Classic Cruiser Completes Tassie Crusade
There was very little chance Doug Fielding would embark on any other career than being a shipwright. With boating running through his veins, passed down from his father Garth, Doug was on boats and fixing them practically from birth. It was almost predestined and in 1994 he became a qualified shipwright specialising in wooden boats. Thirteen years ago, Doug arrived at Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM) and two and half years ago he launched Regatta Marine next door to his father’s business, Anchorline Yacht Brokers.
At roughly the same time, the Fielding family bought M/V Barcarolle II – a 50-foot, Hugh Morris boat launched in 1984 with a carvel planked spotted gum hull and hoop pine topsides. Barcarolle II had been a feature on Moreton Bay for decades and was the perfect boat for a timber boat loving family.
Regatta Marine was taking off as boat owners from Eden to Mackay flocked to the team to benefit from the time-honoured art of wooden boat building. Meanwhile, Doug and his wife, Niki, launched a plan to take the family boat to the 2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival held in Hobart every two years. It is a veritable mecca for Australian wooden boats.
The plan was agreed by the whole family and an extensive eight-week refit at GCCM was undertaken in late 2016 in preparation for the journey. Doug and Garth relied on many of their neighbours at GCCM to prepare Barcarolle II including replacing the foredeck and winch, tidying up the electrics in the engine room, fitting a bow thruster and modernising the electronics.
“The wonderful aspect of working at GCCM is the collaboration between the trades. Someone will always help when you need it. Aside from the support we had with our own boat, over Christmas just passed, one of our clients had an issue with their shafts. So, the Watson Engineering team worked with us over the Christmas holiday to solve the issue. Not many yards can boast this level of support from its contractors,” explained Doug.
Doug and Regatta Marine work on more than wooden boats. They have regular customers with fibreglass or composite boats but in his own words, when it comes to wooden boats ‘his heart is in it’. If you are a boat owner in South East Queensland it would be hard to miss the renaissance of wooden boats which is currently happening. This revival and a hankering to visit Tasmania is sure to have been further ignited over the last 14 months with so many Queensland boating enthusiasts having followed on Facebook (see Doug’s own recount below) Doug and Garth’s expedition from the Gold Coast to Hobart, around Tasmania and back to Queensland.
“She (Barcarolle II) has been away 14 months and travelled some 3,000+ nautical miles, the trip was a year in the planning but a bucket list item we just needed to tick,” observed Doug.
“We were fascinated to follow Barcarolle II’s adventures. At our core, GCCM is a yard run by boaties for boaties and Doug epitomises that. When our trades work together to complete world-class work on a boat giving the Owner the security to cruise the bay or further afield, then we have done our job! We love seeing boats out on the water and we love seeing our customers, and our onsite partners, ticking trips like this off their bucket list,” stated GCCM CEO, Trenton Gay.
Still on the high from their trip and buoyed on by the resurging interest in wooden boats, Doug is off to Sydney with his own wooden boat, Salty Dog, for the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival organised by the Australian National Maritime Museum. When quizzed where the next major voyage may be, Doug suggests New Caledonia but for the time being he is back at GCCM working on a repeat client’s wooden boat.
Wooden boats have specific requirements which the GCCM lifting team understand not to mention the onsite contractors who have a lifetime of wooden boat experience. GCCM is also the preferred yard for members of the Royal Queensland Yacht Club whose boats are too large to lift at their facility. If you are a wooden boat owner and would like to discuss completing work at GCCM, then contact the team on [email protected] or phone +61 7 55025888. If you keen to get in contact directly with Doug and Niki at Regatta Marine find their details in our handy online business directory http://www.gccm.com.au/business/regatta-marine/
Doug’s own facebook recount of his Tassie expedition (Dated January 24 2018, 9.53am)
The Mighty Barcarolle II is on the home stretch and about to throw a line over the Samson post for the last time on her great Tasmanian adventure. She has been away for over 14 months and traveled some 3000+nautical miles, the trip was a year in the planning but a bucket list item I think we just needed to tick.
I’ve made 7 trips in the last year to the boat and anchored in some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Yes it is not as warm as Moreton Bay, but has just as many or more white sandy beaches and always a protected place to lay. We never shared an anchorage with more than a few boats, but mostly no one in sight. I only saw one Jet-ski and he was fishing off it. I can’t count how many stunning sunrises & sunsets, you know that glow that comes across the wheelhouse dash at first light, an ocean covered in seabirds, dolphins on the bow, seals playing around the boat at night and penguins sneaking up the beach at last light all in water that is crystal clear. We’ve had milky glass days and sleepless nights on anchor where the wind indicator was a constant 35-45kts with almost all the chain out of the locker only dragging once in Adventure Bay due to weed and a 50kt SW change. We learned more about the boat in Tassie than we have in the last 2 years at home. The solar system we installed means that she only needed shore power for a battery top up in the middle of winter after a run of cloudy days. We met some wonderful people and a big thanks goes out to Richard Taylor “Easting Down” and Mike Burnly “MV Serius” also John and the guys at Oyster Cove Marina for there help in looking after the boat for us. Bob Bolton, Lochie McLean “Jody K” and Trevor Richards from “Yacht Grot Perth owner of the Amity” Curtis Fielding & Riley Fielding for there company on the long hauls.
It was great to see a place where marinas are full of timber boats, and everyone is only to glad to help.
The Fielding family have added another boat to the fleet a 9’ Iain Oughtred Puffin clinker dinghy that was built in Port Sorell in 2001 and served as a tender for a crayfish boat. Niki said I didn’t need another boat but now she loves it more than me. I’m going to miss that great sound of the 6LX’s ticking away day after day.
I’m not much of a FB posting guy but I hope you all have enjoyed my little rants and maybe ignited a spark in you to throw the lines off and go and see one of Australia’s greatest boating spots or just use your boat anywhere!
I don’t have anything bad to say about Tassie. Even when is was scary it was great and I would turn this boat around at the seaway today and go back.
Big thank you to my wife Niki and daughter Chloe for their patience with me being away.
Biggest thanks to my parents Garth & Helen for their full support from the day I said “Let’s take the Boat to the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival”. It would not have happened without you and it’s been great spending time with them doing what we love.
Love you both more than I can say.
Barcarolle II is only home for one night because Niki & Chloe are itching to get some sand between there toes at the Amity Banks so we will be up the bay Thursday night to drop some chain one more time so if you see us come say hi. There is still a few beers left and 1/2 a bottle of rum!!!!
Gear breakages were:
1 Starter motor & solenoid
1 Power regulator for Naiad system
1 broken plate
1 auto pilot pump “hand steering home from Seal Rocks”
The Fielding Family