News Flash! News Flash! (Again).

Last week, a newly completed Australian Sailfish was launched into the tropical waters of Keppel Bay at Yeppoon. It was the second Sailfish launch in the space of seven days. Given the demise of the Australian Sailfish as an active class in the late 1980’s, this is extraodinary.

The new boat is ‘Woody’, built by Royce Powe. It is the lovely boat featured on this website in the Queensland section of the Gallery.

Here she is on the impressive rigging area at Keppel Bay Sailing Club :




And on the gently shoaling beach. Looks like boating paradise :


IMG_2020 (2)


Congratulations to Royce. Such a beautiful example of the Sailfish class might inspire other builds in the Sunshine State.

It is interesting to note that, in the early 1960’s, Queensland was the first state to which the Australian Sailfish class spread after it originated in Victoria. This blogmeister can feel in his bones the stirrings of  a Northern Sailfish Revivalist Tour, a caravan of baby-boomer Victorian and New South Wales disciples travelling north, probably in mid-winter.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

News Flash! News Flash! Unique event at Paynesville.

Yesterday, Saturday 7 October, in a breezy 10 to 18 knots of gusty wind, Brian Carroll launched his newly built Australian Sailfish on the Gippsland Lakes at Paynesville. In a lovely tribute to his father, the new boat was named ‘Jack’s Toy’.

This boat would have to be the first Sailfish built in Victoria since the 1980’s. The sail was made by Brian, proprietor of Unique Sails, Paynesville.. He reports that it is a light hull, requiring lead correctors  to meet minimum weight.



Congratulations Brian! The boat looks great. It  will be wonderful to see her at the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend at Cairn Curran Sailing Club at the end of next month.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2017 Zhik Single Handed Regatta

This website has been informed by Tony Bytheway, our Lake Macquarie correspondent, that the annual Zhik Single Handed Regatta is to be held at  South Lake Macquarie Amateur Sailing Club (SLMASC) on November 4th and 5th, 2017. SLMASC is located at Sunshine, and was the site of heats of several Australian Sailfish NSW Championships in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. It is a wonderful venue for dinghy sailing.

The old boat Janus is sniffing the breeze, particularly after the wonderful time she had after being dragged out of mothballs for the Inverloch regatta last January. Her skipper however is uncertain as to his ability to cope with eight races in two days. Anyone in the NSW branch of our class who may be interested can find details of the event at Should there be a Sailfish entrant, please let this website know so that we can report on how you go.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Current Header Photo

A heat start at the 1980/81 National Titles, photo taken by John Milton.

Unknown Victorian skipper on Tony Bytheway’s boat 2165, Jim; Warren Jones on 2159, Silent Running; Chris Drury on 3390, Muffin; Ian Milton on 2171, Deceptive Benz; Scott Hammond on 3399, Pertinacious; others unknown, but if you can recognise any of them let us know.

This Title was eventually won by Graeme Remington on 2164, Licorice Stick, who is tucked in behind 3390 and 2171 in this photo.

Posted in Class History/Memories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Plans! Plans! Plans!

Over the last year we have had well over 40 requests for plans of the Australian Sailfish. Just quietly, this blew Chris and I away, you have exceeded our wildest expectations.

If you requested a set of plans and have started, or even completed a build, we would love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter if you are here in Australia, or in Canada, the USA or Europe, if you have a story to tell about your build, or photos to share please get in touch via the Contact page.

Brian here in Victoria and Royce in Queensland have been incredibly generous with information and photos of their builds, and each time we can put up a new blog about a build or add photos to the Gallery it supplies guidance and inspiration for others.

So go on, we would love to hear about how your build is going.

Posted in Boatbuilding | Tagged | Leave a comment

A few small changes

This website is nearly a year old, and to celebrate Chris and I thought we should try our hand at a slight revamp, hopefully not so much as to scare anyone, least of all ourselves.

The response from everyone has been fantastic, both in turning up at events, with or without a boat, and in online support via stories, photos and emails, so thank you all.

Plan requests have exceeded our wildest expectations and the idea that we have boats being built in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, plus San Francisco and a few places in Europe is just astounding.

There are more photos of our latest Queensland boat in the Queensland Gallery, well done Royce, so have a look at that as well. I am sure that if any of us are up around Keppel Bay it would be a blast to have another Sailfish to race against.

Keep the stories and the photos coming, doesn’t matter if they are old photos or new ones, it is all part of the history of the Australian Sailfish.

Posted in Site Updates | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lost boat found!

Here is one for the taking. No mast and no sail but it does come with a rudder and centreboard that are in pretty good shape, as is the hull itself, although there has been a hole repaired on the bottom. This one looks like it has been a real racing boat at some stage (just have a look at that rudder box) and not just someone’s play thing. Brian’s comment was that is a Carroll rudder box, or a good copy.

Ready and waiting for a new owner to get it on the water.

We don’t know a name or number, but it is ready to be checked out at:
123 Retro Antiques
3/287 Melbourne Road
North Geelong
Asking price is $180.
If you recognise it please let me know, if you are interested or know someone else who might be can you pass this on, can’t have any being lost, and the more we get on the water the better. There is another photo in the Classifieds.
Posted in Boatbuilding | Tagged | Leave a comment

Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend

This is an event for classic dinghy classes of any construction! So if you have a fibreglass Sailfish, (Brett), or a composite Sailfish, or a conventionally built Australian Sailfish, time to get that boat out, do some tidying up and get it ready!

