Unexpected finds can be the most satisfying kind.

This afternoon I received a message from Paul, who had just picked up an Australian Sailfish from a bloke that was about to burn it. Paul reckons it needs a bit of work to bring it back to it’s prime but is so good it could probably be sailed now. The plan is to do a complete restore of Jaguar and whether that is completed or not, bring it along to Inverloch in January!

Check out the photos, and if you know anything about Jaguar’s history please get in touch so we can fill out the story.

[Jaguar, Australian Sailfish 875, Croydon, Victoria, by Paul Murphy, 18 November 2018]

Out of the Blue!

Brian rang, another Australian Sailfish has been found!

Number 83, Gretel, was built by Michael Haussegger and registered in 1962/63, sailed out of Parkdale and owned ever since by Michael and then the present owner, his son Steve. So that boat has been in the same family since it was built, at least 56 years ago, I don’t think anyone is going to beat that record.

Steve told Brian that he had had Gretel out on the water as recently as a few years ago, so here’s hoping that we see both Steve and Gretel at Inverloch in January, that would be a blast.

Another QLD boat recovered

Hot on the heels of his mammoth drive to Melbourne earlier this year to take possession of Ogg (1800) Warwick quickly realised that he would need a second boat for his kids to learn to sail on if he was to get any on-water time for himself.

And then Martin Kortlucke made contact with Chris Cleary to say that due to ill health he would have to part with his Brisbane-based Australian Sailfish. We contacted a few of our northern Sailfishers and Warwick was quick off the mark, so now he can rest easy knowing that he will get a chance to sail Ogg while his kids learn how to sail on their own Sailfish.

Here is Warwick’s report on progress so far, with a few photos as well:

“The hull looks like a really early vintage design.  It is in excellent condition with no obvious repairs completed.  Weighing in at healthy 38kg it is a solid build.  No flexing anywhere on the deck or bottom.  No evidence of any major water penetration.  The hull is glued and nailed together with a varnish finish.  Martin had recently given the hull a fresh coat of varnish and it looks great.

A real traditional build, solid looking bow and rounded bow shape, is that a tow ring or an assault weapon? [By Warwick Norton, Brisbane, 18 July 2018]
The aluminium mast and boom look like they might have come from another type of boat and been adapted.  The sail is in excellent condition and is a fresher build.  Martin had to bleach a lot of stains out of it caused by what he described as a possum nest.  It has come up a treat.  It has only 4 battens.  The top 3 are permanently tied in and are a very stiff rod design with no shape.  The bottom batten is an adjustable yellow bluestreak with shape. I googled the sailmaker but they seem to no longer exist.  I plan to fit flexible, adjustable battens.

Mast modified.jpg
Warwick’s new Sailfish, with the full rig. [By Warwick Norton, Brisbane, 18 July 2018]
 Boat came with the original centreboard, boomvang, and a rudder made by Martin and friends.  I have made up a new mainsheet.

No sail number present.  No hull number or evidence of a name ever placed on the hull.

As such we do not have any identification as yet.

On the first rigging it became evident the mast was a bit long and needed a bit of length removed.

I have taken about 40cm off the base of mast, repositioned the side and forestays and setup with some rake that was zero if not leaning slightly forward. The height of the boom has been lowered to about 15 – 16 inch.

I also test set up the cadet sail for the kids and will send one through a photo of that when we relaunch the ‘fish.  The kids are going to come up with a new name.  I plan for this to be the kids boat.”


So there we have it, so far. Norton’s Navy is BACK! For those of us old enough to remember.

Does anyone out there recognise this boat, can you give us some more details perhaps? A plan number would be great, or maybe you recognise it from sailing against it at State or National Titles. If you do, drop us a line, we would love to be able to fill in some backstory.




Ogg, the Sailfish, not the giant of Hebrew legend.

Plan number 1800

Built by Lindsay Phillips in September 1968, the plan was sold in August and the finished boat registered in early October of that year.

The hull was originally painted black with a varnished deck.  The name “Ogg” was in Old English writing and painted in black on the foredeck.

Lindsay, from Diamond Creek, had sailed Ogg alongside Jack Carroll and others at Elwood Sailing Club during the heady days of Sailfish(ing).  Competition was fierce and so rigging and performance of the craft was paramount.  Ogg has single strand stainless steel stays and jumper strut, with a full six batten sail.  Lindsay was also a very involved member of the Association, taking on the role of Editor of the newsletter for many years.

