Old sailor learns new tricks

Geoff Rumsey with his pride and joy Pippi Doo, the 14ft yacht he has built himself.
Geoff Rumsey with his pride and joy Pippi Doo, the 14ft yacht he has built himself.

It took the sea loving Kalamunda resident three years to build the 4.2m wooden yacht ” named Pippi Doo after the nickname he gave his granddaughter ” but he recently converted the unreliable diesel engine to all electric.

Mr Rumsey said the move is popular in Europe, where petrol motors are not permitted on canals, and in the eastern states of Australia, but relatively rare in WA.

‘It was difficult to find someone in WA that had what I needed, so I had to have a 24-volt conversion kit sent to WA from a Dutch manufacturer,’ he said.

‘I’m sure there are others in WA that have done the same, but I don’t know of any; I’d like to get in contact with them and discuss it.’

The father of two, grandfather of four and great grandfather of two said there were benefits to giving the single cylinder petrol motor the flick.

‘There’s no smoke or fumes and you can hear yourself speak because the noise of the motor is so low,’ he said.

Mr Rumsey recently completed a maiden voyage on the Swan River under electric power and he found the boat went faster, at 5.18 knots. It also has the ability to reverse.

Even with the successful conversion, the work on his pride and joy has not yet finished.

‘I would like to put a canopy on it this summer ” one made of wood and canvas,’ he said.