Matthew's First Boats

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In the early 1970's when I was making model air planes and boats someone said to me "Why don't you build the real thing instead of mucking about with toys?" Well I took their advice and built this boat - a 10 foot (3 metre) pram bowed gunter rigged dinghy. The design was called a Witch and I forget who drew the plans but I was told it was very similar to a Pelican design. The construction was stitch and glue with 1/4" marine plywood and oregon timber. (Back when you could still obtain lovely straight close grain oregon ).


I of course wasn't satisfied with the first boat and enlisted - or was it conned - my brother into going halves in the construction of a 15' trailer sailer. This was supposed to be constructed of plywood but we changed the design and used urethane foam over a timber frame. We then covered the outside of the boat with layers of chopped strand mat and woven cloth and used polyester resin. We managed to make a great mess! We also had to spend hours fairing the outside of the hull with a talc and resin bog. (Plywood would have been much faster!!) The inside of the hull was also glassed and the topsides constructed using marine plywood. I changed the roof line and of course this made the boat look unwieldy.
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I did enjoy sailing the pram dinghy for a while and used an outboard on the trailer sailer but never got around to giving it a try under sail. Circumstances changed and I was forced to sell both boats. Several years later I purchased a Laser and learnt to sail properly. I also made a small plywood catamaran for my girlfriend Margaret.

Of course life intervened and boats and sailing were "put on the back burner for many years.
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Catamaran at Mungo Brush, Myall Lakes 1979?