San Francisco update

For those who have been wondering how Kellee is going with her new build in San Francisco, she has posted an update on her progress, click the link below to go to her Tiny Boat Build blog:

San Francisco Australian Sailfish build update


If you’re going to San Francisco . . .

Yeah, I know it was corny, but how could I resist?

In August last year we sent a plan to San Francisco. Kellee has been in touch a couple of times for advice and information and has now started  building. You can follow the progress on her blog here:

San Francisco Australian Sailfish Build

Don’t be scared off by the sight of an Alcort Sailfish in Kellee’s first post, that is where her journey started, so it does belong there. But when you look a bit deeper, there is Brian Carroll on Jack’s Toy.

Really looking forward to seeing the finished product out on the water.

News Flash! News Flash! (Again).

Last week, a newly completed Australian Sailfish was launched into the tropical waters of Keppel Bay at Yeppoon in Queensland. 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 extraordinary.

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.

The proud builder with his boat on the impressive rigging area at Keppel Bay Sailing Club [By Royce Powe’s father, Keppel Bay, Qld; 12 Oct 2017]
IMG_2020 (2)
And on the gently shoaling beach. Looks like boating paradise. [By Royce Powe’s father, Keppel Bay, Qld; 12 Oct 2017]

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.



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.


Jack’s Toy, Sailfish 3461, rigging photos. [All the above by Brian Carroll, Paynesville, Victoria, 7 October 2017]
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.

Brian on board Jack’s Toy at it’s launch at Paynesville. [By Danuta Sowa, Paynesville, Victoria, 7 October 2017]

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.

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.

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.

So Jack rang last night . . . . . .

Jack Carroll, class co-designer, specifically wanted to ask me to add his comments on what an excellent post, titled More on Boat Building, Chris Leyland had written last November about building a Sailfish.

Jack thought that Chris had really encouraged first time builders and had also captured the essence of what the boat is about, simple to build, fun to sail, easy to transport and, in the right hands, a very competitive boat for teenager or adult.

So have a look at what Chris has to say, look for his entry in the November posts or select Boatbuilding under Blog Topics, check out the information on the builds we know about, and have a go!


A new Carroll boat

It has been a very long time since one of the Carroll clan has built a new Sailfish but it is now officially time for the rest of us to start worrying, Brian has made a start on his new boat, and the sail is already done! If you are building or thinking about building keep checking out the photos on this blog, you really won’t get a better guide.

Latest update now at the top, Brian is racing along!

So here it is! New boat, new sail, new cradle, original Ockerfish mast sleeved to straighten and add the height it always needed. Note go fast hammer and water bottle. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 29 July 2017]
I am blown away! I didn’t think you could get ply that looked this good anymore. Check out the grain pattern and the detail on the nose. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 19 July 2017]
Hull turned and bottom epoxied, looking very nice. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 19 July 2017]
Deck epoxied. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 17 July 2017]
Check out the gunwale detail, overlapping the ply like this makes for a stronger and more watertight fit, and rounding the edge makes it just a LOT more comfortable. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 14 July 2017]
And the clamps come off. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 14 July 2017]
And the deck is on! No more secrets to be revealed about construction techniques then. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 11 July 2017]
Centreboard case detail. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 11 July 2017]
In the above photo note the blocks for the traveller and for the footstraps.

Chainplate and side detail, see my comments below. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 11 July 2017]
For those playing close attention to Brian’s progress there are a few thing to be aware of in the above photo. Firstly, the use of plywood sides, this keeps the weight down but does require the recalculation of frame sizes due to the reduced width of the sides. Also note the reinforcing around the chainplate for strength and rigidity and that the inside has been epoxied to seal the ply.

And turned over! Note the extra stringers for added strength and stiffness. Gunwales to go on tonight I am told. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 5 July 2017]
Bottom ply on, edges trimmed, Rana (the dog) inspecting for faults. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 5 July 2017]
Port side fitted, I don’t think the carpet roll or the fan in the background are a part of the same project. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 4 July 2017]
Starboard side fitted. Note the keel shaping and that at least some of the deck stringers are already in. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 4 July 2017]
And today’s helpful hint for all you budding boat builders out there – do both sides on the same day, DO NOT do one side and think you can come back tomorrow to do the other. You might find you have a slightly twisted hull.

Centreboard case detail. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 29 June 2017]
Transom fitted over frame 6, keel has started to be shaped. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 29 June 2017]
Bottom stringers and keel plank fitted. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville,29 June 2017]
Six days ago, Brian said progress might be slow, if that is the case I would be stunned to see what he could do when he was in a hurry! The three photos above were received this morning.

You might like to review Chris Cleary’s comments below about how fast a build can be!

Frame set up, looking from the stern. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 26 June 2017]
And there has been progress, today’s photo update is above.

Deck plank with centreboard slot cut out and set up on strong back. It does seem a bit minimalist so far. [By Brian Carroll, Paynesville, 23 June 2017]
Chris Cleary has seen the photo above, his comment . . . . “But a Sailfish can go from next to nothing to a completed hull in a very short time. Good on ya Brian. See you at Cairn Curran”





The Trials of older boats

This in this week from Jeff, one of our Inverloch Irregulars . . . .

Gave 1870 a big workout on the weekend. Fast but she showed her age and so did I.
Could not get comfortable unless hiking out, my hips are not as flexible as they once were!
Pulled the rudder screws out of the transom (rot)
Glue joint in the mast failed, repairable.
Who knows what we used way back then.
Good to see Ken back on the water too.

So, some wintertime repair and restoration in store to be ready for the 2018 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta then.