After Lindsay acquired/purchased/part built a fibreglass sailfish he named “GLOGG” (Glass Ogg) the original Ogg was purchased by Sue Hill in 1973 and conveyed to Bendigo Yacht Club where she was sailed in Club competition.  Jack Carroll was a regular visitor to Bendigo Yacht Club and mentored many of the 10 or more would-be Sailfish sailors, always encouraging them and suggesting ways to get more from themselves and their boats.

The National sailfish titles were held at Bendigo Yacht Club in 1974/75 where Ogg managed a 3rd place in the open handicap event.

About this time the AYF (Australian Yachting Federation) introduced a ruling that all boats must have a quick release method for the halyard.  Fittings for such were not in great production and so the system employed on Ogg is one that a few of the Bendigo boats adopted to get around the ruling.

Ogg won the Bendigo Yacht Club Sailfish Class Championship title in 1974/75.

Towards the middle of 1974 it became obvious Ogg had a major hull problem and the decision was made to scrap the hull in favour of building a new one.

The original idea was to create a whole new sailfish which was to carry the name “Zephirus” (West wind of Spring) and the new hull was adorned with the name, however finances were a bit tight and a future career beckoned requiring a shift to Melbourne.  Rather than purchase new spars, sail etc., the Ogg equipment was put back into service for the occasional times Ogg touched the water.  A rough attempt was made to remove the Zephirus name and when a revarnish is in order complete removal will be possible.

So “Ogg” was reborn with a new Western Red Cedar hull.  She was sailed rarely, due to work commitments, and has been garaged since a rare sail in 1980.

Mast, boom, cane battens and sail, mainsheet blocks, rudder, rudder box and centreboard are all original equipment.

Ogg, and future skipper (?) at new home in Brisbane. Man, but that is a lot of rake in that mast! [By Warwick Norton, Brisbane, 13 April 2018]
This last week, Warwick Norton made the long trip south from Brisbane to pick up Ogg from Sue. I was able to help Warwick and Sue load Ogg up for the trip north and am able to report that Ogg is in fantastic condition, just needing a check over before being put back on the water for the first time in a while.

Ogg and transport in Melbourne, read for the long drive home. [By Warwick Norton, northern Melbourne, 10 April 2018]
My thanks to Sue Hill for supplying pretty much all of this history, and to Warwick, for making sure another Sailfish has found a good home.

Lake Boga boats have new homes

This afternoon I received two emails just three minutes apart to let me know that the two Lake Boga boats that we blogged about in December have gone to new homes.

Craig Conn has picked up 3411 and Mark Teasedale has grabbed 3409, so that is two good boats to two good homes and they will be back on the water on Cairn Curran very soon. I am sure we will be seeing them at the November Classic Dinghy Weekend and I really hope they both make their way down to Inverloch for the Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta next Australia Day weekend.

Congrats to the new owners – we expect pictures of them rigged up and sailing now of course – I better update the Register!

Sailfish 150 is back on the water!

This story started in March last year, although I guess you could say it started in the early 1960’s. But a boat that has been hidden away for over 50 years in North East Victoria is out and about again. To read all about the story of the find and the restore and to check out some pictures as well go to the Gallery/Restorations/Sailfish 150.



Whatever happened to Zippy?

Zippy is one of the lesser known Pat Carroll boats and is that rarest of beasts, an all fibreglass Australian Sailfish, both hull and deck. Pat is Jack Carroll’s younger brother and won a total of 6 Victorian State Titles (the 73/74 title on Zippy) and two National Titles. During the seventies and eighties a few fibreglass Sailfish were made, usually with a fibreglass hull and a wooden deck, like 3342 Glasshopper, but very few were made all fibreglass.

As far as we can tell, Zippy was built for Pat Carroll and fits in between 3160 New Thing and 3250 Ockerfish. This lends some credibility to it being 3189 as that is the only plan shown being sold to Pat between 3160 and 3250. There were a number of plans (plan numbers really) sold to fibreglass boat manufacturers in the same period though, hence the uncertainty.

