Home' Afloat : AFLOAT April 2017 Contents 54 AFLOAT.com.au April 2017
Tainui is venerable 46-foot cruising
cutter built in Taiwan in 1976 to a modified
Doug Peterson design. Much of the voyage
down the Volga and the Don was done with
sturdy mast strapped to the deck.
Sailing through Russia is delightful record
of the trials and tribulation Tainui and her
crews enjoyed in negotiating a total of
3,672km and 50 locks through the Belomor (Baltic Canal), Lake Onega,
Volga-Balt waterway, Volga River, Volga-Don Canal and the Don River.
The authors have recorded the local scenery and maritime
activities, past and present, plus there is a historical section and a
most informative appendix.
Blood, Sweat & The Sea
The Life of John Muir, who ‘winched the
world from down under’
by Mike Swinson with Georgie Pajak and
published by Forty South Publishing,
RRP: $79.95 (416pp; 220mm x 290mm)
One of the treasured and informative
volumes on my bookshelf is a signed copy
of Jock Muir’s biography, a wonderful record of the yachts that the
famous Tasmanian shipwright designed, built and frequently sailed.
Now I can proudly put alongside Jock Muir’s book, Maritime
Reflections, a splendid volume that covers the successful business life of
his son John. Not in boat building, but in establishing and developing
an internationally renowned engineering company specialising in
winches for huge pleasure yachts, defence craft and passenger ferries.
The title of this biography of John Muir, Blood, Sweat & The Sea
epitomises the courage and foresight of yet another of the Muir family.
Walkley Award winning journalist and magazine editor and
journalist Mike Swinson has achieved an excellent result from
researching, writing and obtaining many historic illustrations for
A fascinating story of John’s sailing with his father is recorded in
Blood, Sweat & The Sea: his recollections of the delivery voyage from
Hobart to Sydney on Trevassa, built by Jock for Sydney yachtsman
“ Trevassa was abeam of Green Cape on the Australian East Coast,
running with a tri-sail and storm jib before a waning south-westerly
gale,” John recalls. “ The seas were big and lumpy. I was below ...
suddenly I felt the stern lift and looking skywards over the scupper
boards I saw a humongous sea breaking behind us.
“ Trevassa was standing almost vertical with her mast virtually
horizontal to the water as she plunged downwards on what must
have been a huge rogue wave ... we estimated later was at least 60
From a humble beginning, Muir Engineering produced its first
commercial winch, the Muir M2 hydraulic anchor winch, in 2003. The
following year the Kingston-based company’s first VRC1000 hydraulic
anchor winch was shipped the Nice Boat Show.
Today Muir anchor winches can be found on many of the world’s
biggest and most luxurious pleasure craft, as well as police and
military patrol vessels, fast passenger ferries and workboats. h
Available at Boat Books and Sturrock’s Rushcutters Bay.
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Cruising Guide to Indonesia –
As cruising season in Indonesia approaches, don’t miss the
new and second edition of the most thorough publication on
cruising the entire archipelago. With 18,000 islands covering
some two million square miles of pristine tropical water and
a rich and vibrant culture there are plenty of places to see
unencumbered by crowds. This guide covers everything
the prudent navigator needs to safely ply these waters and enjoy the largest island
nation in the world. Includes comprehensive anchorage maps and descriptions.
PB 301 pages $95.00
Blood, Sweat & the Sea
He flattened fear, built an international business, succeeded
against the odds. The life of John Muir who winched the world
from down under. The Muir name has long been synonymous
with boat building, competitive sailing and the marine
manufacturing business in Tasmania. Former ABC journalist
Mike Swinson has written an engaging account of John's early life in Battery Point,
his forebears and their strong maritime link, and the amazing amount of hard work in
building a globally recognised and respected manufacturing company from Tasmania.
This book also includes fascinating anecdotes and contributions from some of the
global marine manufacturing industry’s biggest names. HB 416 pages $79.95
Sailing through Russia
From the Arctic to the Black Sea
by John Valentine and Maxine Maters
published by John Valentine and Maxine Maters
RRP: $59.95 (314pp; 210mm x 280mm)
What a fascinating book! Even if you never repeat the history-
making voyage of the Australian yacht Tainui, this is a great read. Even
if you do plan such a venture, it is compulsory reading.
The Russian Federation decided to allow foreign vessels access
to its inland waters as of May 2012. In 2013 Tainui completed a four-
month voyage from Archangelsk to A zov, from the White Sea to the
Black Sea, through the great and historic Volga River.
As far as is known, Tainui is the first foreign-flagged vessel of any
description to have gained access to the Volga-Don waters in 100 years.
Sailing through Russia is based on the informative and often hilarious
blogs by owner/skipper John Valentine and his first mate, Maxine
Maters, during the 3,672km voyage.
John is a retired Australian physician, a bearded ‘old salt’ who has
been sailing 50 years. He says he won his battle with youthfulness,
but not with adolescence. Maxine is an effervescent and energetic
young woman, originally from The Netherlands who has lived in
Russia for 25 years and dreams in Russian.
John admits that without her Russian language and negotiating
skills with minor Russian maritime officials the voyage would have
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