The construction of Cloudy Bay was commenced by Couta Boat builder, Ken Lacco in Newhaven, Victoria during 1987 – 1988.
Custodian: Andrew Reilly; 1988 – 1989
The incomplete hull was then sold to Port Melbourne professional fisherman, Dugga Beazley for his nephew Andrew Reilly, who was looking for a project at the time. Andrew finished the build in a shed at Laverton, in the western suburbs region of Melbourne in 1991.
She was named Wanderer and launched at South Werribee, then towed by Dugga Beazley back to Port Melbourne where she was installed in his backyard for the final finishing touches.
Custodian: Unknown; 1989 – 1990s
Although young Andrew was an experienced sailor, within a year of her launch, Wanderer was sold to the owner of the ‘Professional Fisherman’ magazine that was first published in 1982 for the Australian commercial fishing industry. It is not known how the boat was utilised in this period but given the owner’s professional interest in the fishing industry, most probably she was used for commercial or recreational fishing.
Custodian: Rod Macintosh; 1990s – 2004
The next custodian of Wanderer was Rod Macintosh, who raced her in the Couta Boat fleet out of Sorrento in the 1990s. In this time, she was also renamed Cloudy Bay after the Cloudy Bay Vineyards in New Zealand.
Custodians: Chris and Marilyn Malkin; 2004 –
When the current custodians Chris and Marilyn ‘Toby’ Malkin purchased the boat in 2004, Rod Macintosh informed them that Cloudy Bay Vineyards, a part of the French LVMH Company in New Zealand, had supported him. The new owners made contact with Cloudy Bay Vineyards that happily provided them with crew shirts and caps for a few years.
Chris and Toby race Cloudy Bay out of the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) in Victoria where she is moored close to the club’s jetty. She competes in most SSCBC Couta Boat events and during their custodianship, she has not missed a KPMG Couta Boat Classic.
A highlight of her sailing career was featuring in the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games along with around 30 other Couta Boats from the SSCBC.
This was a colourful, inspirational and very exciting event that showcased the iconic Couta Boat to millions of people throughout the world.
Cloudy Bay’s racing career in the Division 1 fleet at the SSCBC has been consistent. She is constantly placed mid-fleet on handicap, but is well out front in terms of fun and enjoying the camaraderie with other members and crews in the fleet.
Notwithstanding the good times, she has been in the mix of racing accidents over the years, having had three masts, a couple of jibbooms, two whisker poles and lots of dings repaired by the Wooden Boat Shop (WBS) in Sorrento. Suffice to say, she is kept in excellent condition.
Until 2017, Chris was the helmsman, after which his son James replaced him. Now, Chris observes:
Unsurprisingly, with James at the helm, her racing results have improved significantly!
She has had some impressive performances with podium finishes in several races over the years, including in the Couta Boat Association National Titles in the 2019 season.
Cloudy Bay continues to take pride of place in the Malkin Family; she is a much-loved and well-sailed boat.