BOAT OF THE MONTH - Wonderful Wynnie

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Buy a collectible in <I>Wyn-Maree,</I> a motorsailer steeped in history that began life as a fishing boat and continues today as a renovated beauty that belies her 60 years. Our wooden-boat buff TONY MACKAY takes up the story…

BOAT OF THE MONTH - Wonderful Wynnie
BOAT OF THE MONTH - Wonderful Wynnie

There is a rather charming old saying about the cut of one’s jib. It goes well beyond just looking good or pretty into the far better and more succulent word: attractive. Who knows the mysteries of attraction? Doubtless the owners of this month’s featured classic do. The Wyn-Maree has nearly clocked 60 years as an enticing mistress. After a comprehensive overhaul, she is now set for a further lifetime of service.

Meantime, classic cruisers remain very much the flavour of the month with a select group of serious boaties on the hunt for timeless elegance and the joys that only a timber cruiser can provide. The book Classic Moreton Bay Cruisers is in its second print and has been expanded to include many more jewels of the sea. Had she been built in Queensland, the Wyn-Maree would certainly have graced those select pages.

Built at Lakes Entrance, Victoria around 1953 by Carstairs, the Wynnie seems to have garnered a legendary affection both as a champion fishing boat and more lately, as a ‘gentlemen’s cruiser’, which, roughly translated, means a place to lunch, booze and tell lies.

At 32ft6in x 12ft6in. she is broad in the beam — not the nicest thing to say about a lady — however, the design offers a vast cockpit and commodious accommodations.

A combination of copper fastened Huon pine and American white cedar create the carvel hull, which is internally fitted with three tonnes of lead ballast.

The Wynnie is, strictly speaking, an auxiliary cruiser, the sailing rig offering the opportunity to add a few knots and save on fuel. An 80hp Ford diesel will reliably see a seven-knot cruise, quite the perfect speed to take in the sights.

The huge self-draining cockpit was designed for fishing and our Wynnie has garnered her fair share of trophies over the years out of Bermagui and Sydney Harbour. In fact, her silverware still graces the trophy cabinets of the Sydney and Shoalhaven game fishing clubs.

On one occasion, a former owner landed a 788lb marlin, which elicited a mention in the Sydney Sun newspaper in 1968, being the largest fish caught in those waters for more than 28 years. These days, a light line and rod will catch more modest and less troublesome offerings — one would hate to scratch the new paintwork.

Soon after her last sale, a comprehensive refurbishment took place, including new decks, rigging, paintwork, engineering upgrades and a vigorous adjustment to the former utilitarian décor. She is now well set for comfortable cruising yet has lost none of her practical and old-fashioned comfort and charm.

The helm station is forward to port, the traditional wheel controlling the aft tiller. With the little Ford soldiering on below, the Wynnie glides through the water with very little wash and it is clear her weight and power offer a very capable performance for coastal cruising, the rig being used if a steadying sail is required.

The straight sheer lines lead to a purposeful bow, with stout stainless steel handrails leading to the foredeck. A Muir winch and CQR anchor is self stowed on the bowsprit. Roller reefing allows an extra few knots to be gained when required. Varnished teak trims highlight the new two-pack paintwork and chrome portlights, the whole effect being very shippy.

The cabin is accessed by a door to starboard, which, down two steps, leads to the recently overhauled, huge, varnished teak galley. The engine box doubles as an island bench and a large bookcase-style cabinet is fitted to the aft bulkhead, currently doing sterling service securing a large selection of superior wines.

To port is the enclosed head and forward are two spacious bunks for the post-prandial nap. Chrome portholes allow plenty of light and air and the cabin has been fashionably decorated with nautical themes. Indeed, the whole package lends itself to a collection of nautical memorabilia that highlight Wynnie’s already powerful charm.

Sinatra sang: "Love is lovelier, The second time around" and the current owner has bought her back after 15 years doing the plastic-fantastic boating life. Several previous owners seem to mooch about the wharf, oohing and ahhing, stroking Wynnie’s gunwale in an almost sickening display of affection. She seems to still engender this level of desire after so many years. Quite an achievement for a lady who is, well, broad in the beam.

Mr Owner, under instructions from Mrs Owner (who is not particularly fussed about boats and who has purchased a weekender in the Southern Highlands), is reluctantly offering Wyn-Maree for sale at $149,000. For more info, contact Sydney’s Castlecrag Marine, phone (02) 9958 0425 or email:

Step back in time and be the envy of the marina in this superbly restored carvel-planked wooden classic. An ideal coastal cruiser, with a gaff rig to save on fuel, Wyn-Maree has an entertainer’s cockpit from where you can also drop a line in this former gamefisher of high repute. Constructed of white cedar and Huon pine, and after her current owner spent a motza in her refurbishment and upkeep, Wyn-Maree is a real collectible ready to please like few other 32-footers.

Auxiliary Cruiser

FOR SALE: $149,000
TYPE: Displacement keelboat
MATERIAL: American white cedar and Huon pine planked carvel hull
LENGTH: 32ft6in
BEAM: 12ft6in
DRAFT: 4ft6in
ENGINE: 90hp Ford diesel (repower with 850 hours)
SPEED: 7 to 8kts (power)
SAILS: Furling headsail (12m²); mainsail (24m²)


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