Thursday, January 21, 2016

A 'Couta Boat on the lakes

Peter Medling of Paynesville came up with this picture of 'Pearl' built by Mitch Lacco in 1926 with a NZ Kauri hull and Queensland Beech decks. She was recently purchased and brought to the Lakes from Port Philip, I think...but I'll need to do a bit more digging for the details.

She is a powerful hull. Five up on the rails seem insubstantial. I am quite intimidated by the overhang of the boom!

I also include this pic from the early 20th Century of the jetty at Kalimna. The boat there is reputedly the one belonging to a well-known Melbourne business family, but it bears an uncanny resemblance to Beachcomber, whose origins and maker are still a bit obscure, despite lots of information.

 I recently spoke to a man whose lineage goes way back in this district and he claims that his ancestor was a likely builder of Beachcomber in the traditions of the French Canadian boats he learnt his trade upon before coming down to Oz. His name was MacMillan (a branch apparently unrelated to the explorer and pioneer in this area who has a very disturbing and unhappy reputation in his dealings with the local indigenous people ), and I'll be interested to find out more about him because the previous most likely builder has working dates that don't quite match Beachcomber's given history.

I keep an open mind on these things but glean anything I can by making these claims online and at dinners, and seeing what comes up...

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