bay and the surrounding islands on Wallis Lake. Our days were spent constructing corrugated iron canoes, exploring creeks in our tin canoes and flat bottomed rowing boats.
With favourable winds behind us, the flat bottomed rowing boats were fitted with sails which were square rigged, made from hessian chaff bags split and sewn together. One oar on the stern passed through a rollick, becoming our steerage.
In those days, all travel to farms in the area was made by boat. A milk and cream river boat operated by Milligans of Tuncurry collected milk and cream from the farms, returning to the Butter Factory standing at Tuncurry near the breakwall.
Two steam driven paddle wheel log punts travelled the lake collecting logs from timber cutters along the way, returning to the two saw mills operating on the river bank at Tuncurry.
Today’s town of Coomba Park stands on the sight of the largest dairy farm in the area.
A vehicular ferry operated between Forster and Tuncurry in the channel which was dredged daily to allow the ferry clear passage.
I get a lot of pleasure from reading Afloat, particularly the historical articles written by Graeme Andrews.

Earl Fuller,
Caves Beach.

The launching of MSB’s 76ft luxuriously appointed Captain Phillip at Goat Island shipyard.Goat Island Shipyard

Further to Graeme Andrews’ article ‘Goat Island – the Village on the Harbour’ (Afloat Nov’11).
Goat Island Shipyard was a small shipyard positioned on the western side of the island. It was controlled by the Maritime Services Board of NSW to build and repair vessels required for its function of keeping our harbour and ports functioning, also other government departments such as Water Police and Explosive Departments.
It consisted of three slipways up to 150 tons and three building berths, prior to the construction of a 500-ton slipway, a large boat shed, well-equipped fitters shop, saw mill and all other sections required for a functioning shipyard.
I joined the MSB after World War II in October 1945 as a Shipwright where I spent 30 years of my best working days. Sixteen years as Foreman Shipwright prior to being transferred to Head Office for seven years as a Shipwright Surveyor, retiring in October, 1983.
World War II took its toll of the vast fleet. The rebuilding of craft, plus maintenance to the fleet dredges etc was extensive. Approximately 140 shipwrights, apprentices, fitters and turners along with associate trades and assistants were employed.
The results were outstanding and all of wood construction, many are still in service today: approximately 30 launches size 18 to 36 feet; two 45ft tugs; one 75ft tug; two 50ft pilot vessels; one 46ft pilot vessel; two ocean going rescue water police launches and the 38ft launch Exploma for Explosives Department.
Goat Island shipyardNot forgetting the achievement of the building of three 68ft pilot vessels for Sydney, Newcastle and a spare, the three being built in the allocated 18-month time frame .
The closing chapter of the shipyard was the building of the 76ft Captain Phillip, luxuriously appointed to replace the Lady Hopetoun to show world visiting dignitaries our beautiful harbour.
Sadly the MSB function of the shipyard ceased in the early 1980s. It was a wonderful establishment to enjoy your employment.

Jack Hubbard,
Tweed Heads.

“Bail you idiot, bail!”

Further to ‘Night time escapades on the Harbour as a Sea Scout’ with Captain Chaos (Afloat Feb’12).
In 1936 I had been a tenderfoot (tenderfin?) member of the Como branch of the 4th WA Sea Scouts for a full four months.
A camp was being held at Garden Island and us younger scouts boarded the ferry Emerald in Perth and were landed on the jetty in Careening Bay (now the site of HMAS Stirling and Australia’s largest Naval Base).
The following day, with the ‘Fremantle Doctor’ at a good 23 knots, one youngster was chosen to be bailer boy on the 25-foot whaler.
Whether I was chosen for being the lightest, smallest or dumbest I do not know … but I was soon hunched on the bottom boards of the whaler with a 2-gallon tin in my hands.
In the lee of the land the wind did not appear to be very strong but, once out on the open bay, the whaler heeled until water poured in over the lee gunwale. I watched in frozen horror at the inrush believing we were capsizing and was just too scared to do anything.
With shouts of, “Bail you idiot, bail!” “Bail like hell!” and “Bail or we’ll sink!” ringing in my ears I was brought to life and began throwing the incoming flood over the side.
The older scouts thought this was fun and real sailing but, for my first time out in a boat under sail, it almost ended my sailing career before it even started.
Afloat really has some great articles.

Stan Bradfield,
Kelmscott, WA.

