In an era of high tech, high powered watercraft, boaties on Port Hacking dropped back a few gears on the weekend for the annual Port Hacking Putters Regatta; a gathering of old boats that have been lovingly preserved and restored. 

“The event is about celebrating the great boating history on Port Hacking. People have put blood, sweat and tears into restoring these beautiful old vessels and to see them all out together is wonderful” said Port Hacking Putters Commodore, Brad Whittaker.

55 classic and wooden vessels made a slow and steady journey from Hungry Point to Lilli Pilli, with participants dressing up as sailors, pirates plus Gilligan, Ginger and the rest of the cast.

Veteran boatie, Tom McGann, was awarded with this year’s Heritage Award, with his lovingly restored 1910 classic RME a standout (see main photo). The ‘Barn Find’ originally from Lake Macquarie was built by Richard Morgan Evans with its new owner embarking on what became a three year restoration project back in 1997.

“In an original photograph of the vessel was a small 3 or 4-year-old girl and upon completing the restoration I tracked down the then 90-year-old lady, who joined us on its first voyage” said Tom.

“When we found the vessel it was in a dilapidated state but bringing it back to life has been a rewarding experience”.

port hacking putters 2021 SS MINNOW
SS Minnow

Ginger and the crew on the SS Minnow, caught the eye of the judges winning the ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Commodore’s Call’ awards.

The ‘Pride of the Port’ award went to Choof N Puff a 16 foot vessel with owner Don Parker building the steam powered engine and gas fired water tube boiler himself. Its distinctive high-pitched whistle was a real crowd pleaser on the day.   

The original putt putt parade ran out of steam in the late 1990s but was re-birthed four years ago with an important safety message, to LOG ON and OFF with Marine Rescue NSW, when heading out on the water. The free service is run by volunteers and if you get into trouble they can coordinate a rescue mission to assist you. From flat batteries to serious on-water emergencies their highly trained crews are only a radio call away.

Passengers riding on the Tom Thumb III raised, with the support of Cronulla Ferries and Dominelli Ford, $1,500 which was donated to the Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking unit.

With the support of presenting partners Cronulla Real Estate and Colortile Miranda the event continues to be one of Sutherland Shires most iconic maritime events.

port hacking putters 2021 Choof N Poof
Choof N Poof