Yacht (trailer) : Living in the ’70s

I am sailing, I am sailing

Home again ‘Cross the sea

I am sailing Stormy waters

To be near you To be free

Sailing- Rod Stuart -1975

Leo showed the ad to Joanne. 

RL24 trailer sailor for sale.  One owner since new.

Joanne picked up the crying baby and offered her breast.  At least she was quiet when feeding.  

‘I think we should go for it.  We know it’s a good boat.  It won the State Titles’, she said.  ‘You can race it and we can use it for holidays. I’ve got to cash in my Superannuation anyway because I can’t pay my contribution plus the government’s on one income.’

‘And I’ll cash in that Life Insurance Policy,’ said Leo.  ‘We might just have enough.’

Joanne took plenty of nappies the day they bought the boat but the baby used them all by eleven o’clock.  Something must have upset her. She washed them and hung them on the line to dry in the boat owner’s back yard while Leo climbed all over the trailer sailor, pronounced it satisfactory and wrote a cheque.  They had to buy disposables from the chemist as the cloth nappies were still wet.  They towed the yacht home excitedly, planning their first night on the new boat.

The baby took to sailing better than expected.  She fell asleep rapidly as the waves gently rocked her from side to side.

Visiting Lars and Annie at Bundabar

If Joanne ever felt stressed managing one and then two babies on the RL24, she still felt it was privilege to own such a beautiful boat. After all she married a sailor, so she knew what she was in for. Leo, his brother and his father had been sailing yachts for years so at least she had confidence in the skipper. They sailed and motored on Lake Illawarra, Lake Macquarie and the Myall Lakes.

In the early ‘80s the trailer sailor fleet was always large, with families camped by the water’s edge crowded around glowing campfires and drinking from wine casks before wading through the shallow water to their children and their bunks. Large prehistoric lace monitors stared at them from tree trunks and silent eels moved gracefully through the weed, frightening some of the younger ones as they stumbled to their boats.

Water baby

Joanne sat with the children until they were asleep and often preferred to stay curled up in the cabin with a book than return to the conversation of the campfire. The steady breathing of sleeping children and the gentle lap of water offered a peace rarely found on their water-based holidays.

9 thoughts on “Yacht (trailer) : Living in the ’70s

  1. We bought a yacht just before our son was born. It was moored at Batemans Bay, 2 hours from Canberra. The children were fine when they were small but it was the time to get away when they were older that was the problem.
    I have sailed Lake Illawarra in dinghy’s while at university. Lovely area.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have owned three trailer yachts. After a gap of a few years we bought one last year (and it has rained ever since). We want the grandchildren to experience what our children did but forgot how long it takes to launch and rig up. It’s quite exhausting! Hoping to spend a week on Lake Macquarie if we can find a week without rain. BTW I think Lake Illawarra is much nicer now than it was back in the ‘70s. Water quality has improved.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, Linda, you know we’re a sailing family. Reading about your trailer sailor sounds magic. I’d love to sleep onboard a boat like that. We have a few lasers as well as the kayaks. The rain well and truly wrecked last Summer didn’t it?!! Maybe, we might get a break soon.
    best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The week we went sailing earlier this year at St George’s Basin was a bit of a disaster weather wise but there were memorable moments. Some of the sunsets were magical.


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