A story from one of our wooden boat owners, Richard Gibson. Have you got a story to share? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was very pleased to bring the only known surviving clinker mouldie scow Moth 3125 Felucca over from Adelaide to the 2023 AWBF as part of the Spirit of Tasmania Classic Dinghy Display. Along with other fabulous examples of Australia’s racing dinghy heritage, she attracted a lot of attention in City Hall.
Felucca shows a number of features that are rare in Moths, including reverse clinker construction, a dished cockpit, flat foredeck (no centre hump) and a rear tank.
Felucca was found in Victoria. A previous Victorian owner, Glen Tippet, had been traced after he saw the partially restored boat on display in Melbourne and recognised it as the boat he had sailed as a teenager in the mid 60s. Glen provided some early pictures. It was known that Felucca was built in the early 60s. However, the designer, builder and earlier history of the boat were still unclear.
Since the 2023 AWBF, more of Felucca’s history has come to light. Through posts in the Australian Classic Dinghy Network Facebook Group, it is now known that Felucca was designed and constructed by noted dinghy builder Laurie Chivers in Perth for Doug Mitchell. Doug sailed her in the 1962/63 Moth Nationals at Hobson’s Bay (Melbourne), and then sold her in Victoria after the regatta. She was entered with sail number 6408. This number was changed to 3125 after she settled in Victoria (each state had their own sail number register).
As those who saw her at the 2023 AWBF will know, Felucca was found in Geelong in poor condition in 2021. Ralph Ballard carried out a magnificent restoration. It is wonderful that the provenance of this unique survivor of Australia’s sailing dinghy history is now known.