All that water and no way to use it.. yet.

Welcome to this temporary replacement for our weekly Blog.

For how long is anyone’s guess, but the blog WILL return as soon as we all can.

It should appear weekly if there is enough to fill it out, help if you can, please.


This is the only one I have (just before lockdown)

Must be noticeable to locals, no kids, no picnic, no sailboats.

This week I heard from half a dozen or so of our group and found that, like all of us, doing the right thing and staying indoors except for any permissible reason.

Dane says Hi! and wishes a speedy return to that which we all look forward to.

Eric is doing some touch-ups to his boats and will be ready as soon as they say we can go out to the boardwalk again.

Greg’s putting is some hours getting his new Fast schooner ready and will be waiting on the all-clear to pour the lead ballast and tune her up.

Russell has gone overall his fleet and made some sneaky alterations here and there to raise overall performance.

Rumours are flying in all directions as to how and when,  but I for one won’t run any risks to person or pocket until it is properly declared. Who would?

Barry is right into making up an I.O.M.  to add to the couple we already have. Knowing Bazza it will be a well-finished craft.

Brian is getting by OK but with no sailing or flying, he says his garden is looking the best in years.

Mine’s doing well, some Rainbow Silver beet/chard planted 6 weeks ago.

My Mega-schooner “Diana” is slowly coming along. In normal times it would have been on the water weeks ago, but, what’s the rush? 

The last main job is to make the keep with the correct weight bulb attached. To calculate how much lead it will need to achieve the designer’s waterline setting I needed to float the hull with enough weight in it to match the specific displacement (overall weight for the non-technical). As this is to be 27.7 lbs or 12.5 KG she is a hefty lift for an old bloke like me.

Thinking our bathtub would be ideal, and with permission from the port admiral,  there I went. But, oh! Bit of a problem. 

As always, when caught without a suitable venue it comes down to cunning, or whatever.

The bulb is cast in two haves and attached to the foot of the keel. Before the lead can be cast I utilize Russell’s famous Magic Sandbox after making up a suitable plug as a mould, bits like Cadburys, who have recently manufactured 12 million chocolate bunnies and no fewer than 300 million eggs for the Australian & New Zealand market. If you have 2 ½ hours to spare (who hasn’t) you can see how it is all made on SBS “On Demand”

I made the plug up a bit tediously this time (all that spare time ) and even added a handle.

If my guesstimation is correct,  all good to go. If not, well, try again. {to be continued in the next digest)

With no actual sailing to video I spent some otherwise idle hours recently putting together best clips of our wooden sloops. This was for a very large global audience but will be easily recognisable to Neangar sailors. No doubt you may recall seeing a lot of it but hopefully, it will still be worth a watch the way things are.

This months calendar. Not easy to miss a day.

Just the thing to remember what day it is.


Keep in mind.. COMMENTS are kosher.  

17 comments on “All that water and no way to use it.. yet.

  1. Hello. My name is Chrissy. I was down at Tom thumb a couple of Sundays ago and a lovely gentleman Hans, gave me the opportunity to try sailing. I absolutely loved it and I would love to join your club. I bought a boat but it was damaged when I got it in the post.
    Would anyone have a DF65 for sale. I’m so eager. Thankyou for your time

  2. Terence Robertson

    May 10, 2020 at 9:59 am Reply

    Thanks Mal for keeping the light on the water going for us all.
    On Mothers Day after the announcement of Stage 1 lifting of restrictions there would have been some hope we could get sailing again soon. However, in Victoria, it seems unlikely that much will change for several weeks.
    Perhaps that will make it even better when we can sit down for a coffee and, more importantly, get our fully serviced boats out on the water.

  3. Hi guys,
    I have spent my time during lock-down assembling a new 95 and I did have a bit of a hiccup when on the advice I picked up on YouTube I used “lock-tight” on the keel-bolt and when I tried to unscrew it, it sheered off. Whilst waiting for the replacement I started to build a “footy”. I have no experience in working with balsa so it was a learning exercise with a steep learning curve. I used the plank design technique and have cut up a old fishing rod for spars.
    I am looking forward to trying it in the water. I have taken some pics but do not know how to post them.

  4. HI, Mal, great blog, love reading the latest gossip.
    Have found a new venue for sailing in Port, haven’t given it a go yet but will post some photo’s later.
    Hello to all the gang.
    Till next time Cheers.

  5. Thank you for “Something different”
    What to do while self isolating? for me I’ve kept riding my bike(on my own) I have been to Axedale and back 6 or 7 times during the last month as well as a few others,that’s my external activity plus walking around Kennington.
    I’ve resurrected Photoshop Elements 11 which was out of dated and upgraded to 2020, it’s quiet a sophisticated piece of software( for me) it has 3 parts to the program, an organiser, photo editor and a video editor, currently I’m laboring through the organiser. I have over 14000 images (stills)
    Like you and Graeme , I digitised my B&W negs, Colour negs and slides over 25 years ago, I’ve sent via my phone a photo which I couldn’t attach here I hope you all enjoy it, it’s 3 MAD people on a miserable day in January this year.
    To the group enjoy your serenity in isolation!!!

    • That photo will be, well..different.☺
      I have over a terrabyte of photos from 10+ years of sailing, and that just the best of, I’ll be presenting some of the most interesting. ove rthe next whatever weeks.

  6. Thanks Mal.
    Great news and info about the new builds taking place.
    I really need one of those day clocks. Dunno what day it is most of the time. (Some people won’t notice any change in my case…)
    Have been digitising my old slide and negative collection – just an indicator of desperation I guess.
    Best wishes everyone

    • Thanks, Graeme I did that years ago and know how time-consuming it is, but then, doesn’t matter these day, hey? storing on DVD (optical media) is not a relaible long term thing. the coating deteriorates over time on some of them, but then usb external drives such as Toshiba are the best way to go, fast and you can manage them over and over.

  7. Thanks to both of you for helping out with your responses. It encourages me to go looking for all sort sof things. I’m aiming for next Wed.

  8. Hi Mal, how the bloggin hell are you.
    Well done on a very informative blog. Looks like quite a few of us are not wasting time by just sitting around. New boat looks good.
    I have been absorbed in a project of designing and fitting a canting keel to my old Ruffa Skutz phantom.
    It’s been a long and frustrating program with many trial prototypes before perfecting a design.
    The keel can be canted either manually from the TX or in auto mode controlled by a series of mercury switches to sense heel angle and compensate.
    If Australia Post can ever find a missing part I am sweating on, I could finish the project.
    If we are still in lockdown when it is finished, I will post a video of it in our pool. (That is of course if it works, and the phantom does not sink.)Hang in there and cheers to all the other land lubbers.

  9. Well done Mal, the voice over video was very good.
    The modified iom hull is being layed up with red ceader,old venetian blind blades I got of Rob cut into 1/4 inch strips, glue on two strips a day, starting on the keel next won’t be the monster you have to make, love your plug
    Thanks for the blog I look forward to them
    Keep well. Bazza

    • Barry,
      The iom construction manual says to glue the keel plank to the formers, but how do you remove the formers if they are glued to the keel? Cheers, Don.

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