The Wooden Boat Festival

The Hobart Wooden Boat Festival was a lot of fun and incredibly popular. Even at 9am it was busy and by 11am I had had enough of the crowds and just wanted to escape. By then I had seen most of the bits I really wanted to see, including a quick walk through the exhibitors hall.


The engine mounts on this boat are a horrible rusty mess. Under the rust they are still solid but they are on the list of things to replace. So when I saw the Polyflex stand I wandered over. As I arrived a white-haired gent got out of his wheelchair to greet me.

Brian Gagen, Managing Director of Polyflex, is something of a legend, having started out with a day job as a jeweller but who got his rocks off playing sax at night in a variety of Brisbane bands. Somehow, while we talked, he had no trouble convincing me that it was a logical step from that background to starting a company making anti-vibration mounts and couplings for marine engines. I don't think there are many people who would have seen the logic, let alone taken that step. Well, obviously there weren't because there is only one 'Polyflex' and they export world-wide.

Polyflex mounts don't corrode and are the absolute best when it comes to vibration reduction.  There is already a Polyflex coupling between the gearbox and propeller shaft, so one day soon I will give it some company with Polyflex engine mounts.

Clip-on Fenders

Ocean sell a range of solid polyurethane fenders that clip onto the rail when not needed. This might be a good solution for a backrest on the transom seat. The other alternative is to make a backrest out of a plank of wood that can be detatched and used as a fender board. Hmmmm...


The CQR anchor is OK but apparently these days all the best dressed boats are wearing a Rocna. So I chatted with the salesman about Rocna anchors. I have been confused by their new range of Vulcan anchors, but it seems these are for powerboat users who can't fit a Rocna, and need a bit of shiny stainless steel bling up front. The standard Rocna anchors are galvanized steel: grey and functional.

The most important thing for me is actually new chain. The existing chain is losing its galvanizing. It is still sound but will corrode fast now the gal is missing in places. Chain is not worth re-galvanizing these days, certainly not in Tasmania where you have to pay extortionate freight charges to have it shipped to the big island and back. There is also doubt about the quality of regalvanizing due to sharing the galvanizing vat with 1000 other crappy used anchors and chains, each of which brings its share of crud to the bath. So new Grade L short-link chain is the best way to go.

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