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JB 55 – Sailing in Oz

I have just finished restoring a Jolly Boat in Melbourne Australia. The boat (JB 55 – Catherine Lucy) was built in 1970 from cedar and is now looking sensational. The Port Melbourne Yacht club has approx 15 – 20 JB’s sailing regularly on Port Philip Bay. The racing is very competitive and well organised by the club. Be great to get a few of you UK JB sailors over for a yacht and a barbie in the sun…cheers John



1 Ed Bremner { 03.30.14 at 8:14 am }

I am sure a few of us would love to come.

We would love to come and visit…and did have a plan to try and smuggle one over with the I14s when then came over….but most of us a bit poor at moment.

JB55 looks beautiful. You have done a truly wonderful job. Well done.

If you ever have any news or photos, please do send them over as we would be delighted to put them on this site.



2 John Clayton { 04.06.14 at 11:17 am }

Hi Ed, We are planning a JB Worlds in 2015 to celebrate the Port Melbourne YC 125th anniversary. We are keen to encourage competitors from both UK and USA and were looking to make JB’s available to those keen enough to brave the long flight to Melbourne. Do you think this could make the event more attractive? We have 15 boats actively sailing and looking to build a few more. We are also looking to build a website for the JB to raise the profile of the boat/Assocations. Interested in any thoughts you might have to re-invigorate the class.

3 Ed Bremner { 04.06.14 at 9:21 pm }

Hi John,

Yes, I had heard that there were plans for a 2015 JB Worlds and there had even been a little bit of talk amongst owners here to see if we could work out how to get a boat out there for them. I believe there was talk of putting one aboard a container going over for the Int 14 worlds. For myself….I am just really bust at the moment and am not sure I could even get the money together for the flight, but you certainly might find some takers if there was a boat to sail at the other end. Certainly worthwhile talking about and I will see if there is any interest around.

I think it would be a really great idea to build a website for the JB and these days, so easy to do. You just need lots of good content. Personally, I would just set up a free account on WordPress.com and pay the few dollars to get a custom domain name for the site. That is all it needs to cost.

I would love to see the Jollyboat class invigorated and we have tried a bit over here, but to be honest, with no real luck. The situation here is so different. We have maybe the same number of boats overall, or a few more, but they are interspersed all over the UK, which makes getting together much harder to do.

A few of us have considered trying to build a new boat, most probably in foam sandwhich, but it hasn’t come to much yet. There has been one new wooden boat built (that I am aware of) but to be honest, I don’t even know if that boat has ever been finished or got wet. I think the class would do better if it was sailed more like your boats. Smaller main, but fully battened and 3 up, rather than two gorillas. The thing is, they do need a bit of wind to get the best out of them. Personally, in my boat, we can win races if it blows, but can’t keep up with lasers/Finns if the wind is really light.

Good to hear from you, many of us are on your Yahoo group, so we keep up with where you are at through that.



4 John Clayton { 04.06.14 at 12:08 pm }

Hi Ed, how do i post photo’s to the site? cheers John

5 Ed Bremner { 04.06.14 at 9:23 pm }

Anybody can post….or put up images…. as long as I know who they are and that they have a real interest in the class. I used to have it free-for-all, but the site got so hit by spammers, that I had to turn off the auto-registration. So now I just need you to ask…..which you have….so you now are an Editor! Good luck, I look forwards to reading your posts.


6 John Clayton { 05.10.14 at 12:40 pm }

Hi Ed, Have you been able to discuss the JB Worlds Downunder idea with any other UK JB sailors. Is there anyone you know who has a particular interest that I can follow up? I noticed the I 14 sailors are planning to run their event in Melbourne in January 2015, which would be great timing particularly if we could drop a genuine English JB into a container. cheers John

7 John Clayton { 08.19.17 at 7:49 am }

Hi Ed, been a while. Trust your well. We had ag great Worlds event back in 2015. Will try post some photos. Each boat carried a flag representing a country of choice which introduced some old rivalries. We have restored 2 more boats Spur and Voltois which look emaculate. That great hull shape with new fittings and latest rig and sails are a joy to sail on a big reach on the Bay here in Oz. We have sent the mould to the boat builder and have commissioned 3 more boats with the latest epoxy laminate. We might even build s carbon fibre version. Cheers John

P.s Have been getting a few notifications of comments to approve. Not sure how to respond.

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