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 so that it can be added to the Register.

Star C64

Boat Details

Sail Number:
Boat Location:
Sorrento, Victoria.
Current Custodian:
James Mighell and Andrew Skinner
Year Built:
Designer & Builder:

Lacco Brothers, Rosebud Victoria.

Timbers Used:

Hull: New Zealand Kauri
Deck: Baltic Pine

Length: 20 ft.


Early Years:
Star was built by the Lacco brothers in Rosebud, Victoria circa 1930s.

She was built at 20 foot, with a shallow draft which suggests that she was built to be launched off the beach at Rosebud. She was constructed as a working fishing boat, but without a rig. It is likely her early years were spent fishing on Port Phillip.

There is no trace of the boat over the next 50 years. It is presumed, however, in that time she remained in Port Phillip waters.

Custodian: John Duke; c1970s – c1980
In the 1970s, John Duke became her custodian. He took Star to Port Melbourne boat repairer Dugga Beazley who restored the boat and fitted her with a gaff rig. The sails were cotton, dyed a red-tan colour by immersing in boiled tanbark, which was the practice to prevent wet sails going moldy.

Custodian: Gerry Neylan; c1980 – c1997
After an introduction from Dugga Beazley, Gerry Neylan purchased Star from John Duke in about 1980.

At the time, the boat was moored at St Kilda, Melbourne and in need of repair. Tim Phillips transported her to the Wooden Boat shop at Sorrento for an overhaul; the old engine was removed and a new Yanmah 1GM 10 hp diesel fitted. Gerry sold the old engine to a vintage marine engine collector.

Once back on the water, Star was a familiar sight between her mooring at the end of St Pauls Road, Sorrento and her mooring at Portsea, flying a distinctive and large French tri-colour.

For many years, Star was used by Gerry for cruising with family and friends at the southern end of Port Phillip. She was then taken to the northern end of the bay to Williamstown where she was moored at the jetty of C Blunt Boatbuilder.

Custodian: Bruce Henderson; 1997 – Present
Bruce Henderson purchased Star in 1997, and folklore records that Bruce and Gerry had a long and infamous journey from Williamstown to Sorrento.

Star is moored at Sorrento, Victoria.

Custodians: James Mighell & Andrew Skinner; 2023 -Present
In October 2023, James Mighell and Andrew Skinner were at the Wooden Boatshop in Sorrento and noticed Star on props next to Mercury. In James’ words, Peas in a pod!

Her owner Bruce Henderson was looking for a new custodian who would sail her regularly and keep her in local waters, made an offer that was accepted.

She is now part of the Mighell/Skinner/Haig Syndicate and it is intended that she will be sailed in the SSCBC Div 2 fleet in the coming season.

Star was relaunched on November the 10th and completed her first race eight days later with Alison Mighell and Tess Lloyd sailing her to a very respectable position in the Division 2 fleet for the first race of the Wooden Boatshop series, a sternchaser.

They both remarked that she was a beautiful boat to sail and look forward to more recreational sailing and races.

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