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Re: S&A influence on boating


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Posted by Mike Field on June 26, 2020 at 20:25:50 user mikefield.

In Reply to: Re: S&A influence on boating posted by Martin Honor on June 26, 2020 at 05:59:02:

I discovered and read all the S&A books in my mid-teens, and they entirely directed my thoughts towards boating. In 1960, at age 16, I built a kayak, which I still have, which I have paddled in waters all across Victoria, and to which I later added sailing gear. (See Posts 7 and 9 here.)

It wasn't till the mid 90s though, when I moved to Western Port, that I bought a dinghy similar to Amazon. At 15'-0", Aileen Louisa is longer, and she's rigged differently, but she's a clinker centre-boarder all the same -- built by an ex-Devonian boatwright in Melbourne.

I'd already bought and later sold a clinker putt-putt, and later again bought a pocket cruiser, Sanderling, each of them living in the mud berth outside my back gate. But Aileen Louisa was my true love, fully cathected. I took her north with me when I moved to Canberra in '05. Unfortunately, because I don't live on the water here and, Aileen Louisa being a true clinker build, trailering her for a day's sailing to one of our lakes was not a real option, I eventually felt obliged to transfer her to a new custodian -- someone who could keep her in the water where she belonged. (It was a heart-wrenching decision to make, and a heart-breaking occasion when it happened.)

Aileen Louisa was herself one of the reasons for my starting Wooden Boat Fittings, still operating after twenty-plus years. (See here, and on its home page (accessible via the link at the top left-hand corner) for background stories to the company, to Swallow and Amazon themselves, and to other similar present vessels.)

And all this because of Arthur Ransome...


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