Name: Leda
Boat Owner: Andy Bullock
Designer: Lee Anderson
Builder: Dave Kew & John Young

Leda (previously Leofleda) was built in Adelaide by the founder of the Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, John Young, together with skilled woodworker Dave Kew, and launched in December 1973. The 23ft boat’s lines were a slightly lengthened version of a South Australian fishing boat that her designer, Lee Anderson, had fished with under sail, without use of an auxiliary motor. After sea trials on St Vincent’s Gulf, John obtained a research grant to undertake anthropological studies in the Lau group of islands of western Fiji. The boat was trucked to Sydney then loaded onto a ship sailing to Tonga. In Tonga, John met legendary singlehander, Mike Bales, who taught him the art of celestial navigation. John, his wife Ruth, and their two children, then sailed 260 nautical miles westward to the Lau group. They narrowly escaped shipwreck when the keel touched on the edge of a coral reef as they entered a passage through the reef to the island where they had made landfall. With the trade wind on their beam Leofleda subsequently explored the island chain for three months, the family sharing the small cabin as their living quarters and meeting islanders in the course of the investigation they undertook, often trading for ship’s provisions. On completion of the studies the family sailed the boat onward to the main island of Fiji, where she was again lifted onto a ship for the return trip to Australia. Back again in Adelaide waters, the boat was moored in the Port river and cruised extensively in St Vincent’s Gulf and Spencer Gulf, including trips to Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln and the Sir Joseph Banks Islands. She was pooped once running before a big sea, but survived in spite of the cockpit being non self-draining. In the 1990s, the Young family moved to Tasmania, to establish the Wooden Boat School, and Leofleda was again lifted onto the deck of a ship to be transported to Tasmania. She was moored for many years off South Franklin and cruised local waters, participating in some earlier wooden boat festivals. I bought the boat in April 2017 and initially moored her next to a friend’s houseboat at Cradoc, before sailing her around to her new home at Port Cygnet. I have been refurbishing the boat (with her name shortened to Leda), replacing the mission brown paintwork with a cheerful blue, and learning to handle her. She won the penultimate PCSC twilight race by one second on corrected time, and participated in the 2018 Cygnet Regatta in strong wind conditions.

LOD feet: 23
Hull Timber: Jarrah & Qld Maple
Type of Boat: Gaff Sloop
State: Tasmania
Built: 1973
Location: CDM