Hands off cockles

At a time when government is handing out grants for the restoration of fish habitats I was witness to the exact opposite while fishing last Sunday at Bonna Point, Kurnell.
I counted no less than 30 people equipped with all manner of receptacles decimating the cockle beds well within the sanctuary boundaries to the ESE of Quibray Bay.
A true estimate would have been a quarter of a tonne! Such was their burden the women folk and children were observed dragging their booty across the beach through the park to waiting cars with open boots. Their manner indicating their knowledge of wrongdoing.
Frustrated after several attempts to contact Fisheries, I was finally compelled to say something only to be greeted by blank stares and one reply “but there are no signs”.
He was technically right!
This fishery must remain a haven where sea life can escape the ravages of such acts! Fisheries must act. I call on them to increase patrols both day and night, improve their lines of communication coupled with faster response times and signage.
Fisheries should have received a copy of this letter via email.
It is 1100 hrs Monday and low tide is approaching … let’s see if they received it!

Geoff Hawkins,

Yacht Martindale Yacht Martindale

I noticed Des Sherlock’s letter and photo of the yacht Martindale (Afloat Jan’12) and Michael York’s reply (Afloat Feb’12). May I add a little of what I know of her that may fill in any gaps.
Martindale was a well known vessel here in South Oz from the 1930s right through to at least the 1960s. She was moored most of this time in the SA Yacht Squadron pool. I lost track of her after that as I left the state to come east and join the RAN.
Martindale was requisitioned by the navy during WWII and commissioned, like many substantial motor boats of her era, as HMAS Martindale. She was designated as a channel patrol vessel and was fitted with a .303 Vickers gun on her foredeck. Her pennant number was Q33.
Her duties were similar to those of requisitioned motor boats Sea Mist (Q10) and Steady Hour (Q12), famous for their involvement in the sinking of Japanese midget submarine HA21 in Sydney Harbour in 1942.
The photo is one my father took in the 1930s at South Australia’s Outer Harbour.

Dave Rickard,
Hallett Cove, SA.

February Afloat

Dear, oh dear! What a disappointment this month. You have really missed the boat (sorry!) with your lack of info after a very busy sailing January.
There was little news on Nationals conducted during the holiday period. Where are the rundowns on other National events? Did you know that the Flying Fifteen Nationals held in Perth was won by an English entrant, but with an Australian crew (Matthew Owens), the only person to win the Nationals as crew and (previously) as skipper.
Patrick Bollen’s ‘channel seven fixation’ on Wild Oats, Investec, Jessica and a few division winners in what is the biggest race on the Australian calendar – the Hobart – began as nothing more that a big whinge. Where is the list of starters and their placings? Where are the interviews with the also-rans? Where is the wonderful story of Maluka and her race apart from your last few lines?
And as for Bollen criticising the Race Committee (“What is it with the Race Committee?”), he needs to be reminded that we all race under the same rules including that of outside assistance.
The Race Committee was simply doing their job. In fact it might be said that a bloke of the standing and experience of Michael Coxon should have known better, regardless of his real interests, than to conduct such a conversation and so creating the potential problem in the first place.
So well done Race Committee for upholding the rules for everyone, big and small. Goodness knows their job can be unrewarding and ‘the rules are the rules’.

Geoff Body,

[You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time! Unfortunately we have only so much space in the magazine for news. Which is why you will find daily news updates on the Afloat website The report on Flying Fifteen Nationals in Perth came in too late. You can read it on page 37 – Ed]


Speedboat  Kerri AnneSpeedboat Kerri Anne

Thanks to Afloat we have tracked down the origin of Kerrie Anne (Afloat Oct’11).
A WWII manufacturing company called Norlin P/L, Bankstown, Sydney had a marine section building a range of boats from 11-21 footers and sold by Sports Craft the Outboard Specialists, 129 Church St, Ryde.
Afloat reader Mark turned up an ad from the Sunday Telegraph Feb 1962 which shows similar boats were also sold through Knock & Kirby, Sydney up to 1962. Mark also has a boat that appears to have been built by the same boatbuilder and has the identical hull … we can tell by the timber seats etc. He also has one of the 21-footers. Both boats are in good running order. The 129 Church St, Ryde logo is on KA’s dashboard.
Sports CraftI also received a picture of KA’s sistership Skylark sitting on the exact same timber trailer as KA. The contact (via David Payne from ANMM) said his father bought the boat from 129 Church St in the late 1950s.
Kerrie Anne is going well, its original Keikafer/Mercury engine running superbly, the old Speedo water pressure registering up 37mph. We are changing the original control cables for more flexibility.
It’s been a long drawn out exercise, however we would not have got there without help from readers of Afloat.

Mick Puglisi,
Russell Lea.

Was there another Culwulla?Was there another Culwulla?

