Want to talk about boats you built and how you built them, this is the place.

Got questions on building a boat that are crying out for answer, this is still the place.

Check out some of the other Post and Comments by selecting Boatbuilding from the Categories menu on the right for all the posts and comments we have uploaded. Or send us a question through the Contact page.



Class History/Memories

Champion from NSW

One of the site moderators recalls an important influence in NSW Sailfish. You might also like to have a look at Peter’s story about his time in the early days of Sailfish in NSW in the following Comments . . . .

The photograph in the gallery of “Argone”, in beautiful trim, being sailed by Peter Chapman brings back memories. I’m pretty sure that image was taken during the 1969/70 National Titles held at Narrabeen Lakes.
In December 1969, my Australian Sailfish was in build. The president of my then club, Blue Mountains Sailing Club at Wentworth Falls Lake, NSW, suggested to my father and I that we should drive down to Narrabeen during the titles to check out the top boats. I have a photo, taken by my father, of Peter Chapman adjusting the rigging of “Argone” on the beach before a race. He was wearing the same Canterbury-Bankstown football jersey as in the photo in the gallery.
Peter Chapman was one of the first, if not THE first, in New South Wales to build and race a Sailfish. He sailed in the first Australian Sailfish National Titles at Elwood, Victoria in 1968/69, finishing third. He won the 1969/70 National Title at Narrabeen.
Peter then did not sail in another national championships until the 1972/73 series held at Cairn Curran. That series was my first ‘away’ regatta.I sailed as a junior. I was pretty shy and awestruck, but I remember him as being very approachable and friendly.
In those days, the juniors started five minutes after the Open event. I remember watching from behind some truly epic tactical battles between Peter, Rob Champion and Pat Carroll. Whilst we had some light days, that series was predominantly sailed in heavy winds. Peter broke a mast in one of the early races. I remember him cheerfully and relaxedly pop-rivetting fittings onto a new alloy mast he had somehow procured, working into the night to have it ready for the next day’s racing.
In those days I had pretty well no idea about mast bend control. I remember clearly after one race Peter wandered over to me on the beach and very generously and kindly chatted about problems that he had observed with the rig of my boat. His advice led to some immediate changes and immediate improvement. Subsequently, it led to a major re-positioning and re-angling of my diamond stays, an alteration that served me for my following five seasons in Sailfish.
Peter came third in that series at Cairn Curran. It was won by Rob Champion, with Pat Carroll second. He didn’t sail in any subsequent Sailfish titles, which was a great pity.

Chris Cleary

Peter Chapman, 1969-70 titles 001 (2) 2.jpg
Peter Chapman, Argone, Narrabeen Nationals, 1969/70. [By Ken Cleary, Narrabeen, 1969]
A few things to note:
Boats are rigging up on the North side of the lake next to Wakehurst Parkway; this is where the club was based at the time. Jamieson Park and Collaroy Plateau are in the background.
Sailfish 193 with the hand painted Z on the sail; no idea who that was.
June Bowles, Neil’s wife, and Evelyn Carroll behind Peter.


A Dominant Display

From our correspondent in Western Victoria comes the following, but be warned, the name at the end might surprise a few . . . .

Comment: Victorian and national championships were an annual occurrence. The Nationals were contested over seven heats plus one practice race. The States were contested over five heats. That’s 13 races a year associated with the championships. Over a five year period that equates to 65 races. In the period of 1977 to 1982, one race stands out from the rest because it was dominated by one skipper. The second place getter was a good 30 minutes astern. That’s a championship race, not a club race.

The venue was Cairn Curran. It was a Victorian Championship. The wind was absolutely howling. Well above the recommended limit for the class. There is something to remember about the recommended limit. It was just a recommendation. This was a championship. A championship is meant to be a test of boat and skipper. The race officials let the race go on.

Out we all went. Sailing in survival mode. Well, most of us were in survival mode. Craig Ginnivan was in race mode. He conquered the conditions and not only led the race from start to finish but won by a good half an hour.

It was a dominant performance. There was a high retirement rate, but credit to the race officials for allowing the fleet to be tested in this way. Picture how far a Sailfish will travel in half an hour in a stiff breeze. In 65 championship races over those years, nobody dominated a race like this.

Upcoming Events

See you at Inverloch!

Now seven Sailfish coming, still hoping for more!

And check out the attached Comment about the 2018 Paynesville Classic Boat Rally . . .


Notice of Race.

At the 3rd Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta in January 2016, Andrew Chapman, an organiser of the regatta, relaunched “Debonair”, Jack Carroll’s first Australian Sailfish (Sailfish No.2, built 1957). She had been restored by Andrew and with it he won the “Best Presented Sailing Dinghy ” award. “Debonair” will be back again in 2017.

Andrew is the Coordinator for the 4th Inverloch Classic Dinghy Regatta to be held 26, 27 and 28 January 2017. The exciting news is that Jack Carroll will be attending to reacquaint himself with his historic boat. We will also have local boat 1870, “‘Off”, owned by Jeff Cole, Steven Floyd with 3400, “Gargle Blaster”, Greg Barwick with 2028, “Bruce!” (named after co-designer Bruce Scott),  Ian Milton with “Apsu” and Chris Cleary with 1918, “Janus”. Plus, Peter Chapman, the first NSW National Champion will be sailing Gooney Bird, the last NSW Registered Sailfish, so far! To all the other old Sailfish skippers out there, drag out your boats, dust ’em down, check the rigging, wash down the sail and come along to what will be a wonderful occasion.

Thurs 26

– late registration from 10 am

– social sail 2 pm

Fri 27

– beach display 10 am

– Regatta race 2 pm

– Regatta Dinner in the evening

Sat 28

– Park display and judging


Details including entry form are available at

Hope to see you there!