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If you wish to add more photos (or videos) to your post or if you have any problems loading photos use the link below (there is no need to resize or adjust your photos). So, before selecting your photo please use the 'Message Box' to indicate to which post the photos belong. Dale Appleton dropped into the Wooden Boat Festival at Geelong, Australia the other day, and tells me he’ll send over a brief report soon. Dale Appleton sent us these photos of some almost absurdly good looking Couta boats racing in the warmth of the Australian summer off Queenscliff, Victoria. He says that the Coutas are now highly sought after as a pleasure and racing boat, and even as a status symbol to some, and adds that there is a traditional builder making them to order. Well, in an amazing coincidence it seems that dinghy has turned up on a beach at King Island, part way between mainland Australia and Tasmania, and I gather it is being fixed up by local boatbuilder Jeremy Clowes, who sailed with the Mystery crew after she reached King Island – I gather he has replaced the upper planks and various other bits and pieces using parts donated by local wooden boat enthusiasts.
Surrounded by unaccustomed ice, I’ve been reflecting on how grateful I am that people like Dale and many others are so willing to send in their photos and stories.


Have you got news for us?If what you're doing is like the things you read about here - please write and tell us what you're up to.
Classic Sailor is a new magazine about traditional and classic boats from ex-Classic Boat editor Dan Houston and colleagues that promises rather more coverage of the traditional craft around our coast. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Follow me on TwitterLooking for something?This is a busy weblog, and what you're looking for is probably still here - just a little way down the list now. Our Faversham-based friend Alan Thorne can help with boatbuilding projects - constructing to plans in very tidy stitch-and-glue or more traditional techniques. The four day Australian Wooden Boat Festival began on Friday 11th Feb with a Parade of Sail and ends with the Hobart Regatta Day.
In the meantime he has put some photos on his Flickr account, including these of the newly restored Ruby Merle, a Port Philip Couta boat.


Readers may remember that Pete Goss’s Spirit of Mystery expedition recently had a nasty experience when their recreated Cornish fishing lugger suffered a knockdown as they approached Australia. Thanks Dale and the rest – your efforts are greatly appreciated, and I hope you know how much you add to the sum of human happiness in the boating world. Try scrolling down, clicking on the 'older posts' button at the bottom of this page - or try the search gadget!
One crew member on deck at the time broke his leg and their boat lost its clinker-built dinghy made from off-cuts from the Mystery herself.



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