Damien O’Grady reports on sailing Murray Isles Aurette dinghy

Damien O'Grady's Auray punt

Australian Damien O’Grady has sent us this photo and a short report of his experience of sailing Murray Isles’ Aurette small Auray punt design.

Auray punt fans may remember he wrote a short report of his experience of building the boat a while ago. The plans are included in my book published by International Marine,  Ultrasimple Boatbuilding.

See the photos and what Damien had to say in his earlier post here.

This is what he says now he has rigged the boat as specified in Murray’s plans. I’d say it sounds just right for a dinghy of this size:

‘Hi Gavin

‘I finally made the mast and yard from what is here called white beech [it’s called hornbeam here – ed], which I soaked with Sikkens Cetol HLS. I put two canvas collars around the mast – one at the point where it passes through the foredeck, and one where the yard rubs up against it – I stitched these on using heavy duty thread, criss-crossed as you would put laces on your boots. The halyard passes through a simple “dumb sheave”, just as is suggested in your book, which I made by drilling a 12mm hole and working it with a D-section file.

‘You can see most of the arrangement in the attached photo, in which my son is hoisting the yard for the first time. The tack has a line that attaches first to the mast, and then to the little bulkhead just behind the foredeck – this serves to hold the mast in place in case you capsize. I shaped the spars just as shown in your book. I reinforced the foredeck aperture with glass tape.

‘She needs plenty of wind to really get going, but she can handle pretty much anything you throw at her. I’ve had her with that much wind that the bow is almost buried under the bow wave, and you have to shift your weight aft to compensate. Very forgiving for kids to begin sailing in. As an adult, if you capsize, it won’t be because of the wind – it’s more likely to be bad balance on your part.

‘That’s it – I’m very fond of her – my son has been seduced by the speed and glamour of the RS Feva, so now he only takes out the little Aurette to humour me, but that’s fine. I’m thinking next of making a light boom for her, to keep better sail shape.



PS – Damien has sent over some additional measurment information for the rudder not included in the published plans. See them here: rudder_extras

Damien O’Grady builds Murray Isles’ Aurette dinghy from my book, Ultrasimple Boatbuilding

Murray Isles dinghy built by Damien O'Grady 4 Murray Isles dinghy built by Damien O'Grady

Murray Isles dinghy built by Damien O'Grady  Murray Isles dinghy built by Damien O'Grady Murray Isles dinghy built by Damien O'Grady

Damien O’Grady of the Australian town of Cairns has reported that he’s built Murray Isles’ great little Aurette stitch and glue dinghy from plans included in my book Ultrasimple Boatbuilding, which was published by International Marine a few years ago now.

The Aurette is Murray’s take on the legendary Auray punt (see earlier posts),  and the project has clearly gone well. Here’s a little of what he says about it:

‘Probably the hardest part was early on, fitting the forward transom to the sides – a lot of twisting and manipulating of the ply sides to get them right, and then I had to temporarily screw the pieces together to give me time to get the ties in, and then remove the screws. Also there’s quite a camber on the foredeck, so that took some grunting.

‘Anyway, she’s great to row, and I’m looking forward to sailing her. I have the yard done – the mast is still to be shaped. I have made the sail – making it by hand took a few hours in front of the TV in the evenings.

‘Congratulations on your great book and website – I wish I could persuade some of the jet-ski mob around here to have a go. Actually there is a wooden boat club here in Cairns – http://www.wbac.com.au/ – they have an annual romp up at Lake Tinaroo in the Tablelands (no crocs, no jellyfish, no sharks, but, if you’re lucky, a few barramundi).

‘I’ll send more pics when I get the sail hoisted.

‘Cheers, Damien’

Thanks Damien – it’s always great to hear about successful projects from Ultrasimple Boatbuilding.

A charming little Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan

Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany


Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany

Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany Small Auray punt on the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany

It’s nice to see Auray punts still in use on the Southern Brittany coast more than a century since British yachtie Claude Worth first recorded them and suggested they would make good tenders. This one seems to be set up for both rowing and sculling.

Click here for a post on Worth’s observations, and here for more on Auray punts generally.

Julie’s 5ft 2in tall – which I guess makes this cute little child’s boat about 6ft long, or marginally longer.

What about that Frisian cow dazzle paint job though? Does it make it seem longer or shorter?