A Boat on the Side

Tasmania’s Green Cathedrals Spared?

It may come as a shock to you that the huge and powerful Australian timber corporation Gunns Ltd routinely napalm bombs ancient forests in Tasmania. Thanks to the Tasmanian Green Party, The Wilderness Society and the heroic efforts of Geoffrey Cousins that is all coming to an end. The indiscriminate logging and subsequent burning of some of the world’s most important cool temperate rainforest is actually going to stop. Hopefully this will mark a turning point in Australia’s sad and ugly environmental story and we can once again hold our heads up high. We wholeheartedly support GetUp and their pioneering work for a new green democracy.

Derek Ellard 2010

And from the GetUp administration:

A truly transformative moment opening up in the 30 year struggle to protect Australia's native forests.

Would you like to be a part of it? www.getup.org.au/campaign/ForestryPrinciples

In an amazing development, the Board of Gunns Ltd no longer includes Robin Gray and John Gay, two of the biggest enemies of forestry industry reform and two of the fiercest champions of the Gunns pulp mill.

The forestry industry - in Tasmania and elsewhere - are finally recognising that their destructive practices can't continue forever. They're ready to sit down with the conservation movement, including our friends at The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania, to talk about transitioning to a more sustainable future.

But there are still those in industry and government resisting reform, which is why we need a show of strength to support our partners in these once in a generation talks. We need to build a mass movement -- imagine 50,000 Australians behind a set of Forestry Principles to guide the industry, retailers and all levels of government to a sustainable future:

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Bounty Boys, A Pink Lady and Abby’s Road

Congratulations are in order for the crew of the good ship Talisker Bounty. Successfully recreating Captain Bligh’s epic 4,000 + mile sail in an open longboat is no mean feat. Talisker battled through some pretty adverse conditions and frantic bailing was needed after one nasty swamping episode backing up the old saying “There’s no more efficient bilge pump than a frightened man with a bucket.” I wish I’d said that. Instead here’s something I did say:

“Variety is the spice of life – sailing is the sauce of life.” OK, I can hear the groans.

Of course Talisker (rum and boat) was a good choice – not that Mr Bligh had any. Not quite the Bounty’s longboat but close – a nice traditional whaler with plenty of room, watertight compartments and an excellent rig, the lugsail yawl. Now there’s a good idea and one I’m proud to have used these last 15 years or so for our best selling Stornaway 18. As our cadet and outward bounders will testify, it’s a near perfect rig for serious sailors.

Taliska Bounty Boat

A Few Words on Kits

Nearly half a century ago a school friend’s neighbour built a kit car. It was one of the early Lotus 7s designed by the engineering genius Colin Chapman who subsequently guided Lotus to multiple world championships with their innovative minimalist machines.

I was in awe of Andrew’s neighbour. He built a car! With wheels and everything! I owned a 1938 Austin 7 at the time – top speed 38 miles per hour with equally exhilarating handling and braking. He built a racer!

Andrew had an earlier Austin 7 which fell over during one exuberant tyre squealing turn. The driver and passengers got out, lifted her up, back on four wheels and drover her home. The dents were easily fixed. Now that was motoring, that was then.

But kit cars, what an idea – much better than model aeroplane kits.

So eventually I built my own boat, as you do.


Nearly Launched

There was a section in Wooden Boat magazine years ago called “Launchings” where readers sent in intimate photos of their lovely new boats on the water for the first time. It’s probably still there – nice idea and highlights the extraordinary efforts home builders put into their boats.

Well we’re not doing it.

Well perhaps now and again and only if I’m in a good mood and you do a good job. So send us your flattery, photos, compliments, bribes etc to our address in a plain brown envelope.

Here’s  a Shimmy with her owner Alan comtemplating the end of a job well done and whether to tell his wife what he really spent on those tools, paint job, outboard . . . . .

AD Shimmy

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