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Peter Dally
MHYC Vice Commodore

Date Born1938 15
Current City/HometownSydney
ClubMiddle Harbour Yacht Club
Boat Owner ofCapricorn Dancer
Boats Sailed OnJoycee
Singapore Girl

Peter Dally

My Story

National Service I.D. Mechanical Engineer 2nd class. I retired from the Navy as an ERA to join the Merchant Navy as an Engineers Officer
My Singapore Port Authority I.D. in discharge book from when I was in the Merchant Navy sailing in the China Seas

In 2022, we asked Peter to tell his story:

"I lived in Melbourne until I was 12 coming to Sydney for the school holidays.

In Sydney I lived with my grandparents in Balmain opposite Aunt's & Conway's Boatsheds. It is in these boat sheds that the Balmain 12ft skiff Club and the Balmain VJ clubs were founded. I don't know actually when, as it was before I moved in with my grandparents. A few of the Leagues 18 footers were also stored in these sheds.

I started sailing in 12'skiffs as a well hand or bailer boy when I was 8, whenever I was in Sydney.   There were two well hands on each 18' skiff. As a well hand, the first thing you leant was to get low beside the fin case so none of these big guys would walk over you when going about. I had plenty of practice on the 12' on how this was done. In light air, we learnt to trim and set sails as the big guys were jettisoned onto buoys and rounding marks and the well hands were promoted to sheet hands, forward hands, and trimers!

The Balmain VJs fleet eventually died because the VJ owners started buying 16' skiffs. We lost 3 VJs and crews to crew each 16' skiffs with 6 crew. What was left of the VJ club amalgamated with the Drummoyne Sailing Club.

I sold my VJ and then  crewed on skiffs out of Drummoyne Sailing Club through the 5 years of my Marine Engineering apprenticeship at Mort's Dock & engineering Company.

As an Engineer Officer, I sailed in the Island trade around New Guinea, the China Seas and Fiji for about 7 years, then cruise ships out of Fort Lauderdale.

After getting married, I took up a job to service shipping to stay home for a while.

In 1965, I joined the crew of "Joycee" owned by Keith Savill and his son Denis. We all clicked and one night were talking, when someone found a design of the plan that had been scaled up to build the classic boat "Windward Passage". The yacht had everything that suited our style of sailing. Keith bought the plans from Alan Gurney, hired a shipwright to do the loft work and we all got into building the yacht "Rimfire".

 She lived up to our expectations in every way and I joined the Middle Harbour Yacht Club in 1965 and crewed on "Rimfire" for the next 25 years.

Our children, Andrew & Belinda sailed their Flying  Ants at MHYC up until they grew out of them. They then took up Windsurfing and used our yacht as a base to get to where the wind was and only came back to eat or sleep at night

Over this time, we lived in Bayview on Pittwater and owned three yachts "Windsong", "Kismet" and "Capricorn Dancer". We kept the yacht on our mooring in the front of our home in Bayview and raced the yacht in the Twilight races. Mostly they were a base for our children Andrew & Belinda, to live and launch the wind surfers.

I have sailed in the China Seas race, Round the Island Singapore, Etchell championships in Hong Kong, Yngling Championships in Denmark, more Mooloolaba, Coffs Harbour and Southport races than I can count and a few Hobart and Lord Island races.

Our son Andrew was wanting to sail offshore, so we put "Capricorn Dancer" up for sale and said goodbye to "Rimfire" tried to buy "Singapore Girl" but was beaten by Tony Hill. However Andrew and I ended up crewing on "Singapore Girl" for the next 5 or so years with Tony Hill.

Andrew and I purchased "Sensai" as our family yacht and hired it out to the Sailing School

After Andrew had gone thru the Maritime college and finished his Master's qualifications he had command time at sea on a few ships. He then bought his own yacht, firstly "Bear Necessary" and then "Khaleesi" which he sailed with his wife Pauline and sometimes sister Belinda.

He has now decided to go cruising and he and Pauline have a Jeanneau 40."

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