DSC_8219 - Sailfish 2
Zippy deck, needing some TLC. [By Hayden Ramsdale, somewhere near Melbourne, 26 December 2017]
Zippy didn’t give Pat the results he was after, so after he had finished with Zippy, whatever the number was, it languished in his back yard until Glenn Thatcher bought the hull and it then passed on to Brett Ramsdale, who has had it ever since. In the early eighties Brett acquired from me, the original Ockerfish sail, as I had just bought a new one, but there things stalled. With the resurgence in interest in the Sailfish Brett has decided the time has come to do some restoration work. It is unclear yet as to how extensive the task is, but Brett is considering removing the deck, doing a repair and refit and then replacing the deck.

DSC_8218 - Sailfish 2.jpg
Zippy’s hull showing the deck join and a few marks and bumps. [By Hayden Ramsdale, somewhere near Melbourne, 26 December 2017]
While an all fibreglass boat won’t make the cut at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, it is a perfect fit for the Classic Dinghy Invitation Weekend, so we hope to see Zippy back on the water at Cairn Curran soon.

Lake Boga Sailfish

Through the eighties Lake Boga Yacht Club became a strong centre for Sailfish in the north west of Victoria, and a lot of this was due to the efforts of Ray Hale, and the involvement of his daughter Julie. With the Association going out of action in the late eighties, these boats and their history were lost.

Just before Christmas I received an email saying that the sender had tracked down a couple of Sailfish, so I waited about thirty seconds, and followed up on the lead. Rod, the sender, is looking for a wooden Cherub to restore and during his search made contact with Phil Robin, the Lake Boga Yacht Club Commodore who mentioned that he had two Australian Sailfish at the club that were looking for a new home.

So I called Phil, we had a bit of a chat, but with Christmas looming we decided to follow it up further in the New Year. Both boats are complete as far as we can tell, both have been stored under cover, which is great news, and Phil expects that both will be available for new homes in 2018. The details are yet to be sorted out, Christmas getting in the way and all, but I do know that the two boats are 3409, Sharkie,

3409 Sharkie. [By Phil Robin, LBYC, December 17 2017]
and 3411, name unknown.

3411. [By Phil Robin, LBYC, December 17 2017]
The 3409 plan number was sold to Barry Middleton and the 3411 plan number was sold to Bruce Truelove, both in August 1981.

If you have any information on either of these boats please get in touch, I would love to be able to give a bit more history to them both, and all going well, keep an eye out on the website Classifieds in January for more.

And if you do happen to know of a wooden Cherub that is looking for a new home, let us know, it would be nice to return favour for Rod.

What a Ripper!

In early November the website received an email from Al Martin, letting us know that he had just been given a Sailfish that was in need of restoration. The boat had been stored in a shed in Campbell’s Creek for over 20 years and was Jamie Robinson’s old boat 3333, Ripper. Those of us who were around in Victoria in the early eighties might remember a green hull with a green (!!) Frank Hammond sail. From what we know, 3333 went from Jamie to Scots College where it was used as a trainer and then to the shed in Campbell’s Creek.

Check out the spreaders. [By Al Martin, Drummond North, 15 December 2017]
Al came over to Cairn Curran a few weeks ago and introduced himself, although without his Sailfish, as it does need a bit of restoration work, and then yesterday he emailed me some photos of Ripper rigged up at his place. To quote Al:

“3333 seriously has 20 plus coats of paint on it – lots of red lead and then orange – thus the cracked look -(Its often over 50 celsius in the sheds up here) there is a small amount of edge dammage and a small but quite professional  hull patch underneath”.

This might be a good time to invest in sandpaper stocks, there might be a lot required to take Ripper back to a sound base!

And he even has a keen Sailfish sailor waiting for Ripper to be ready to launch, his niece is dead keen to have a go!


Almost ready to go, just a bit of sanding and a lick of paint needed. [By Al Martin, Drummond North, 15 December 2017]
So we are looking forward to seeing 3333 back on the water with us some time soon.

Geelong boat has a new home

While he was in Victoria for the inaugural Classic Dinghy Invitation Weekend at Cairn Curran, Chris Cleary took the time to pop down to Geelong for a closer inspection of the Sailfish that was on our Classifieds page.

He came, he saw, he bought. 3111 is the number, but with no name that we can find, and we have no other knowledge of the boat at this stage. It is on its way back to Lake Macquarie and into the hands of Tony Bytheway, which is a name many of us know well.

If any of you out there know anything more about 3111 we would love to hear from you; Tony in particular wants to be able to put together a bit of the boat’s history. So shake out the dustier sections of your memories and get in touch!