Saturday, June 13, 2015

Getting started with Beachcomber

With Beachcomber now home in our pen, the scale of the job became more apparent. She had missed a few years of routine sprucing-up and the timber looked tired and grey, but we needed, first, to undertake the essential behind and below the scenes work, and that meant a trip to our local slip. She was due for antifouling and in any case I needed to have her surveyed before I could insure her.

Bury's slipway is a magical place set between Metung and Lakes Entrance. It is rural and it feels isolated  and is a wonderful local business which has overseen the maintenance of wooden and other boats hereabouts for generations
This is an unusual view of her stern, and I'm not sure Beachcomber would approve of it being published....not her best angle, but it does show the cutting of the gains and the transition to a solid piece of timber aft. Those boards have been on her since the time of the American Civil War  or the Victorian gold rush and at least thirty years before Australian states federated into a nation.

The screw after cleaning and before repainting. I have a bit to learn about docile diesel inboards, but I love the relaxed put-put and the gorgeous noise of the exhaust bubbling under the stern. She runs on the smell of an oily rag. I took her to the dockside fuel stop today after a few trips and she would only fit twenty dollars worth in the tank.

The current project now (apart from adapting our new house and shed for our things) is the restoration of the deck and timber trim.


  1. Rob, such a beautiful boat and such a responsibility to restore. You are the perfect person for the job
    Arwens meanderings

  2. Cheers Steve- encouraging as usual! I just can't believe how fortunate I am to be living so close to beautiful water after so many years of having to drive to it. This is a lovely place and Beachcomber is a part of its history. Annie, our Navigator, is a much faster and more exhilarating boat to sail, but this one is a quiet joy, even just under motor, and living on the lakes seems to offer many moments of just quietly pottering about exploring and looking at the wildlife. It will get busy here in the summer holidays, but it is too far from most of the population to worry us unduly most of the year. I note your frustrations at the ramp in a recent post- I hope you can find some space too. Inconsiderate people in a hurry can spoil a lovely day on the water so easily.

  3. only if you let be honest, just rigging arwen or having a sail in her chills me out so much........that I am content just to wait..........glad you are enjoying yourself and finding peace

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  6. Hello Gabriel, thank you for your interest in our old boat. I don't know if you have had time to read some of the more recent posts on Beachcomber, but I have tried to address some of your questions in these, including some technical drawings of her. I have put a list of major post labels near the top of the page in the right hand margin of this blog so that topic-specific searches can be done more easily. Beachcomber has its own heading there, and selecting it will show the seventeen posts on the boat that I have done to this point in time.
    I'd love to be able to name the designer, and there are a couple of local theories about this...but I keep an open mind until I can find evidence to back a theory. To find specifics like that about a remote area of this colony (as it was then) in the 1860's is not easy! In any case, she is fairly unique, and not exactly of any type that I can find.
    Thanks again for your interest, and I hope you find what you seek here.