I was intrigued by Bruce Stannard’s article ‘A Gem Called Yeulba’ (Afloat Nov’11).
In 1953 my father commissioned Franklin Bennett to paint a water colour (above) of the view looking down the Lane Cove River from the front lawn of Mornington, Hunters Hill.
The yacht in the foreground (then about the only boat moored in that section of the Lane Cove River) was always referred to as the Culwulla by my family and the locals of the day.
She was on that mooring from my earliest recollection (circa 1949) until, I think, the early 1960s. (Regrettably the slides of the time have long gone.)
Bruce’s story makes it clear that this was not the Culwulla I (and others) always believed it to be – was there another ?

Ian Meggitt,
East Ryde.

A gem called Yeulba

In writing about the proposed restoration of the Logan designed 30 lineal rater Yeulba, it appears that I inadvertently made an error which I now wish to correct.
Tim Phillips did not buy Yeulba on the spot in 1998 but instead, entered into an agreement with her owners, Mr and Mrs John McShane, in which he took possession of the boat following an undertaking that he would restore her to her original 1901 configuration as a gaff-rigged cutter.
Mr and Mrs McShane remain the registered owners of Yeulba. Tim Phillips continues to use his best endeavours to find an individual or syndicate willing to fund the restoration.

Bruce Stannard,
Shell Cove.


Please ensure letters to the RSVP section include your contact details (e.g. Name, phone number, email address and suburb).

Passenger launch Loongana

Today was my lucky day!
A long-time sailing mate posted me a copy of Afloat saying in the accompanying letter that I would enjoy reading it, especially Alan Lucas’s article on Joyce Hiley, Townsville’s multi-purpose workboat (Afloat Oct’11).
My good friend knows I am a ‘vintage-boat’ fan, but I must confess I have not been aware of just how good a ‘read’ your magazine is.
My friend owned, until recently, a beautiful Folkboat that he was generous enough to invite me to crew on most weekends. We always headed for the beautiful Pittwater and further north to the upper reaches of Broken Bay, with an occasional exit through the heads, turn north, and make the most of a good nor’easter to Terrigal. Your readers familiar with the sea-kindliness of the Folkboat will appreciate a comfortable journey in most heavy seas is assured in that vessel!
I am seeking any information regards the beautiful (and fast) passenger launch Loongana that plied from Wyong to The Entrance (Tuggerah Lake) back in the late 1930s,
She was owned (and captained) by the very popular and likeable Mr Lewis Taylor. I was five years old when first introduced to him, and became a staunch friend for many years.
My dad and mother (and all six siblings) would alight from the steam train at Wyong station, walk across the dirt road to the wharf at the Wyong River’s edge, and board the beautiful black-hulled Loongana.
Assisted by a deckhand, Captain Taylor would cast off and head down river, out across Tuggerah Lake heading south, and then east past Pelican Island, to arrive at Bateman’s Wharf, where we would be greeted by a Mrs Brownlee who led us to our pre-booked cottage at Picnic Point.
I am keen to find out all I can about Loongana, as the memories of those wonderful days are always refreshed when reading in Afloat articles about wooden boats.
The State Library of NSW has been good enough to accept two of my books for public reading, and my next book will be the history of The Entrance, predominately the popularity of the Loongana, hence my hope for information on that vessel.

Bob Cornish,
2 Mills Place, Buff Point, NSW 2262.

Wooden boat MarinerWooden yawl Mariner

I am seeking information from anybody who has any memories of my Uncle Keith Pamwell’s wooden yawl named Mariner.
He lived at Manley Vale and Mariner was moored at Middle Harbour. I believe he renamed the yacht after purchase but I can’t be sure.
Every second year Keith sailed from Sydney up to Swansea Channel, moored till the bridge opened, then on to Nords Wharf on Lake Macquarie where he moored in front of our house for several months before returning to Middle Harbour, always sailing single-handed, (sleeping must have been interesting with all the 60-milers on the coast at that period).
Sadly pulling up the anchor he suffered a fatal heart attack on the 25 February 1959.
As a young person I sailed from Swansea to Nords Wharf on several occasions and had an affinity with this well behaved craft.
The photographs show a family day on the Lake; just coming through Swansea Bridge in 1958; and Keith himself. Hoping these may jog somebody’s memory.
Many thanks for a magnificent monthly publication.

Robert Bradford,
19 Stanton St, Liverpool, NSW 2170.
Mob: 0416 241 418; email:

Old blue boat - inscriptionsOld blue boat

I own this old blue boat built in 1916. I believe it was built as a ship’s life boat. Would any of your readers be able to give me any information about its history?

Old blue boatDon Legge,
33 Frederick Drive, Oyster Cove  2318.
tel: 02 4984 5353; mob: 0418 845 358;