There was a lot more to the Rally than just sail boats, but whenever we got together, these old gaffers just seemed to meander around each other, like they were looking for family. Beachcomber and Queen Mary ( not the big one) above, sauntered back from the buoy in the non-race, finding the odd puff, but the trip back was made with cockpits alongside and conversation flowing between boats the whole way in.
QM has a feature which was common on Gippslander fishing boats. The hull is carvel up to the top two boards, which are lapstrake (clinker). The fishermen liked to approach the fish without the noise of strakes, but the top boards acted as spray rails. It is thought that this feature had it's origins in Norwegian boats and the idea came here with those people.
Owned by David Griffiths, she is 26ft by 9ft, with a 3'6" draft, and was built on Raymond Island (in the background of this pic) in 1898. Comparing her to Beachcomber (right) it can be seen that by the turn of the Century, the Gippslander type had evolved from British/European roots significantly. She is broad and shallow with a small transom and very capacious cockpit. If there is interest I can find more pics to illustrate the type. The above comparison is a bit dicey though, because one boat was always intended for carriage and cartage, while the other was designed specifically to fish.