Some people collect stamps, others do Sabres – or how to build a multi coloured Sabre fleet.

13 October 2020
Ryan in the Pink Sabre at BRYC coaching day 2019

Harold Medd and friends at Black Rock Yacht Club (BRYC) have assembled a ‘try out fleet’ of four Sabres by fascinating means. These boats, a mix of FRP and plywood, are available to people ‘testing the water’ or moving from learn to sail to become ongoing Sabre sailors and club members. Indeed, some 25% of our current Sabre sailors at Black Rock have come from this source. Harold calls it the Sabre Development Program. Here is how it happened.

The first Sabre in the fleet was provided some years ago by George, when he bought a better boat. Just as well he upgraded since his old one, heavily sailed, was on its last legs and after a year or of constant use had to be scrapped. The next was donated by an ex Sabre sailor; it was old but stored indoors for more than 10 years, was in remarkably good condition and is now known as the Red Sabre. This was the start of our multicoloured try out fleet! Heavy use in the first year showed up a few problems which needed maintenance but it was rarely off the water for more than a week. Interesting that the early users came from other yacht clubs and have subsequently bought their own boats.

Our Pink Sabre turned up on the web at a good price and was purchased and donated by a generous club member.  Harold and friends kept the two boats going for a couple of years, several of our current sailors used them and subsequently bought their own boats. Next came the Beige boat which had been sitting unused around the club and was offered to us. It required considerable renovation and has joined our try out fleet as a fully-fledged member.

Not content with just three boats, Warren Stahl spotted a Blue boat, sitting apparently abandoned on a nature strip. Warren phoned Geoff Dresser, they agreed that it was a good buy at $400. After plenty of work it is now in reasonable condition.

While all this was going on, the repair crew took delivery of a part complete Sabre that had been generously donated by a club member. With Luis Mata, a dab hand with the paint brush, Geoff and Harold did it up to become Luis’ property, probably now the most regularly sailed Sabre at Black Rock.

Through the goodwill of club sailors, many fittings, spars and sails have been donated. The Sabre culture means that experienced sailors are always ready to help those just starting and those wanting to improve. We aim for a donation of $15 per use to cover some of the ongoing maintenance costs. Maintenance of our fleet of try out boats and induction of new sailors takes time and effort, however gradually the load has spread to more club volunteers.

Thanks to Harold and Geoff, the Sabre Development Program is alive and well at Black Rock. It continues to introduce and nurture people from a wide variety of sailing backgrounds and experience to the joy of sailing in good size fleets with friendly competition and camaraderie at all levels. Contact Harold, Geoff or BRYC Manager to discuss your next move.