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 firstname.lastname@example.org so that it can be added to the Register.
Island Sun is believed to have been built circa 1936, but the location of her build and builder is unknown. She is described as being very full in the transom and has a curved stem.
Since the early 1960s, the boat has been kept Rhyll, a fishing port on Phillip Island in Victoria. A one-time owner was French Island farmer and Rhyll boatman Bill Guy. Bill bought the boat from Lakes Entrance and used her as a charter boat for fishing parties, probably until his death in 1978.
At some stage, the boat was used as a postal boat to and from French Island in Western Port, carrying goods across to the island and then returning with seaweed, which was used for insulation.
Custodian: Robert Vandijk; 1990s – Present
Robert Vandijk of Rhyll bought the boat over 20 years ago from the custodian at the time who lived at Corinella, a small inlet on Western Port. Robert was after a fishing licence but not long after the purchase, the government stopped commercial fishing in Western Port.
Island Sun was used by Robert for ‘putting’ under motor around Western Port and for an occasional trip up to 15 kilometres off-shore. There is evidence that lead was placed in the boat where the hull meets the stern, to protect the timber from the fishing lines that were trolled. Remnants of indented ‘channels’ from the lines are still visible in the boat.
When Robert went fishing in Exmouth, WA, Island Sun was moored at San Remo. However, vandals swam out to the boat and stole her mooring ropes; she ended up floating out in the channel under the bridge.
Island Sun was retrieved from the channel, taken out of the water and placed in Robert’s front yard at Rhyll, where she remains today.