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About mountie

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  • Birthday 11/01/1957

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  • Interests
    All boating, raising my troupe, fishing, doing up boats, skiing, exploring.
  1. "How's it feel to be dilly-dorked by a bargain-basement 30 footer?' Ben Bax,(Tauranga) mid 80's, Sarney memorial race as he rounds first off Whangaparoa in Ross 930 "No Worries", well in front of the entire creme of Auckland's contemporary race yachts.
  2. "Anyone got any ideas?" Dennis Conner, race 7, Newport, Sept 26th 1983. "Take me to the house of twisted faces". Dennis Conner, Auckland airport, giving instructions to taxi driver to get to him to Panmure Cruising Club. "Its your watch, you sort it out." Trevor Dohgerty to Mike McCormick when rig falls down in a 2-handed race out the back of Cuvier in the middle of the night.
  3. mountie

    Frank Pelin

    After having built many of Frank's boats professionally, for clients, over the years, I purchased a Pelin "Cherry" recently to use to explore the nooks and crannys of the North Island's harbours and waterways, (after having done lots of coastal and offshore miles). What a clever, simple little design these boats are. I looked at pocket-cruiser designs worldwide before making a choice, and, once again, Frank produced a lightweight, shoal-draft, fast, beamy , inexpensive, very kiwi yacht affordable for the masses. At at least 30 years old, this plywood yacht is as straight and sound as the day
  4. Some interesting points about the longevity of NZ boats. This is probably related more to the kiwi ability, and desire to constantly restore aging boats. Which is a good thing. (Not all our production boats were well built by the way). We have a great fleet of classics here, whereas many overseas countries trash their boats. It wasn't necessarily the builder's intentions everytime, but us kiwis will rebuild from a bare, broken hull time and again. One of my boats is a wooden Zephyr, 55 years old. Even the builder Des Townson thought that these yachts would only be good for under 10 years raci
  5. The bottom line is that the NZ boatbuilding industry is cyclic, and evolving. Like everything. It became very apparent in the mid 90's that to try to build anything under 50', other than some fizz boats, was a futile exercise in a monetary sense. A hangover sector persisted, largely riding on a (then) favourable NZ dollar. Franklins, Southern Ocean Marine, Hakes, etc etc. Larger builds started to draw in the workforce. However, these require considerable premises and equipment, and if a client falters, its death not glory. A steady import sector is placing European craft within reach of the mi
  6. Having been a boatbuilder for 30 years, the writing was on the wall in the mid-90's. There has been some excellent skill in this country, but the cost of premises and a very small local market, an increasing bargain basement 2nd hand market, combined with geographical isolation and a strengthening $NZ, vs efficient European (and now Chinese) builders, does not make it rocket science to work out that fine craftmanship is not quite enough. In saying that, many of my old apprentices are doing very well, providing they are prepared to be very mobile. As much as it is/was my trade, a Govt subsidy c
  7. Someone could easily write a rollicking yarn on 12' skiffs....enough to fill a book with adventures, near-misses, and tales of survival. Probably someone like Tim Bartlett. In my short stint in "Q-class", in the 70's, I will always remember the 17 foot, 3 piece kite poles we had to assemble at the top mark, and the 600 square foot kites we tried to hang onto downwind. Here in Tauranga, residents partitioned against a proposed reclamation for rigging our boats on the waterfront, describing 12 footer sailors on the front page of the paper, as "A drunken rowdy lot". Interestingly, nearly all the
  8. mountie


    My understanding is that the ARIEL needs to be upright. Some PLBs come with a flotation pouch, which is intended to orientate the beacon's ariel as above. Dedicated marine EPIRBS are designed to float upright, with the ariel vertical. My thoughts on GPS equipped vs non-GPS equipped, are that non-GPS equipped should not be manufactured.
  9. We did hundreds of miles in 930's in the first 10 years they were around. My thoughts are that, a standard Ross 930 was not designed for offshore, and that I wouldn't want to be in a standard one on a lee shore in extreme conditions. However, I was always surprised that we couldn't seem to break them. Surprisingly resilient. However, personally I would definitely not go offshore in a standard Ross 930.
  10. "I'm scared of the day that people find out how little I know". Mike McCormick. Kiwi (Tauranga) navigator on the top Admiral's cup yacht, when the Admiral's cup was the world's top yachting event (around 1980).
  11. An important point is that an experienced marine surveyor does his best, but doesn't have x-ray eyes. Professional surveyors carry expensive insurance, to try to provide a buffer in the instances when a purchaser points a finger at the surveyor for missed defects. The Consumer protection act resulted in a reluctance for nearly all excellent boatbuilders of recent times to move into the business of survey. Th average age of an NZ marine surveyor, is now 69. I wonder why. (Not).
  12. Definitely head up to the Stone Store. In a Tassie 20 that wont be a problem. Between that, and Russell, and Roberton Island, you will probably will have had a peak at some of the best, and most historically significant places, in the BOI.
  13. mountie

    Free Lord Jim

    More to add to the checkered history of Holga, and Lord Jim. I spent many hours repairing the wooden spars of this yacht in about 1982. Tiger for punishment, that Holga.
  14. I would say a simple case of the skipper/crew getting a bit too up close and personal with the cargo. I mean, if you had 204 kilos of Mt Gay rum onboard, it would be hellishly hard not to avoid having a tot at happy hour. However, cocaine is well documented as being a lot more adictive, and the skipper/crew would likely to have had some 'hands-on' knowledge of the cargo, prior to the voyage.
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