The lovely ‘sixteen metre square’ sailboat Seacrest sold at auction in under 15 minutes to a very happy new owner – retired Victorian fisherman Mr Gerhard Wilmink from Apollo Bay.
He takes home a hand-built, elegantly designed and beautifully finished small yacht, ready for the water and keen to sail. It’s been the closely-followed program for the Dutch Project at the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Crafted by a young team of boat builders under the direction of veteran boat builder Bert van Baar, the sleek keelboat is made from Tasmanian celery top pine donated by Hydrowood and was built at the Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin.
The boat went under the auctioneer’s hammer on Sunday, February 12 at 4:00 pm on the festival site at the Shipwright’s Village in Mawson Place. The hotly contested auction, introduced with a few words of Dutch by local auctioneer Mr Hank Petrusma, drew a large crowd to Franklin Wharf where the BM16m2 has been admired by the tens of thousands of visitors attending the festival. All proceeds go to the not-for-profit AWBF, Inc. to keep our festival free!
The boatwas built from celery top pine, reclaimed from the bottom of Lake Pieman by Tasmanian company Hydrowood and donated to the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival.
Ironically, Mr Wilmink emigrated from Holland at the age of 12, along with the many Dutch who did so after World War II. Having Seacrest is like reclaiming a little piece of Holland and its culture for the Wilmink family. The visiting Dutch boat builders were also delighted with this outcome. Mr Wilmink retired from fishing after 44 years in the industry and sold his boat, the Johanna Cherie, in February 2016. In another twist of irony, the Johanna Cherie was also constructed from celery top and Huon pine. She was built in 1983 in by renowned Port Fairy boat-builder, Garry Stewart. Other examples of Garry Stewart-built boats were on display at the festival.
Johanna Cherie still operates as a fishing boat, and now is based on King Island.
When asked his intentions for Seacrest , Mr Wilmink said he was looking forward to taking his grandchildren sailing at home in Apollo Bay.