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Author Topic: SwiftCraft  (Read 1368 times)
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yachty60
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« on: August 10, 2017, 08:30:10 PM »

Hi i am new to forum. My father Ted Gibbins and his 3 brothers Don, Frank & Laurence are the founders of SwiftCraft origanaly called Tilly Craft.
I have great memories spending my saturdays and school holidays in the Breaside factory mostly spent in the wood shop and doing the tuck shop run for a few of the guys.
The model design & moluld section was another place i found amazing, the factory a times employed over 100 people building boats from 13ft Dingy to the 33ft Saphire & ship to shore Navy boats in a second factory around the corner.

In 1966 the factory had a major fire and they lost the buildings but soon had a new factory build, i guess from then on it was the boom times for boating with Savage, Caribbean & SwiftCraft being the bigger players.

In the late 80s the brothers decided to retire, some moulds the Dominator, Maina and maybe others ended up in Western Australia.

After looking for some time for the right boat I have just started a project to restore a 1966 SwiftCraft 1500 with 1966 Evinrude Starflite 80hp and have added a few photos one with dad and my sister in a 1500 of Mordialoc.

Cheers for now. Mike G


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MERCMAN
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 10:10:26 AM »

Hi Mike and welcome to The Board.
What an amazing and informative story you have written and what a great find you have there with the 1500. We have a number of Evinrude savvy members and I'm quite sure they will be more than willing to offer both advice and assistance to get your old 'rude running like a watch.

We are very lucky having the Son and Nephew of the founders of Swiftcraft as a member of our Board. Any photos of the factory, boats or printed matter you may have, would be great to see on our Forum.

As a side note, we also have Gillian (Electra) the Daughter of Tom Savage as a member of our Forum as well.

MERCMAN.
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yachty60
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 05:39:47 PM »

Hi and yes i have a few and access to old photos of the factory that i will post, i did have trouble posting a couple being over size but will work that out".

I have the Starflite striped down now waiting for some oversize piston's gaskets and all the things to make the old girl happy again, also i picked up a spare complete running but rough engine for a few dollars. My plan is to rebuild the engine first then restore the boat repaint etc over the summer but they are a can of worms i guess so we will see.  

A photo with Dad at the wheel stiletto on the right & uncle Don at the wheel stiletto on the left . 


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« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 05:43:51 PM by yachty60 » Logged
yachty60
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 07:59:06 PM »

Hi and yes i have a few and access to old photos of the factory that i will post, i did have trouble posting a couple being over size but will work that out".

I have the Starflite striped down now waiting for some oversize piston's gaskets and all the things to make the old girl happy again, also i picked up a spare complete running but rough engine for a few dollars. My plan is to rebuild the engine first then restore the boat repaint etc over the summer but they are a can of worms i guess so we will see.  

A photo with Dad at the wheel stiletto on the right & uncle Don at the wheel stiletto on the left . 


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MERCMAN
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 09:21:13 AM »

Hi Mike,
The Stiletto was a real head turner in it's day and it still is. It was pretty successful on the racing circuit as well. My friend Nigel, fellow boat racer and fellow board member can share some great pics and stories I'm quite sure. I'll give him a call shortly and ask him to post what he can.

MERCMAN. 
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yachty60
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 05:20:09 PM »

Hi Mercman,

The Stiletto is a great little ski & race boat and not forgetting the Stingray its bigger brother, it would be great to see more photos of them.
I am finding my way around the site and the amazing content, the photo Gillian Savage posted of the Melbourne boat show brings back a lot of great memories as a boy spending time there while Dad and the uncles ran the SwiftCraft stand. I have a similar photo of the SwiftCraft stand at the 1974 Boat Show that I will post but for now I am trying to get a few photos together and have a chat to dad to clarify a few dates as to when the business first started etc.

Yachty60


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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 09:09:01 PM »

Hi Mike,
     Can't get my Stilletoe pics to load, if you send me your email address, I will send them to you, and perhaps you might have some luck loading them.
                                          Flynn.nigelj@gmail.com.
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yachty60
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 07:28:31 PM »

I am not sure of the date of this photo showing  the new factory built after the fire in 1966.
In the far left hand corner you can see the race boat GO SWIFT CRAFT .

Mike G


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yachty60
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 07:30:01 PM »

GO SWIFT CRAFT


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yachty60
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 07:43:11 PM »

The factory fire in 1966, I remember this day well, I was with my sisters and mum coming back from buying fish and chips on lower Dandenong rd as we came up to Boundary road we could see  the fire trucks and the factory well alight, mum just  turned the car straight in to boundary road and parked on top of one of the fire hoses  and tried to explain to a very angry fireman who we were.

Mike g


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yachty60
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 07:31:11 PM »

Thanks to Old Racer Nigel for sending these great old black and white photos of Stiletto’s racing.


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yachty60
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 07:34:01 PM »

 1 more from Old Racer and an early photo of a Falcon being tested to the limit.

Mike G


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yachty60
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2017, 07:34:44 PM »

Back up and running, I changed the colour to Evinrude  polychromatic blue I think they only came out in the US & Canada with the blue.
Fairly easy engine to rebuild and parts are available but you do need a good selection of hammers’ & patience and maybe a sound proof  shed.  Hopefully in the next few weeks we will take it for a run in the Tarwin river then use the boat over summer at Inverloch then restore the boat over the winter .

Mike G


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andrewallan
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 07:04:52 AM »

What sort of paint have you used? It looks great. If my Starflite survives forthcoming repairs, it really needs a repainting too.

Andrew A
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yachty60
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2017, 06:45:26 PM »

Hi I sand blasted most of the aluminium covers except the gearbox then primed with Epinamel PR250 then  Colourthane PF330 primer filler ( hi build primer ) top coat is Colourthane C Series. The fiberglass cowling was sanded back then just the PF330 and the C series top coat , these are Wattyl 2 pack industrial products I used them on a 40ft yacht I had, for an outboard a bit of over kill  but I was familiar with using them.  The Engine block I just primed then top coated. If you decide to go this way make sure you read the safety sheets and buy the best mask and filters you can. Wattyl trade centre in Springvale helped a lot to colour match the white & Polycromatic blue.

Cheers Mike G
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