how the mast was won

“Father’s brother, in Norway, would send spruce logs cut from his forest. They would arrive by ship and be dumped over the side into Woolloomooloo Bay and we would go over and row them back to Neutral Bay. The first step is to shape the log into a square section. The centre-line is marked by chalk. All four faces are also marked by chalk-line to the desired dimensions, then hewn with a broad axe. My axe head was forged steel, about 2 feet long and weighing about 8lbs.

The blade was about 8 inches wide with a curved cutting edge. You stand astride the log and swing the axe between your legs, working along the grain. The handle was off-set to the right to enable the chalk-line to be seen as the axe takes the cut. The second step is to form an octagonal section. This is done with an adze, then a drawknife. The mast is then planed with a long plane, and sand-papered. No power tools are used.” Carl Halvorsen – Making a mast (explained in 1992)

(The contribution of the Halvorsen family to yachting in Australia is without parallel. Not only did they design and build a succession of outstanding post-war racing yachts, they sailed them to handicap wins in the Sydney-Hobart race no less than five times.)