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Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Alan Lucas, the author of cruising bibles, Cruising
the Coral Coast and Cruising the NSW Coast,
shows simple solutions to everyday problems
aboard a cruising boat. Simple hacks using simple
techniques, tools and materials that have come as a
result of decades of experience. Includes hundreds
of illustrations and photographs.
PB 320 pages $34.95
Most yachtsmen dream about cruising to an
exotic destination; this is the book that will turn
dreamers into planners. 24 classic cruises are fully
mapped, measured and costed, showing how they
are perfectly possible whatever your skill level.
PB 160 pages $39.95
by Simon Griffiths
published by Penguin Random House,
RRP: $39.95 (210pp; 180mm x 230mm)
Almost every day, summer and winter, hail, rain or shine, as we look
out the windows of our home in Hobart’s Sandy Bay we see a little red
ferry chugging around broad waters of the River Der went.
MV Emmalisa is one the craft featured in Boat, a magnificent pictorial
record of all sorts of boats afloat, or being built or restored, captured
by photographer Simon Griffiths in this stunning salute to the character
and craftsmanship of Australian boats and boat builders.
The list of chapters speak for themselves: Row, Sail, Build, Motor,
Steam, plus a special chapter on the wooden boat festivals in Hobart,
South Australia and Geelong.
Emmalisa may look like a charming old ferry, but she started life
being commissioned by the R A AF in 1942, at the height of World War II,
for the purpose of carrying bombs out to Catalina flying boats based
on Lake Macquarie.
I heard firsthand of the restoration of the historic yacht Defiance
only this week when I met in Hobart the charming young woman Nicole
Shrimpton who now owns her. Defiance was the first 8-metre yacht to be
designed and built in Australia, in 1933 and is featured among the yachts.
Then there is Sir James Hardy’s famous gaff-rigged cutter Nerida, built
pre- World War II for his father Tom, and later to win the 1950 Sydney-
Hobart under a new owner and yawl rig.
Author Griffiths’ sailing and interior photographs of the restored
Nerida on Sydney Harbour capture the spirit of yacht racing long before
the era of carbon fibre boats and sails and box like hulls.
The Build chapter includes a fascinating pictorial story of the Blunt
family, five generations of boat-builders still operating from the foreshores
of Port Phillip in Nelson Place, Williamstown. Photos of the boatshed
reveal it as a treasure trove of nautical memorabilia.
Boat is a fascinating record in photos and words of many fine vessels
and would be treasured by anyone interested in Australia’s maritime
Australian Sharpie Legends
Collaborative Work for the Australian Sharpie Sailing
Association (ASSA – NSW Div). Graphics Mary Tulip; Compiled
and updated by Helena Ablett.
Availablility: ASSA – firstname.lastname@example.org
RRP: $120; 330mm x 270mm
By coincidence, as I am reviewing this wonderful collation of the
history of that iconic adult dinghy, the Australian Sharpie, the class
is sailing its 73rd National Championship on Hobart’s River Der went.
The Australian Sharpie Association and a group of enthusiasts,
current and past Sharpie sailors, are to be commended in producing
this record of Sharpie Nationals since 1936 in Australia, starting as the
International 12-square metre class which had been designed in Germany
in 1931 by Walter Brauer.
Gaff-rigged, the 12-square metre Sharpie was used in the Berlin
1936 Olympics and again at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. From this
exciting boat emerged the Australian
Sharpie with a modern Bermudan rig,
light gear, marine ply construction and
replacing the heav y cast iron centreboard.
Many of Australia’s greatest dinghy sailors have competed in Sharpie
Nationals, as the book’s title indicates, it is a record of legends with full
results and spectacular photos.
The inaugural 1936-37 Australian championship was held at Grange
in South Australia, attracting entries from the UK as well as South
Australia and Tasmania. The winner was Phantom (J O’Grady) from
Grange Sailing Club.
Since then famous figures in Australian have won, or contested,
Sharpie Nationals, including Rolly Tasker who represented Australia
in the original gaff-rigged class at the 1956 Melbourne, winning the
Queenslander and Olympic Dragon class gold medallist John Cuneo
swept into Sharpies on Hobart’s River Der went in 1956 and followed
this with three more wins.
America’s Cup skippers Jim (Sir James) Hardy won in Perth and
John Bertrand took the title in 1968. Mark Bethwaite in 1970, while
other winners have included Mark Peelgrane, Grant Simmer (navigator
on Australia II) and Andrew Hunn (current Australian champion in Farr
40s) who became the first Tasmanian to win in 1978. Famed Tasmanian
yachtsman Edis Boyes won in 1951.
South Australians Mark Soulsby won in 1981, while Mal Higgins
began a great run in 1999, winning seven Sharpie nationals in total,
including last year in Sydney.
Tasmanians Gary Smith, who took the 1986 title, and Stu Hamilton
won in 1992 also the 50th Sharpie Nationals the following year, and
again in 1995. h
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