Picton Clinker & Classic Boat Club
Loosely based in Picton and around the Marlborough Sound the Clubs main interest is the smaller style clinker dinghies. With over 70 members, mostly retired, the Club has an outing every month to various locations throughout the Marlborough Sounds or local rivers.
Members boats range in size from 10ft up to 16ft (although most guy's have larger yachts or launches and often several other classic boats,) the social aspect and general fun of these outings ensures a good turnout each event.
Prior to the fifties, clinker dinghy's were the only type of craft available and if you required a small craft then clinker was the only choice. However with the recent development of modern materials and mass production, the old lapstrake form of boat building has virtually disappeared. Members of the Club each have a great love for these old clinkers and their aims are to restore these lovely treasures back to their former glory. Large or small, the members are justifiably proud of their various craft.
Most members are content to strip and repaint the older boats, but some of the more adventurous are building clinker craft from new in traditional methods in an effort to keep the skills alive for future generations.
It is humbling to observe the public when they see a well presented clinker, these lovely and unpretentious old craft are so tactile, people just want to touch them and often they have personal experiences to relate about clinker boats from their childhood.
The Club is often gifted a tired clinker by someone who doesn't have the ability to restore it themselves but wants to ensure it is saved by donating it to the Club for restoration. They are almost heirlooms handed down through a family and always have a considerable history.
When a craft is gifted, the Club, as stewards of the craft, ensure it is taken up by a member who can restore it with care and attention. There are conditions to it being taken on ie. it may not be sold but can be gifted back to the Club for another to use or continue with the restoration.
We have restored a 95 year old Clinker with West Coast lineage. This is Ruru owned by one of the sons of Mr William Brownlee the sawmiller from Havelock. Built in 1920 it is named after the Brownlee's West Coast sawmill located at Ruru. It has been completely re-planked and is fitted with a reconditioned 5hp Stuart Turner two stroke petrol engine of similar vintage. Although it is used in displays and events, it is always seen afloat on the Club runs wherever it is required. It is available for Members to use on Club trips whenever they wish.
The Picton Maritime Festival.
As Picton is our home base, the Club is actively involved in this festival and since it's inception, we have shown our restored craft as static displays as a centerpoint on the day. These have always been popular, most people have a memory of their early days being taken out on an older family members boat. However in more recent times, we have been invited to more actively assist in the show and offered free clinker boat rides for youngsters. Last January we took out over 450 kids and family member for a trip around the marina and inshore bay. It is astonishing how many people have never been afloat before and we hope we may have instilled a basic interest that can be nurtured further as their interest blossoms.
The Golden Bay Run
Several of our Club members live in the Golden Bay region and this area is blessed with some of the most beautiful small craft cruising ground. They are putting together a two - three day cruise in the Bay based from Takaka. A three hour drive from Marlborough, we expect to tow our boats over the Takaka Hill and stay in a combination of local houses, campers and motels. Having local knowledge is invaluable as they each know all of the secret nooks, creeks and estuaries to explore plus the best launching ramps to use. It will be a great opportunity to mix & meet some of our remote members and see new grounds as well.
The Lake Rotoiti Classic
This year early in March we travel to Lake Rotoiti (In the Nelson Lakes District) for the Classic Antique Boat Festival there. We will display a considerable range of our approx 76 small clinkers of all styles for a splendid two day event. While the display takes up the mornings, the afternoon sees us out on the water enjoying the spectacular mountain backdrop scenery of the area. As most of us are retired, we generally begin arriving up at the Lake Thursday afternoon to enable our own runs on the Friday before the maincrowds arrive. Accommodation ranges from rented holiday homes, tenting to motor homes... even sleeping in their boats. Communal meals feature with BBQ's being the general evening meal, pot luck food supplied by all.