Sea Trials with La Chaloupe with sails was a reasonable success. We picked a quiet day to test the sailing capabilities of La Chaloupe. She was happy with a tail wind and skittish in any other direction. This we knew would be the case as she does not have a centre board or sailing keel. All was well during this activity and no leaks were noted.
Just in case, I fitted a bilge pump to La Chaloupe and in the end I’m glad of this. She started to take on water but not at an alarming rate.
We entered La Chaloupe in the wooden boat festival and sailed rowed and motored along with the fleet right up to Constitution Dock where she was supposed to sit for the week end.
I noted that the small leak had become more than tolerable and the bilge pump was frequently used to clear the inflow. We registered as a participant but I was not happy to see La Chaloupe sink at the mooring. I asked the crew who were still around to help me get her back to the Royal Yacht Club so we could get her out of the water and back on her trailer. By this time a southerly wind had picked up and our little 2hp motor struggle to get headway back to the RYC. We ran out of fuel about 400 meters short of our destination. Luckily we had turned towards the RYC and into sheltered water. The last 400 was rowing and this I’m glad to say got us back.
Mary’s brother came out from England to participate in the Wooden Boat Festival as one of our crew. He was supposed to be crewing at the Huon Regatta as well but repairs to La Chaloupe were too extensive to get it done in time.
La Chaloupe is now off her trailer and upside down on my lawn. I did the preparation work for fibre glassing and John Tapp did the fibre glassing. Hopefully we have done enough to stop these leaks from coming back in the future.
We can only surmise that the timber is shrinking and expanding abnormally causing cracks to open up. The cracks we have found were left to the sun to dry out and they opened even more. We filled these cracks with resin and covered them with fibre glass
I have purchased paint to restore it to its tricolour appearance and this will be done over the next few days weather permitting.
Im glad we restored La Chaloupe and gained her history and providence. However, there is little interest in using it as a viable boat for recreational use here in Dover. I have had a notice in the Southgate shops and have had no interest in using La Chaloupe.
I am now suggesting that once we have La Chaloupe sea worthy again we gift it to a sea Scout group for their use.
I don’t want to see more money spent on La Chaloupe if it is only used one week of the years if at all.
Your feed back on this issue as financial member is most welcome.
Our membership/ Insurance became due on the 28th of February. At that time only 19 members had paid their membership fees, so I registered these 19 and we paid $506 to the AMSA (Aust Men’s Shed Assoc.)
We have two outstanding Grant applications at this time. One with the AMSA and the other with the TMSA (Tas Men’s Shed Assoc.) They will fall due in the next few months.
I am reasonable optimistic about both grants
Last year we made wooden toys in kit form for kindi and year one kids at Dover School. They were a racing car and an aeroplane. I have been in contact with Tom the new Principal and he is keen for us to continue with like projects. I have almost completed 20 helicopters in kit form for this purpose. I will contact the school when they are ready.
Sue Hall the new Support Teacher has requested a whisper phone for the kids. This is a simple object made from PVC elbows and pipe so they can hear their own voices as they speak. I’m sure we can make a few from bits and pieces we have around as well.
My health is not what it could be and I am hoping for some surgery to get me more mobile. Unfortunately my days of heavy or even medium lifting are over. I will be scaling back this type of activity but will continue where I can.


Ron Wells