Custodian: Sue Owen; 2011 – Present
Moon Pearl is a 20 foot clinker construction and was built at the Wooden Boat Shop, in Sorrento, Victoria in 2011. At the time it was believed that this was the first clinker construction for a new Couta Boat for about 50 years.
Sue Owen commissioned the build due to her love of Couta Boats and all things wooden. It commenced with buying a Couta Boat painting in Sorrento, then joining the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) to become more involved in Couta Boat sailing, but very little progress was made. So Sue thought it would be a good idea to have a boat built for her and her two teenage daughters. Hence a small boat was designed.
Moon Pearl was inspired by a much earlier 20 foot clinker Couta Boat Helen, and the new design was to be deeper in the floors like Woodpecker as well as being beamy and spacious like Lavina. Hence Moon Pearl was a fresh new design, all approved by the Couta Boat Association.
The name ‘Moon Pearl’ was to remember happy times that Sue and her daughters had in Broome, WA and the monthly moon phenomenon there, where the moon creates a staircase of moon reflections at low tide lighting up the pools of water between the sand ribs, also fondly known as ‘the stairway to heaven’. The link was also to the pearling boats of Broome.
During the build of Moon Pearl, Sue’s father passed away. He too loved the sea and when Sue was growing up, she and her father and brothers sailed a Heron at Beaumaris Yacht Club. Vale Mr. Frank O’Brien.
Moon Pearl has not been sailed regularly since her build, but towards the end of the 2021 summer season, the beautiful clinker joined the Division 2 fleet out of SSCBC and sailed convincingly against the more seasoned competitors.