Yes, it’s been long hours and little rest for the brave boatbuilder and his trusty moll. Sienna EX No 2 was handed over last week after a lovely lunch at St Bernard’s Hotel just up the road, complete with one of Mr Penfold’s excellent bottles of St Henri – our heartfelt thanks to Geoff, her new owner.
Geoff and his son Dan will complete the electrics, upholstery and canvas cuddy, then rig and set sail. They are fortunate to live close to the delightful Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney with ready access to the Pittwater and Brisbane waters – surely one the world’s finest sailing grounds. I expect to see photos of her perfectly set tan sails soon!
While Sienna No 2 is almost identical to No 1, we’ve fine-tuned a few details with a slightly larger cabin area and simplified some details. The tillers are now lift-up and we’ve fitted teak soles and steps to this one. We think she’s lovely.
Trailers have always been hard for us with our boats’ fixed keels but our new Australian made custom designed braked trailer is just right.
We’re now well on the way with No 3 – this one destined for a Fremantle customer.
While we are very impressed with the 2 HP Protruar electric outboard, fitted to the first Sienna EX, we’ve been in contact with the distributors regarding a short shaft version, a more powerful version and the supply of the engine pod and control tiller as separate items. I’ve designed a retractable sail drive unit based on the Protruar which I hope to get manufactured. The idea is simple – the engine pod is bolted to the tracks in a cylindrical shaft which is glassed to the boat. A fitted cover plate is attached to the bottom of the motor so that when it is pulled up the cover seals the hole and smoothes the water flow. We simply can’t have our sailing performance compromised by pesky engines. The unit’s appeal to me and lots of customers is obvious – push down motor, twist grip – boat motors. Pull up motor, boat sails. No more petrol and no more pulling on bits of string. Batteries of lithium, sun-charged by Solbian – perfect.
A couple of visitors to our yard have mentioned that the photos ‘don’t do her justice’ and ‘don’t show how spacious she is.’ Well for the record, the cockpit sole is 2.1 metres by 1 metre, the bunks are 2 metres long and there’s a huge amount of storage space.
Just a soon as we can we’ll get some more photos – bear with us, it’s been all work and no play these last few months. Not that there’s much leisure in the near future – we have a Stornaway kit to get out and another Shimmy likely for Marymount School – their third, no less. But it’s lovely to have the work and I do enjoy it – just don’t expect me to write amusing blogs very often, that’s all.
Heads down then – Derek
Michael Liles of Victoria has sent us a report on his participation in the Tawe Nunnugah Raid 2013 in Tasmania and by all accounts his Stornaway ‘Ysolde’ acquitted herself very well – here’s a few extracts from his report:
"Ysolde" performed beyond expectations. The only other comparable yacht was a Drascombe lugger with a skilled crew of three, which had the edge on us to windward on account of her centreboard, but only just; our tacking angles were quite respectable. In all other conditions, light, moderate and fresh, we usually outpaced her. Thanks to Frank, who paid more attention to sail trim than I would have done! Although he's full of ideas, suggesting every complication from lee boards to inner staysails, which I have no intention of putting into practise!
The Stornaway proved itself to me as a very seaworthy and safe vessel. On the last two days we had to contend with winds of 20 knots with frequent hard and sustained gusts of well over 25, and we never wetted the gunwales. One feature which drew increasing attention as the days went on was the dodger which kept us dry, ours being the only boat having one, while other crews were drenched with spray.
The sail symbol led us to be called "The Flying Thong".
The Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart was tremendously enjoyable. I was particularly interested in the other Stornaway on show, a beautifully fitted out and finished gaff cutter with full cabin. Both Stornaways attracted quite a bit of interest.
Congratulations Ysolde and her crew. Incidentally 25 knots is Force 6 (22-27 knots) according to Admiral Beaufort and his famous scale (1874 Edition) in which you can experience:
‘a strong breeze, large waves 8-13 foot, whitecaps common, lots of spray.’
‘That to which a well conditioned Man O’ War could just carry in chase, full and by Royals and top gallants’
‘Smacks double reef gaff mainsails’
So there you are!
There’s a brand new Sienna taking shape down at Lightwave Yachts – as you can see from the photos, the hull is laid up and all the principal bulkheads in place. The hull is engineered to be significantly lighter than the average, by careful use of hand-laid woven cloth and flexible foam core. She’ll be back up in our yard shortly to continue the fit-out. The new boat is, surprise, surprise, our favourite dark blue – the new owner looked at No 1 and was instantly smitten. I have to say that a dark blue hull with a crisp red boot topping, in our opinion, is very hard to beat. Geoff and his son Dan have specified tanbark sails to complete the picture.
Stornaway owner Michael Liles is about to set sail on a Tasmanian expedition – a Raid no less, called the Tawe Nunnugah 2013.
