Posted by: Mike Randall | March 12, 2012

Geelong Wooden Boat Festival 2012

No posts for eight months and suddenly two in a few days!!! The family and I just returned from two days down at the Geelong wooden Boat Festival and it was a lot of fun.

It was great to finally be a participant in a festival and no longer just an admirer from the dock. I also got a chance to met a couple of readers of the blog and even took Dave from Queensland for a sail who I think may now be a convert to a Stirven!! Be good to see another build begin.

I would like to have participated in a race or to but couldn’t find a class that I fitted into. I think next time I’ll just race with the Couta boats the Stir Ven almost looks like one.

Somehow I managed to convince my teenage daughters to be my crew for the event’s sail past and despite themselves I think they even enjoyed it, even though in there words a Wooden Boat Festival was nerdy, dorky and old man in the extreme!!

The girls are nuts for the Hipstamatic iPhone photo app at the moment, they felt its old style effects perfectly reinforced how old and crusty a wooden boat festival is… Here’s a few pics – they might even be right.

Not much wind but a lot of boats

Sepia - shot yesterday on an iPhone not 70 years ago

feigning interest for the camera

True interest in wooden boats

At least the skipper was into it

Despite their comments about old man wooden boat festivals my kids love the boat and are becoming quite useful little sailors. I still think there is a few more adventures for skipper and crew in the Vikki Bee before the end of autumn!



  1. Hey Mike!

    I saw your Stir-Ven kicking around in port phillip today – a pretty little boat she is on the water.

    • Hi Dave

      Yeah nice arvo for it, just enough wind for a pleasant solo sail.


  2. Hi, Mike. Your Stir Ven is very nice, my best compliments to you. Just a question: do you think that is the hull enough stiff on the wave? I’m close to finishing the boat and, before going on with the final painting, I’m thinking to put inside some GRP reinforcements, here and there, but mostly on the sides of the cabin and bottom in the cockpit. According to your REAL experience, do you think that it will be useless?
    thank you of your kindly reply, my bests to you
    Errico Orsi

    • Hi Errico,

      Great to hear your build is going well.

      RE your question about additional reinforcement I wouldn’t bother assuming you’ve built your boat as per the plans specifications. The hull and planking is rock solid even while pounding into a stiff headwind and largish oncoming waves.

      Finish painting and go sailing as soon as you can – you won’t regret it.

      Cheers Mike

  3. Hi Mike, I’d like to get in contact with you since I too have taken up the idea of ‘building my own boat’ and the Stir Ven seems to be ‘chosen one’
    Right now I’m looking at the ‘study plans’ F. Vivier send me. Im very impressed with your result and Im sure you can give me tons of advice once I start. Please drop me a line. Greetingz Robert

  4. Mike,
    I have gone through your blog with a fine tooth comb and it has done what you have set out to do, it has inspired me to build my own boat. I seem to be in the same circumstance as you very busy with a slightly younger family living here in Halifax Canada. I have been looking very hard at the Stir Ven (yours is quite a feat by the way) and just hoped to pick your brain on a few questions. Regarding Stir Ven, how useful do you find the cuddy? I am 6’5 and am used to not fitting but i was curious how your family found it? Were you able to fit some sort of head in it? I just know with kids it will be a requirement. I am also looking at Beniguet which is smaller but the cuddy has a bit more room and it is fitted with a head and as well Jewell, which is a new design but could also fit the bill. I will say though that the extra metre is nice and I love the look of her. Finally did the cost end up where you expected it to be? that worries me:) Merry Christmas to you and your family and i look forward to your email!!!

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