BLUEBIRD - Yacht Association, Victoria, Australia

The Bluebird sailing craft from Australia, the peoples boat




The Bluebird is a compact keelboat: 22ft long with four berths.




Known for their robust construction and affordable price tag, the Bluebird makes for an ideal first yacht while still holding enormous attraction for anyone, including seasoned yachties, who enjoy the thrill of competitive class racing or simply a safe cruise.

The Bluebird has been responsible for teaching many sailors about sailing techniques and tactics. In fact, under experienced hands, the class can give larger keel boats with more modern designs a run for their money. It is also an economical alternative to getting into sailing - it doesn't have to cost you the earth to own and sail a keel boat.


The Bluebird was designed by a Sydney ship building engineer, the late Ken Watts. The design first appeared in the September 1947 edition of 'Seacraft' as study plans.

Mr Watts conceived 'Bluebird' during the war years when he pondered the sort of affordable yacht he could build after wars end.

The concept was for a small low cost family keel yacht for amateur construction in plywood. Ken Watts never actually built one for himself, but went on to design other yachts including the popular Daydream.

The first two Victorian 'Bluebirds' were launched in 1948 and sailed at Sandringham Yacht Club. Later that year the first N.S.W Bluebird was launched while several more were at various stages of construction. One of the pioneers in plywood yacht construction in Australia, they quickly became popular in all states. As their good performance under sail was recognised, they soon doubled as racing yachts and by the late 1950s racing fleets began forming at various clubs around Australia.






By the early 1960s, their extreme popularity lead to their production in fibreglass and hundreds were also built in this medium to the same basic measurements. In the 1964 N.S.W. championships, fibreglass yachts dominated and they continued to be virtually mass produced until well into the 1970s. Through those decades their claim to being "Australia's Peoples Yacht" was never disputed and many thousands of sailors began their keel boat sailing in them.

The Victorian Bluebird Association has been active since the 1960s. Today's fleet is based at Hobsons Bay Yacht Club where both Summer and Winter regattas still attract double figures and the competition is fierce. Those that sail them today consider them as relevant as they ever were and pre-loved boats are in demand.










Length: 22 feet (6.7 metres)
Beam: 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 metres)
Draft: 3 feet 10 inches (1.17 metres)
Displacement: 1.5 tonnes
Rig: 3/4
Sail Plan: main, headsails, 3/4 or masthead spinnaker




Victoria (abbreviated as Vic.) is a state in the south-east of Australia. Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state and its second-most populous state overall. Most of its population is concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Melbourne, which is Australia's second-largest city. Geographically the smallest state on the Australian mainland, Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.




Melbourne, capital of Victoria - 85% fueled by brown coal power stations

Prior to European settlement, the area now constituting Victoria was inhabited by a large number of Aboriginal peoples, collectively known as the Koori. With Great Britain having claimed the entire Australian continent east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria was included in the wider colony of New South Wales. The first settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, and much of what is now Victoria was included in the Port Phillip District in 1836, an administrative division of New South Wales. Victoria was officially created a separate colony in 1851, and achieved self-government in 1855. The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s significantly increased both the population and wealth of the colony, and by the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city & leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne also served as capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne.

Politically, Victoria has 37 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly (the lower house) and the Legislative Council (the upper house). Victoria is currently governed by a coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party, with the Liberals' Denis Napthine the current premier. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria, currently Alex Chernov. Local government is concentrated in 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which are administered directly by the state.

The economy of Victoria is highly diversified: service sectors including financial and property services, health, education, wholesale, retail, hospitality and manufacturing constitute the majority of employment. Victoria's total gross state product (GSP) is ranked second in Australia, although Victoria is ranked sixth in terms of GSP per capita because of its limited mining activity. Culturally, Melbourne is home to a number of museums, art galleries and theatres and is also described as the "sporting capital of Australia". The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the largest stadium in Australia, and the host of the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground is also considered the "spiritual home" of Australian cricket and Australian rules football, and hosts the grand final of the Australian Football League (AFL) each year, usually drawing crowds of over 95,000 people. Victoria includes eight public universities, with the oldest, the University of Melbourne, having been founded in 1853.




Yallourn power station in the Latrobe valley is one of many contributing to global pollution on a vast scale by burning lignite (brown coal), considered to be a dirty fuel that is mined locally to provide cheap electricity. Maybe it is time for Australia to start thinking about wind power for clean electricity and a sustainable future? New Zealand is on course for 100% generation of clean electricity. Bonza cobbers.





Mining in Victoria contributes around A$3 billion to the gross state product (~1%) but employs less than 1% of workers. The Victorian mining industry is concentrated on energy producing minerals, with brown coal, petroleum and gas accounting for nearly 90% of local production. The oil and gas industries are centred off the coast of Gippsland in the state's east, while brown coal mining and power generation is based in the Latrobe Valley.


In the 2005/2006 fiscal year, the average gas production was over 700 million cubic feet (20,000,000 m3) per day (M cuft/d) and represented 18% of the total national gas sales, with demand growing at 2% per year.


In 1985, oil production from the offshore Gippsland Basin peaked to an annual average of 450,000 barrels (72,000 m3) per day. In 2005–2006, the average daily oil production declined to 83,000 bbl (13,200 m3)/d, but despite the decline Victoria still produces almost 19.5% of crude oil in Australia.


Brown coal is Victoria's leading mineral, with 66 million tonnes mined each year for electricity generation in the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland. The region is home to the world's largest known reserves of brown coal.


It is significant as the centre of Victoria's Energy industry – specifically the mining and burning of Lignite (brown coal) to produce electricity. The area produces a total of approximately 85% of the electricity for the entire state of Victoria – and supplies some electricity to New South Wales & Tasmania – and is home to four of the highest electricity producing power stations in the country.


Power plants located in the Latrobe Valley include Hazelwood Power Station, Loy Yang Power Stations A & B, Yallourn Power Station, Jeeralang Power Station (Gas) and the Energy Brix Power Station.














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Royal Yacht Club Victoria US 4630997





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