As one of a fleet of wonderful sailing craft and intrepid crews, they will sail from Cockle Creek, south west of Hobart and wend their way up the spectacularly beautiful coastal waterways, past the Huon Estuary, across the Great Bay, and on up to Hobart. There they’ll finish with a flourish of flogging canvas and a panoply of pennants triumphal. Oddly enough there’s a boat festival on as well so they’ll b a hurrahs aplenty and a hurling of hats as the brave sailors return from the sea.
Bon voyage Michael and may your luffs be tight and your rum raisin free.
Tawe Nunnugah Raid 2013 Recherche Bay to Hobart 30 January to 8 February http://tawe-nunnegah.rforster.org/home
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival 8 to 11 February Hobart http://www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au/
We had a successful launch on Sunday at Victoria Point, one of our favourite local sailing grounds with the delightfully named Coochiemudlo Island as a backdrop. The weather was absolutely perfect, the quality of the cloud formations exemplary and the crew/new owners behaved faultlessly. I really am so pleased with this new boat, the combination of the best attributes of Secret and Stornaway have worked perfectly.
More photos in the Scruffie Marine Gallery - our thanks to Jonathan Goss for the pics.
We’re getting closer to launching – the boat is now rigged, ready and waiting. A couple of late arrivals, the Italian opening ports, will be fitted shortly and her electrical fit-out completed within the week, but hey, we can still go sailing so Sunday’s looking good for her shakedown cruise.
This is a very exciting time for us as we are only weeks away from launching our new Sienna EX.
Here's some more build photos.
We know you like to check out all the details . . . . so here's some more build photos
Here are some build photos of the first of our two new Sienna EX models which we are building for the outdoor education organisation. The new boat, some years in part-time development, is now finally getting closer to the water. It’s been a joy to design and very rewarding to build as I have been able to incorporate some nice Art Deco features with the Silky Oak trim.
We’ve never had the luxury of building proper prototypes – ours have to be pretty right straight out of the box. There’s always room for improvement of course, but the more boats we design and build and the more sea miles under our belt, the easier it gets. On budget and on time, I’m pleased to report, the new Sienna is set up for school, cadet and outdoor education use but these exacting specifications simply translate into a better boat for the private user.
The Sienna will be put to work immediately as the first in the proposed hire fleet. Provisional rates are $300 for a full day, $400 for a Friday While* weekend and $500 for a week plus delivery and pick-up, if needed. A professional coxswain will also be available – SE Queensland first, other states hopefully soon after.
Lady hirers can specify tall dark muscular Italian skippers in a crisp white uniform but that comes under ‘extras’ of course. The new boat will comfortably carry 6 passengers plus captain, seated in the self-draining cockpit or ‘down below’ in the canvas-top cuddy. There are two proper bunks, opening brass ports (Italian of course), port-a-potti, sink and small bench top. Lots of storage space and easy boarding with custom grab-rails completes the list of home (or away) comforts.
The 2.5 metre long cockpit can be used for a variety of purposes – sailing, motoring, fishing of course, but also under-awning wining, dining (there’s room for a folding table), more wining, horizontal folk dancing and sleeping – in that order.
The new boat can also be rowed with two separate positions for two oarsmen available. Her Secret 20 derived racing hull and three quarter length keel should make her easy to propel and directionally stable. Of course there’s an auxiliary motor – a 2HP electric by Protruar and if things go pear-shaped, she’s self-righting. As they’ll be used for kids that’s important – these days they’re not allowed to drown them and even towing them in shark-infested waters is frowned on.
An evolution of the well proven Stornaway 18 rig with sails by one of the country’s best racing sailmakers and Scruffie Marine expert Ben Kelly, she’ll be quick too. More a small ship than a large dinghy, we believe she’ll be perfect for family cruising or adventurous exploration. We’ll be offering her as a completed boat but if you’d like to fit her out yourself, please contact us for ‘kit’ details.
In addition to the outdoor education boats we have serious enquires from the NSW Northern Rivers area and Fremantle in WA. Should you be interested in buying the Sienna business model, we have projections that show an excellent long term return on investment plus, of course, you get to own a lovely boat – much better than a ‘Stikki Chops” junk food franchise!
I mentioned Secret 20 earlier and the lovely photo reproduced here is of a racing gaff cutter on Sydney Harbour circa 1910. The sepia print was bought for me by one of my sons and shows the traditional spinnaker setting for downwind work. The Americans call it wing and wing, we used to call it goosewing, either way the big full-cut foresail has the tack poled out to somewhere near Tasmania and the clew sheeted home somewhere near the base of the mast. As the whisker, or should I say telegraph, pole was set forward of the shrouds, a gybe-free and very broad reach was possible. Our Secret owners who regularly race use the same method and it’s really effective, especially in lighter conditions. Lovely, absolutely lovely.
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