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The profiles listed in this Register have been documented from the stories and photos contributed by custodians and others who willingly shared information. Readers who have additional information about the history of any Couta Boat are invited to forward it to couta_profile@coutaboat.com.au so that it can be added to the Register.

Bella C2016

Boat Details

Sail Number:
2016
Boat Location:
Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Victoria
Current Custodian:
David Currie
Year Built:
2016
Designer & Builder:

Wooden Boat Shop, Sorrento, Victoria.

Timbers Used:

Planking: Australian Red Cedar
Ribs: Huon Pine

Dimensions:
Length: 26 ft.

History

Custodian: David Currie; 2016 – Present
Bella was commissioned by David Currie and built at the Wooden Boat Shop (WBS) in Sorrento, Victoria in 2016. She was built at a length of 26 foot.

David was an Etchells sailor, but after sailing with Nick Williams on Wagtail, his interest in the Couta Boat class and the quality of the competition was ignited. During post-race drinks on the deck of Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, David saw plenty of familiar faces from his days in Etchells and ocean racing, many with the grey in their hair like him.

In 2014, David purchased Swan Bay, a beautiful boat but heavy, sluggish in a tack and slow to accelerate. However, the boat was not providing the competitive excitement that he was searching for.

It wasn’t long before David spoke to Tim Phillips about the new way of design and production at the WBS. Two ‘regatta boats’, Georgia and Jocelyn, had already been built and were very successful. They were the new way in design and construction by Tim and his team at the WBS. Thus the Bella story began.

Built by Tim Phillips, the boat is at the other end of the spectrum to Swan Bay.

It tacks quicker, accelerates out of a tack and has better overall speed on all legs of sailing. Being built of lightweight timbers, these boats do have a tendency to open up a bit when out of the water for winter maintenance. Put them back in for a new season and they do leak for quite some time before eventually closing up again. In one race at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Bella was doing very well. So much so that some complained that they were using their engine! It was just the bilge pump excreting surplus water and not the engine exhaust.

Launched in 2016 and named after David’s daughter, Bella was an excellent performer in light airs. But David wanted a more all-round performer. This challenge was achieved by adding more ballast and commissioning flatter sails. The boat now performs at the front end of the fleet in all breezes and has an impressive race record, including overall line honours in the 2017 Nationals and the 2018 Portsea Cup.

Bella is moored off the jetty at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club.

Race Record

2017: Equal 1st Line Honours, National Championships, Couta Boat Association, Pittwater, NSW
2018: 1st Line Honours, Portsea Cup, Couta Boat Association, Portsea, Vic.
2018: 3rd Handicap, Portsea Cup, Couta Boat Association, Portsea, Vic.
2018: 3rd Line Honours, Season Club Aggregate, Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Vic.
2019: 2nd Handicap, National Championships, Couta Boat Association, Sorrento, Vic.
2020: 1st Line Honours, Trophy Race, Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Vic.
2020: 2nd Handicap, Trophy Race, Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Vic.

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The Hardback Coffee Table Couta Boat Book is now available for order.
The book is a fascinating mix of wonderful photos and interesting stories.
CLICK HERE to Buy The Tradition Lives On – a Register of the Historic Couta Boats
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