It seems like the end of November is a long way off, but it is shocking how quickly that time will evaporate if you are trying to get your boat ready, so hop to it.

The venue is well known to many of us; Cairn Curran Sailing Club will be our host for the weekend of the 25th and 26th of November and there is a range of accommodation available in the area, from Castlemaine through to Maldon, so start to check that out as well before it is all booked.

For the latest up to date information, like schedules and stuff like that, check out either the Cairn Curran Sailing Club website at for the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend (not the Regatta the week before) or the Victorian Classic Dinghy Latest News at or keep checking back here, as we find out more we will be posting it for you.

Hope to see you there, Cairn Curran has a great Australian Sailfish history, it is where our first National Title winner, Leigh Marriott came from, and his boat, Mrs Vicious will be there.

Posted in Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Getting started

From the exotic Central Coast of NSW, Chris Leyland remembers his start in sailing and his first forays on an Australian Sailfish. Read on . . . .


Before entering High School, I crewed on a Manly Junior, sailing in the crowded Manly Harbour, bobbing between Hydrofoils and Manly Ferries. In my first season, we won the B division series. During that same year, Dad purchased a Flying 11, which we raced at Narrabeen on a Sunday. It was an old boat, a glass hull, before any official glass F11 hulls and although we had fun, it wasn’t a fast boat. It wasn’t long before Dad was crewing for me! His . . . . eh-hmm “weight” was a distinct advantage in heavy air and we had lots of great father/son times, but it wasn’t long before I yearned to be more competitive.

The hot shot class at Narrabeen, full of excitement, speed and seemingly endless enjoyment, was the Sailfish. To a thirteen year old, this was something that had all the aspects that I was looking for, but sadly I didn’t have the money to get one; thirteen year olds are usually pretty broke, but there were a couple of second hand boats available.  There was a FAST proven boat, sailed by Jim Sayers, whose boat “Fury”, sail number 1257, became available and it took no convincing to take it for a test sail. Jim had done well in Club, State and National racing and it was a good looking light blue and white boat, with matching light blue and white mainsail.

It was suggested that I race it one Sunday, although I had only previously had a 10 minute test sail on it, in very calm conditions. That first race Fury lived up to all its glory, but sailing it took some getting used to. I started counting how many times I capsized and was up to 35 times before giving up on counting. That was in the FIRST LAP!  Only 3 more laps to go. . . but I did finish and was the last boat in, much to the starter boat crew’s dismay! At least a skinny teenager could easily right this boat, even time after time. . . after time, after time. BUT I was well and truly “hooked”!

It took a little while, but I eventually acquired Fury, partially via a birthday present and an agreement to find a part time job and pay off the balance (a delivery boy at a chemist only made 75 cents for an entire afternoons work! Talk about slavery).


Chris on Fury. [By Bob Leyland, Toronto, 1976]

It didn’t take long to get the hang of sailing Fury and not long before I was starting to move up the the fleet and learning how to gain some advantages over rivals. Because I was light, I was fast in light and drifter conditions and from time to time turned a few heads and by the end of my first season I was starting to become competitive. I had some idols in the class, some of who are still around now!

Sailfish became very important to me, Brian Carroll actually helped me to consider a career path in sail making (after making a model yacht sail, during a BBQ at our place one Narrabeen nationals). I became the last apprentice at the Miller and Whitworth Sail loft and I ended up doing a lot of research into tuning and getting Fury and my future boats to also go quickly.

Once again, I would like to thank Messrs Barwick, Cleary and Milton, for their efforts in getting not only this site up and running, but for the establishment of a “focal point” in the resurgence of the Sailfish class.

Apart from reading the newly posted Blogs, articles and news items, along with the odd new photo or video that surfaces and with your stories, (hint, hint) I look forward to the day when the site announces a “newly formed racing division” is once again regularly racing at a sailing club.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chris’s last point is well made – dredge through your memory while you still can and send in your own experiences in getting started in Sailfish for us all to enjoy. I would very much like to make this an ongoing series but that means I need input.


Posted in Class History/Memories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cheap Clamps!

I knew that would get your attention.

These are the improvised clamps that were used along with a few conventional models by Brian Carroll in the building of his new Sailfish. And there is an update on that as well, so scroll down and have a look at some really nice work in the latest photos.

But now, back to the clamps. First, get a length of 100mm diameter plastic waste pipe with a wall thickness of around 8 – 10 mm. Then cut this into roughly 30mm wide sections, so you end up with lots of little waste pipes. Then cut with a fine blade, like a hacksaw blade, each section along the 30mm length. Even with this split the section will be quite hard to open, thus creating a strong grip, a clamp.

If you are concerned about marking the deck slip some scrap pieces in between the deck and the plastic, and if any of the above is unclear check out the blog below on “A New Carroll Boat” dated June 25 and have a look at the picture roughly six down as of this writing to get a visual.

Posted in Boatbuilding | Tagged | Leave a comment