Posted by: Mike Randall | December 27, 2010

Final Post for 2010

It’s hard to believe but another year of “My Stirven Build” is about to pass. Twelve months ago I was frantically trying to put the last plank on the hull before heading off on a family holiday to Lombok. This year it has been just as frantic and frenzied in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. I still managed to get some stuff done on the boat and prepare everything for work to commence afresh in the new year.

Christmas Day arrived and so did the Christmas Keel!

The Christmas Keel Arrived

My brother in law Jan very generously picked up the finished Keel from Billmans Foundry in Castelmaine a few days before Christmas and as the family get together was at his house in Castelmaine this year I was able to pick it up as part of the Christmas festivities. After a few Christmas beers Me, Chris and Jan manhandled the beast from one trailer to the other and went back to the important business of eating Ham, Turkey and drinking more beer.

More wrestling of the Christmas Keel

A couple of days latter Ben helped me unload the Christmeas Keel at the warehouse thank god for the forklift it’s one heavy beast at 180kg.

The beast in all its cast iron glory

The successful completion of the keel casting has been an enormous relief as it is not everyday your average Graphic Designer commissions something as left of field as this. I’ll put this aside for a while and concentrate on the other myriad of tasks at hand.

In the lead up to Christmas I purchased and had milled all the deck timber in readiness for boatbuilding in the new year.

Vitex strips milled and ready for decking

The Vitex is the lighter stuff in the above pic between the darker Jarrah that will be my rubrails and gunwale cap. To the left is some milled Oregon that will be the cockpit floorboards.

I was really pleased how similar the Vitex looks to Teak, it has been milled to 30mm x 6mm x 3000mm strips, hope I’ve calculated the right amount.

Here is how the boat is looking at the end of 2010.

All the main structures are done!

Ready for the New Year

Structurally everything is pretty much done, laying the deck and final painting will begin in the New year.

For now I’m off on a family camping and surfing trip up the Northern NSW Coast  for a few weeks and a well needed rest and a chance to recharge the batteries. Hope everyone following the blog has had a Merry Xmas and have yourselves a festive new year. See you in 2011 for the run down the home strait to complete “My Stirven”




  1. Happy New Year, Mike!

    I wish you all the best this year on your build. I detect in you some renewed enthusiasm, as you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I guess… I was also waiting for the centreboard (vicariously of course), so that’s a great end to 2010!

    I will be following your next big challenge, rigging the boat, with great interest, as that is always what I find the most daunting when I consider a larger project like yours.

    As for myself, I am starting the new year with a little 8′ sailing pram project, mostly for the experience of working with epoxy and fibreglass, and also so I have something to piddle around with while I plan the next one…

    All the best for you and your family.

    -David from Vancouver.

    PS: I’ve heard you and other Aussies moaning about the price of “Oregon” Down Under, and I think, cry me a river! I am quite envious of all this fantastic Aussie hardwood, all those beautiful gum trees. You wouldn’t believe how much that stuff costs in Vancouver (if you can find it at all, and generally it’s little bits for turning pepper shakers and whatnot). The idea of trimming a boat with the stuff seems incredible! Here it’s just spruce, cedar, pine and fir, as far as the eye can see. Not a stick of hardwood. Anyway, the grass is always greener, I guess.

    • Hi Dave,

      Yes the grass is always greener! The only cheaply available pine in Australia now is plantation Radiata Pine good for house framing and not much else, this is what has essentially replaced Oregon in the market here.

      Plenty of hardwood to choose from but you still have to go to specialist merchants if you want anything interesting.

      Just returned from a camping holiday with the family in Northern NSW where we managed to get caught up in some once in a 100 year flooding!! It was a drought last year At least it gave me plenty of time to check out everyone’s boat trailers (next item on the agenda).

      Ready to get back to work on the boat so I can take it on the next camping trip. Stay tuned.

      Cheers Mike

      • Hi Mike,
        (I`m from good old Germany, so sorry for my bad English…)
        – I plan to build a StirVen also
        – so sometimes I check Your Blog, its very interesting
        – in the moment I at first need a room to build, I will build a new garage this year and then start building the boat

        My question:
        there was (or still is) a lot of water in the North and actually a big storm. I think we from here should help a little bit. Do You have some friends there or others (personally known), we would may be spent some money or other help and will do it directly.
        Thanks and best regards
        Ulli Broza

  2. Hi Ulli,
    Thanks for your concern re the natural disasters in Australia at the moment. If it’s not flood it’s bushfires at this time of year. Over January while camping with the family in North NSW we got caught in the floods and could not leave where we were for a few days as the roads were cut. No harm done we just went surfing till it was all sorted.

    Last night Cyclone Yasi hit Northern Queensland (No loss of life) and there is flash flooding in a few Victorian country towns today. You wont believe it but in Melbourne we still have water restrictions from a ten year long drought which we hope is over now.

    Thanks for your generous offer of help, the government and emergency services seem to have everything in hand and life goes on.

    I’m glad my blog has been a help in preparation for your Stirven build.


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