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Bruce Kirby

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...Norwalk Islands Sharpies get going!
Home to the Norwalk Islands Sharpies

All owners report comfortable, quiet dry boats, easy single handed sailing, the self tacking rigs, with their natural balance and easy tendency to self steering contribute to this. The fully battened sails mean no flogging, even when lying a hull with the sheets freed off.

The shallow draft and very strongly constructed hull bottoms mean that you can take moorings where most others cannot. The self righting capabilities are up there with most blue water racing yachts.

Much has and is still being been learned from the hundreds of ‘our’ owner builders and their cruising and club racing exploits around the world, especially here in Australia.

For the past 5 years we have been reworking the plans to take into account the many innovations that have come largely from 'our' owner builders, and at the same time, digitising all the plywood components so that we can offer kits to streamline the building process.

The first kit boats are now on the water in Australia. Builders report up to 50% time saving in the hull construction.

The Mk2 Kits are being laser cut in Australia, the UK and in New Zealand.

The Norwalk Islands Sharpies stand on a grand tradition.

Our owners and builders are extending the lore!

We welcome you aboard.

Robert Ayliffe - October 2010

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Robert Ayliffe
Robert Ayliffe

‘The seas were high and so was the wind noise, spray everywhere.

We were crossing Investigator Straight between Kangaroo Island and Port Vincent in St Vincents Gulf, in late 1988, in NIS 23 Charlie Fisher, a boat that was only weeks old, and largely new to me.

The conditions were at variance to the forecast.

It felt pretty brisk all right, but were in no danger. The boat itself was quiet and handled the somewhat spectacular conditions well.

As we dried out the next morning, bow run up on Port Vincent’s dry beach sand, a yachtsman rowed past.

“There’s a rumour you guys sailed from Kangaroo Island, yesterday?”

“Yep”, we said.

“Some boat!”

“What do you mean?”

“It was gusting 60 knots all day out there. None of us would dare be out in that.’

Since then Robert and many others have successfully raced and cruised their Norwalk Islands Sharpies in big water all around Australia, and other parts of the world.