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Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Rob Mundle is back on the ocean with a blockbuster for
Christmas. Rob's tells the extraordinary story of the eighteenth
century convoy of eleven ships that left England on 13 May
1787 for the 'lands beyond the seas'. Aboard were seafarers,
convicts, marines, and a few good citizens -some 1300 in
all - who had been consigned to a virtually unknown land on
the opposite side of the world where they would establish a
penal colony, and a nation. No nation has ever been founded
in such a courageous and dangerous manner. It's the basis
for one hell of an adventure. HB 517 pages $45.00
Ranger to Rainbow – The J Class Yachts
This new book is a detailed account of the development
of the J Class yachts, primarily from 1996 when author,
David Pitman, first became involved with the rebuild of
Velsheda. He was Secretary of the class for more than 12
years and primarily responsible for the rebirth of the Class,
from the launch of a new Ranger in 2002, then Hanuman,
Lionheart and finally Rainbow in 2012. It is packed with
many technical and sailing images of these iconic yachts.
PB 132 pages $85.00
Man of Iron – Ship of Steel
by Kevin Bourke
published by Kevin Bourke
More than three decades
ago, sitting in the bar of the
Mooloolaba Yacht Club, I had a
long yarn with one of the great characters of Australian yachting,
Vic Meyer, about his own fascinating career and that of his yacht,
the famous steel cutter Solo.
“ Why don’t you write a book about me? ” Vic suggested over a
couple of beers. Sadly, I didn’t take up the opportunity to record
the life and times of Vic Meyer who died in 1991.
Fortunately, yachtsman and historian Kevin Bourke has done
so, meticulously researching and writing a splendid book about
Vic Meyer and Solo, aptly titled Man of Iron – Ship of Steel.
Meyer came to Australia from Switzerland, eventually
establishing a successful iron foundry in the Sydney suburb of
Marrickville. He became interested in boating, firstly in motor
boats and then in yachts.
In 1955 he commissioned Alan Payne to design Solo as a 57ft
fast and comfortable cruising yacht without regard to the RORC
rating rule of the time, giving the yacht a large sail area in relation
to her waterline and displacement. Her hull was to be steel.
Sir James Hardy OBE, in a forward to Man of Iron – Boat of Steel
describes Solo as having “beautiful sweet lines with a balanced
rig and sail plan, rather like a metre boat,” adding there is no
doubt that a lot of Sol o ’s sailing success was a direct result of
just how hard and fast Vic Meyer used to sail her.
Solo was Australia’s finest ocean racing yacht of her time
and author Kevin Bourke became fascinated by her history – the
unique design and construction, her amazing racing career, the
cruising years, her use for an Antarctic scientific expedition and
finally her charter years in the Whitsundays and Moreton Bay –
when he was her charter skipper.
Bourke has written one of the most interesting books
published about ocean racing in Australia about a remarkable
yachtsman and his extraordinary yacht. Every blue water
yachtsman will enjoy this tale.
Cruising Southern Tasmania
by TAMAP and the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania
published by Department of Primary Industries, Parks,
Water and Environment, Tasmania
Available online from www.tasmap.tas.gov.au
Tasmania is preparing for huge influx of yachts this summer,
racing to Hobart but also cruising the waters of this beautiful
island State to take in such events as the Australian Wooden Boat
Festival and the Van Diemens Land Circumnavigation Cruise.
The fleet for the VDL-C Cruise in February is already booked
out but many other yacht owners always take the opportunity to do
some cruising in the D’Entrecasteaux
Channel or on the South East Coast
waters of the State on their way to
TASMAPS, the Tasmanian
Government’s base mapping arm,
has worked with the Cruising Yacht
Club of Tasmania in producing its
latest edition of Cruising Southern Tasmania, and I can certainly
recommend it as a most information addition to any navigational
aids to carry on board, be you a visiting or local yachtie.
The new edition expands this well illustrated guide to cruising
and anchorages of South Eastern Tasmania from Wineglass
Bay to South East Cape. It features detailed anchorages guides
of many bays and inlets, detailing information on anchorages,
boats ramps, navigation aids, marine arms, jetties, hydrographic
contours and soundings.
Hazards such as reefs, rocks, kelp and shallow water are
clearly shown, along with shore based facilities of interest to
Wineglass Bay remains my favourite, having anchored there
many years ago in a Currawong 30 named Lollipop on our enjoyable
and relaxed voyage back to Sydney.
Cruising Southern Tasmania will add pleasure to any cruise
and encourage others to venture south to enjoy the magnificent
cruising waters of Southern Tasmania. h
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