A Boat on the Side
29Apr/132

To Slog and Not to Blog

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.

Sienna EX 2 on Trailer
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.

Sienna EX 2 bunks 2 m long

Sienna EX 2 Aft view cockpit sole 2m long
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

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  1. Nice detail in the cockpit Mr E. Those seat top lids look a picture.
    So how is the sail drive plans coming along? ( as much as I love my little 4 stroke Honda …)

  2. As the Protruas are essentially a pod section and a controller joined by a shaft, it is not difficult to engineer. They are working on a 5HP motor too. Eventually I’d like to see the sail drive unit powered and raised with servo motors. Adjustable ‘plate’ fixings mean that it could fit most boats – so the potential is self evident. All well and good but I simply don’t have the time to develop it, it needs an entrepreneurial engineering person to get it going. Know anyone?


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