The Drascombe longboat was only ever built under licence in Australia, unlike it’s smaller cousin, the lugger, which was available to buy as a kit or built from plans. Fairwind is the 4th of 9 longboats built by Michael Elton, a Sydney-based builder. He was the only registered boat builder of Drascombe longboats in Australia. I believe I am the third owner of Fairwind. I bought her in 2011 from William Bell of Kiama who had her for 10 years. She was loved and sailed by her in the waters off Kiama.
I do not know anything of her original owner. I wanted a sail boat to expedition, camp and travel with the ease of being trailable for storage and accessing new waterways to explore. Also a simple boat to share sailing with other non-sailors.
It was at the 2011 Wooden Boat festival that I was looking at newer designs similar to the longboat, and I confidently stated, ‘Drascombe longboats never come up for sale in Australia’. Of course, almost instantly I noticed what is now my boat listed intheAfloat magazine. Fairwind and I have spent almost every summer since I bought her, exploring up and down the east coast from the Whitsundays to Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury, Myall Lakes, Port Stephens, Gippsland Lakes, Bateman’s Bay, Sydney Harbour, and Port Phillip. I plan to take her home to the West coast some time soon, there’s just been so much to explore on the east. That brings me to this summer, on the east coast of Tasmania and this year’s Tawe Nunnegah Raid. Great boat for some fabulous adventures.