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Something a little bit different from Andrea Francolini

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 11 Aug 2020 16:57 PDT

And now for something a little bit different...

Nestled into the railway aqueduct at Lavender Bay, Robert Gordon and his team are hard at work finishing this 28’ Couta Boat. Yes, she’s a long way from her spiritual home of Sorrento, but around 12 years ago, Mark Abbott (now Corsair Boats) penned this slightly longer version of the venerable ‘fishing’ craft when he was at Tim Phillip’s Wooden Boat Shop.

Robert Gordon is a Geologist by profession, but as he says, “I worked with Dad (Bob) all throughout my life, and we used to build carvel plank boats up to 60 feet out in the open back then. This Couta Boat has an Iron Bark keel, Celery Top Pine planks below the waterline, with new Zealand Kauri recycled from a beer vat (pretty typical for this rare species) atop that. It is all around steam bent spotted gum frames.”

This craft is two feet longer as I wanted to have a cabin and take some people for jaunts around the Harbour. It’s adventure and participation based, and they can participate as much as they want. We are looking to launch with the king tides of January or February, 2021.”

So whilst the whole thing is from yesteryear in a way, there is a distinctly modern touch to her build with Sean Langman’s son Peter working on her with Robert. Additionally, an English shipwright named Michael Cadwell found Robert on Insta and was coming out with his wife who had secured a job, and wanted to work with Robert on this project. Pretty cool really, and you can keep track of it all here.

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