Little Ships

Prepare to cast off the lines

Small boats of several types form the basis of our training programs because learning about seamanship requires “hands on” experiences that often happens in bucket loads, often up to the waist and occasionally over our ears.

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Our training vessels are mostly ballasted “lug rigged yawls” based on centuries-old technology – ideal for stability and carrying heavy loads (crew plus expedition requirements) in the most severe wind and sea conditions possible on the bay. 

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Currently gracing our small boat fleet we have:

  • Osprey – 19ft Scruffie Sienna (up to seven crew)

  • Sandpiper – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)

  • Curlew – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)

  • Whimbrel – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)

  • Godwit – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)

  • A fleet of Expedition Sea Kayaks

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We also have access to:

  • Other sailing boats and sea kayaks

  • Open canoes for enclosed waters and moving water expeditions – from the mountains to the sea!

  • Outrigger ocean canoes with sailing capability

  • Charter yachts – commercial keel boats and catamarans (8-32 crew)

  • Tall ships (up to 25 crew)

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Our current project is to customise an expedition vessel for Blue Peter programs, improving the capacity and production of a Sienna MKII

Scruffie Sienna

Blue Peter have pioneered the use of these little ships for sail training and expedition uses. We commissioned Brahminy as the prototype (and plug for the mould) which was developed and built by Derek Ellard at Scruffie Marine specifically to carry our big loads for extended expeditions. Osprey was one of the subsequent fibreglass versions built with a canvas cuddy which shrunk – but we will be sewing up another to help protect our gear.

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Scruffie Stornaway 18

Whimbrel, Godwit, Sandpiper and Curlew are great examples of the original kit (homebuilt plywood versions) boats designed by Derek Ellard.

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Many Stornaways have been used for sail training purposes, and we love their beautiful lines and traditional rig. They can often match the Sienna’s sailing ability and are suitable for up to six people in the crew.

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Sea Kayaks

We use sea kayaks as expedition vessels  – often complementing our sailing boats to travel as a mixed fleet, or for specific group objectives including Paddle Australia training courses

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Sea kayaks offer additional physical and mental challenges that can really enhance learning and the sense of achievement in reaching such beautiful destinations. They also enhance our experience of communication and co-operation on the water as a counterpoint to the team environment experienced on sailing boats.

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Outrigger ocean canoe

Polynesian style, fast and seaworthy designs with sailing capability are recommended for team development cultural and physical extension programs. We are currently sourcing two OC6 versions to join up as a sailing catamaran and awesome paddling unit for expeditions.

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Volunteer Marine Rescue

We are grateful for the service provided by all emergency services and are associate members of Victoria Point Volunteer Marine Rescue. VMR provide us with excellent rescue boat coverage throughout Moreton Bay and the Southport Broadwater and are kept informed of our activities in the bay. We hope to partner for some mutually beneficial training in the future.

Charter Yachts

Larger vessels can enable mothership style approaches with small boats, or provide options for extended expeditions or larger groups.

Sailing to remote or offshore destinations is attainable using bigger yachts. Approved vessels can be found in a range of fantastic locations such as Moreton, Hervey and Keppel Bays, and of course, the Whitsundays!🌞

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Magic Happens

Our 12.2 metre Hitchiker sailing catamaran is the prototype for our future mothership – and has been used for a range of voluntary Dukes expeditions and skipper training to remote destinations such as Lady Musgrave Island and Lord Howe Island.

Magic Happens is not in survey and therefore not available for our regular training or expedition work.

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 South Passage

The South Passage is a magnificent 100ft Gaff rigged Schooner based in Moreton Bay and regularly voyaging between Cairns and Sydney.

Check out this YouthPlus voyage on the South Passage – from Brisbane to Hervey Bay! 

Our little ships are perfect for delivery of sail training in preparation for, in partnership with, or as an extension to a South Passage voyage.

For more information refer to www.southpassage.org.au

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