Jenny VII was built by Norman Wright Junior for himself. His father Norman senior started the boat building business that still exists today and will be 110 years in 2019 .
Jenny resembles a 1950’s 18 foot skiff in hull form. Norman junior in the earlier Jennys won the Australian 18 footer championship 5 times and the World Championship once. He also navigated Gretel and Dame Pattie in the Americas Cup and won the Australian Dragon Championship in 1976 before retiring from competitive sailing .
Jenny was built out of cold molded Maple plywood over Silver Ash and Oregon stringers and Maple laminated frames. Deck and original cabin top were plywood. The rig was one of Norms old Dragon rigs modified to suit .
He was in his mid seventies when he built Jenny. She was built for his own use, taking his grandchildren sailing. She was kept on a mooring in the Mooloolabah river. She was sold just before his death in 1996 to new owners at Nudgee beach and was kept afloat on a mooring and used for cruising Moreton Bay .
I was out cruising with my sea kayaking partner on my converted Diamond Saltash. She kept saying how nice it would be to have a boat that could go in shallow water and on the beach like her kayak. Said she knew where my uncles boat was, we had lost track of it ! She lived at Nudgee beach so knew the owners. They had sold their house there 7 years earlier and moved west of Brisbane. We found Jenny there in a dry shed but with barnacles still on her bottom! I owned her a few days later. Being Norm’s nephew he would have been very happy.
I then did a 2 year refit. Kept the hull, foredeck, centerboard and cockpit footwell. We designed and built a new wider more modern and more practical doghouse and layout. Fitted a new diesel engine, fridge, heater, bathroom’ including toilet and black water treatment system. Replaced the rig with a new carbon swept spreader rig and sails and added a range of downwind sails. Also plenty of wine storage! Set her up for cruising and living aboard for extended holidays .
In 2010, after initial shakedown on Moreton Bay, we did a 3 week cruise in the Whitsundays. Then a trip to Tasmania for 10 days cruising in Macquarie Harbour followed by a few weeks in D’Entrecasteaux Channel before displaying her at the 2011 Wooden Boat Festival. We then packed her up on her trailer and headed home to Brisbane .
For the next few years I used her for Moreton Bay cruising and competed in the Bay to Bay trailer boat race inside Fraser Island. We won our division and also a prize for the best wooden boat. I also lived aboard at Manly for 18 months while I was building a new house . We returned to Tasmania again in 2015 for more cruising on the East Coast,then did the Tawe Nunnugah small boat raid followed by the Wooden Boat Festival. We plan to return to Tasmania again in 2019 for the TN19 raid, more cruising and the Wooden Boat Festival. Maybe a visit to Port Davey too.