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Lifestyle : Sydney International Boat Show 2012
1HERSA1 S014 BLAKEHURST MARINA 739 Princes Highway Blakehurst | 9546 3003 | Floating Marina - Berths Now Available Absolute Waterfront Dining Arrive by boat - Complimentary Burthing Weddings and functions Fully licensed restaurant www.shipwrightsrestaurant.com | 9547 0666 ■ Fully Renovated 90ft Slipway ■ ■ Shipwright services ■ Re-Sprays ■ ■ Antifouling ■ Detailing ■ ■ Bow thruster installations ■ Free pick up service from Sydney Harbour to Port Hacking ■ 9547 3727 ■ ■ email@example.com ■ LEIGH SMITH CRUISER SALES Presents 14 July 28-29, 2012 smh.com.au Six months in a leaky boat? That's out of the question . . . some of the entries in this boat-building competition don't even make it to the starting line, writes Carla Grossetti. Floating ideas . . . more traditional shapes compete with whackier designs in the annual boat- building competition. Photos: Dave Reimer GREAT MINDS SINK ALIKE D ave Reimer says the first vessel he built for the Sydney International Boat Show's boat- building competition, in 1998, was ''less boat, more bathtub''. Reimer, of Western Boat Repairs, says although the vessel was far from seaworthy, he and teammate Kane Banister, of Banister Marine, were awarded a consolation prize for persistence. ''We broke the boat in half during the build and we then spent 90 minutes trying to make it seaworthy,'' Reimer says. ''We were still building it while everyone else was having lunch. ''It's meant to be fun -- and we were only apprentices at the time -- but we were still a bit embarrassed our boat took so long to build.'' Reimer, 34, is now a judge at the 20-year-old event. He says although he has fared better during the competition in subsequent years, his success rate has been as unsteady as some of the vessels he has crafted. But he is comforted by the fact that other boats have sunk before the sound of the hooter. ''There's always someone who sinks or capsizes before the race even starts,'' he says. ''I've been in both camps. Earlier on, I was one of the underdogs, but then there was 2005 -- that was our year -- where Kane [now 32] and I have turned up with zero preparation and won 'best built boat'. Kane and I won the same category again in 2007.'' The competition, which will be held next week, is open to qualified shipwrights and apprentices who are members of the Shipwrights & Boatbuilders Association of NSW. The two-member teams are given a few tubes of adhesive, a couple of planks of plywood, various lengths of timber and a collection of screws and nails and a two-hour time frame in which to complete their marine masterpiece. Reimer, whose boat-repair business is in McGraths Hill, says this year's contest will allow participants to bring along an extra component -- such as a paddle -- that will help them pootle around the Cockle Bay course. ''This competition is always good for a laugh but there's still a lot of adrenalin involved. Darling Harbour is filled with thousands of people watching our progress, so that can be a bit nerve-racking. ''A highlight was one year when three teams of apprentices got together five minutes before the build and conspired to build a third of a boat each. Two teams built fat triangular ''boats'' and one team built a rectangular boat, which they screwed together to create a 26-foot boat with three masts and six paddlers. A renegade member of another team tried to get into the boat during the race and it sunk, with all of them doing a solemn salute on the way down. It was very funny.'' Duncan Ritchie, of Northbridge Marina, who describes himself as a ''more senior member of the shipwrights fraternity'', has produced some marvellous makeshift boats within the allocated time. Despite the first prize of a trip to New Zealand to compete in a boat-building competition there, Ritchie says he has never been in it to win it. Using the battery-powered tools provided and a bit of creative ingenuity, he and his apprentice accomplices have engineered a flotilla of floating objects over the years, including a bass guitar, a replica of the Wiggles's Big Red Car, a tractor and a pirate ship. But Ritchie says his biggest failures have always been the ''non-floaters''. ''Non-floaters are my worst nightmare . . . but really, it's just a day of fun where you get to go nuts and use as much adhesive as you can.'' As for Ritchie's dream design for this year's event? ''I'm going to go with an animal theme: a cow might be the go this year. It's much more fun not to make a 'boat' at a boat-building competition and to have a day off work,'' he says. The boat-building competition starts at 10am on Saturday, August 4. Race time is 2.30pm. SPECIAL REPORT
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