Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Imagine the Spectacle of a Boat Regatta at Riverfest

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Imagine the Spectacle of a Boat Regatta at Riverfest

Article excerpt

Byline: Vanessa Jarrett


Sunday, August 26

For boat lovers and families

Sausage sizzle, entertainment and bar

Bring your boat if you wish

305 - 375 Quay St, Rockhampton


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JEFF WHEATLEY has just finished building himself a wooden boat and he's keen to show it off to the local community.

Mr Wheatley also owns a medium-sized yacht and last year spent four months sailing through the Queensland islands.

When he decided he wanted to build a wooden boat, he went to his friend, Pat Whiteside, an old craftsman and fellow Fitzroy Motor Boat Club member. Together they built a boat each, so Mr Whiteside could show him what to do.

It took about 12 months but they just finished the "lovely little sailing boats" two weeks ago.

The boats have been made using old traditional methods with no nails or screws.

"It's all bent timber, cut to shape," Mr Wheatley said.

"It's taken a couple of thousand hours and a couple of thousand dollars."

The two men spent about 20 hours a week working on it.

"If you pay yourself about 10 cents an hour you'd go close to even," he said.

But it was all worth it, they have caught the interest of many and they sail "magnificently".

Now the Fitzroy Motor Boat Club vice-commodore is hoping to plan a boat regatta at the next Rockhampton River Festival.

"A vision of boats, sailing, paddling and motoring along the river would be quite the spectacle," Mr Wheatley said.

The Fitzroy Motor Boat Club has a long-standing history in Rockhampton, with 150 years of various name changes.

This year, the Fitzroy Motor Boat Club itself celebrates 100 years.

The club has about 100 members, who get together to work on their boats, whether its rebuilding or refurbishing or just coming down to the club for an afternoon tea looking over the beautiful river. …

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