Stanley Crocodile

Back from the Dead

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!

Faded and battered and missing a few (!!) bits, Stanley comes home. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 21 February 2017]
Gouged and battered but still mostly sound. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 21 February 2017]
And the deck, oh the deck, without a complete replacement it will never be the same, but I am doing what I can.

We all know that image, but it will take some work to get back, and check out the bow corner, the other one is worse. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 24 February 2017]

Many of us have seen this transom as it sailed away from us. Still with the original registration disc [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 21 February 2017]
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.

Bruce! and Stanley went for a visit to Lake Wendouree to catch up with Peter Coburn and Peter Flynn, Stanley wasn’t yet ready to go in the water, note the lack of mast step, traveller and footstraps. [By Greg Barwick, Lake Wendouree, 18 March 2017]
Peter Coburn was able to tell me the original colour name was Dulux Harlequin Blue, and I could still get it!

Down to the serious stuff, after taking photos and tracings of the original image and lettering, it was time to take Stanley’s deck back to bare wood. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 1 April 2017]
One of the more distressing moments, the deck was so badly deteriorated there was no option but to sand through the first layer of ply in some areas to get it to a point that I could revarnish, but the ghost of Stanley still shines through. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 12 April 2017]
Lots of patching and fairing and still not the fairest in the land! Poor Bruce! has been on the receiving end of lots of splatter. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 17 June 2017]
A few coats of that fabulous colour help. [By Greg Barwick, 2 August 2017]
Lettering touched up, not replaced, keeping the original as much as possible, and a couple of coats of varnish on that battered transom. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 29 August 2017]
When all else fails, hide it! First coat, Pretty rough but bound to improve, teeth still to come. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 10 September 2017]
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.

Another small step, new rudder fitting screwed down onto the deck, test fitting with Ockerfish’s rudder. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 11 September 2017]
Nearly ready to hi the water, fittings back on for the first time in 25? 30? years, just the new artwork to go on the foredeck and the Ockerfish rig to be fitted. And Bruce! has been cleaned up since this photo was taken as well. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 24 September 2017]

And this is the moment to bring grown men to tears . . . . . .

Before. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 24 February 2017]
After, thanks to Brad Ginnivan for reproducing the original deck art work so well. [By Greg Barwick, Diamond Creek, 30 September 2017]
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.