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.
Western Port, Victoria (Builder unknown )
Deck: Laid Celery Top Pine
Marlay is understood to have been built in Western Port, Victoria somewhere in the 1930s to 1940. She is 22 foot with a 4 foot jibboom and has a shallow 2 foot draft. She has a laid Celery deck.
She is believed to have fished around the Western Port area for many years and was converted to motor in the 1970s. But her exact location in those intervening years is not known, until Murray Mackay purchased her as Ben Bunn in 2008.
Custodian: Murray Mackay; 2008
After the purchase, with the assistance of wooden boat builder Brett Almond, Murray Mackay undertook a restoration to return Ben Bunn to a sailing Couta Boat at Queenscliff at the southern end of Port Phillip.
The hull was refurbished including a new centre-case, new spars, sails and rigging. Brett renamed and registered her as Jadda C167, after his daughter’s nickname. Murray, though, realised his preference for a bigger boat, so shortly after the purchase he sold her to Rob Pullin in 2008, whilst retaining the name, sail number and rig, and applying them to a new hull.
Custodian: Rod Pullin; 2008 – 2014
Rob sailed Jadda to Williamstown at the northern end of Port Phillip, to C Blunt Boat Builder and started from scratch, rigging her again from a bare hull. Greg Blunt decided that he would build the new mast and Paul Blunt would build the boom, gaff and jibboom. The old engine was replaced with a refurbished Volvo 2020 which was the last motor to come out of JJ Marine in Port Melbourne before retirement.
Rob had new cream sails made by North Sails, and teak blocks and bronze sheave cars sourced from Classic Marine in the UK. New castings came from Briggs Marine. Rob then renamed her Marlay and registered her as C167.
Custodian: Diana and John Berwick; 2014 – 2017
In 2014, Rob sold Marlay to John and Diana Berwick who sailed her from Mordialloc on Port Phillip for a several years. Unfortunately, she was damaged in a bad storm at her berth in 2015 and needed repairing, including all new wiring and dual batteries. She was then purchased by James, John and Lachlan Jackson in 2017.
Custodian: James, John and Lachlan Jackson; 2017 – Present
The new custodians towed Marlay from Mordialloc to Sandringham Yacht Club in bayside Melbourne and then trucked her to Goolwa in South Australia. She is currently sailed on the Goolwa Lakes in South Australia, where her shallow draft comes in handy.