In February, a few people made contact to let me know of a Sailfish for sale in an Antiques shop in North Geelong. So I loaded up the car and headed out.
When I got there it was a bust, the sail was ripped but worst of all the hull had been dropped on the port bow and was shattered, deck and bottom peeling away and dislodged frame 1. Disappointed, I turned to leave when the seller said “I’ve got another one over here”. When I turned all I could see was a distinctive blue colour and the letters “dile”. Any of us that were around in the mid to late seventies and early eighties knew Stanley Crocodile, an iconic boat built by Ray Cross and sailed by Peter Coburn and Peter Flynn.
Couldn’t be, I thought, Chris Cleary and I were talking about it just two days ago, what are the chances. And yet it was. As my heart rate went up I tried to play Mr Cool and haggle the price, but there was no way this boat wasn’t coming home on the roof of the car.
No mast, no boom, no rudder, no centreboard, no sail, but due to the good work of Ian Milton I had the complete Ockerfish rig at home with no hull, now here was a hull with no rig – perfect fit!
And the deck, oh the deck, without a complete replacement it will never be the same, but I am doing what I can.
So that’s the bad news, progress has been slow, mainly due to a cold and wet winter and the fact that my workshop is outside under the front deck, but progress is being made.
Peter Coburn was able to tell me the original colour name was Dulux Harlequin Blue, and I could still get it!
And Stanley’s well known crocodile and the lettering will be back on the bow soon as well, thanks to Brad Ginnivan from Moreton Bay Signs.
And this is the moment to bring grown men to tears . . . . . .
Just the fully rigged boat to come now, really looking forward to getting Stanley back in the water at Cairn Curran on November 25 and 26, with the Ockerfish rig.