Charlie Dunn came from a boatbuilding family. His father William Dunn was working on the North Shore (Berry's Bay at least as far back as 1864. Charlie and his brother Billy continued the business well into the twentieth century, building all sorts of boats from dinghies and skiffs to ferries and small coasters. Can't find his dates of birth and death, but brother Billy lived 1880-1953, and Charlie was still alive in 1945. Both brothers were top skippers, and Billy concentrated on this side more than on boatbuilding, steering many boats for different owners. Charlie mostly sailed boats he built for himself, including eight boats (10's and 18's) named Crescent and a number of 14 footers, including Clio. Starting his racing career in 10's and 14's in the 1890's he moved into 18's with Mascotte in 1901 and was still racing 18's in the mid-1930's.
Many of his boats were narrower than the prevailing models, but he did build some big-beam champions as well, including Kismet, Avalon and Pastime II, as well as supplying the moulds for Perth's Mele Bilo I & II. He was very popular interstate, especially in the 14' class, building boats for Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Shed: Berry's Bay, now part of Noakes Marine Centre.
Incomplete list of open racing boats built:
1890's: Several 10 footers named Crescent. Several 14 footers including Clio.
1901 Mascotte 18' Unusual for having the top two or three strakes clinker with batten-seam bottom and being painted white.
1903 Qui Vive 18' 6' beam, sold to Perth 1904.
1905 Air Motor 14' for Botany Bay.
1905 Crescent IV 18' for himself, also 6' beam.
1905 Crescent V 18'
1906 Crescent VI 18'
1906 Acme 18'
1908 Crescent VII 18'
1909? Nereid 16' skiff, Champion that year.
1912 Desdemona 18' for A.C.Roberts, sailed up until the 1940-41 season.
1912 Kismet 18' for Ravell brothers, also sailed up until the 1940-41 season.
1913 Swastika 18'
1916 Onda 18'
1919 Mischief 18' for Cairns FNQ
1921 Crescent VIII 18'
1921 Endeavour 18'
1922 Avalon 18'
1927 Pastime II 18'
The Dunn yard in Berry's Bay 1892. The Dunns had the shed and land to the right. The crowd is there for the launching of the Balmain ferry Lady Mary at the yard of Walter Reeks next door. Two yachts are visible on the Dunn slipway, one under cover without mast. The shed has more air than condition, I guess they took their tools home every night.
Fourteen foot dingy Clio built and sailed by Charlie and sometimes Billy, around 1897. The 14's were an unrestricted class and carried every sail their bigger sisters did, even squaresails up to about his date when spinnakers took over.
Billy Golding (1855-19??) was a prolific builder whose business was almost exclusively open racing boats of all classes. From an early age he was also a champion skipper. His Gymea of 1889 was probably the first eighteen footer that we would recognise as having all of the characteristics of the class that soon developed. His boats spanned almost the whole period of the racing of batten-seam carvel eighteen footers, as Golding boats were still racing in the late 1930's. Several of his half-deckers (not listed below at this point) are still afloat.
Shed: Figtree Point, Western side of Balmain. He lived in a house in Broderick St nearby which still exists.
Incomplete list of boats:
1872 Alpha 16' skiff, at 17 years of age, just out of articles of apprenticeship, also XLCR 16' skiff.
1870's-80's Our Own 16' skiff, Edith 18', Itonia 20', Vacuna 20', Leonie 22', Rosalind 23', Lizzie M 23', Pandora 24', Aeolus 24'
1880 Nereus 20' Burnt in Golding's shed fire in 1885. Golding and volunteer helpers built a new shed of 2 floors, 50' x 40'.
1886 Nyoola 22' for Brisbane
1889 Gymea 18'
1893 Olinda 18', Caneebie 22' for Brisbane
1894 Nereid 18'
1895 Yvonne 18'
1896 Vigilant 22'
1897 Thalia 18'
1898 Federal 18' for Newcastle, sailed also in Sydney
1899 Question 18'
1903 Arline 18' (later Australian II 1905)
1907 Eileen 18' (later Arline II 1910)
1909 Nimrod 18' (later Mascotte 1918, Awaya 1923, Mascotte 1925)
1910 Golding 18' (later Life Saver 1923)
1912 Australian III 18' (later Langham 1919, Chasidern 1921, Australian 1925, Frank R. Perrot 1927
1913 Golding announced he was taking a holiday from boatbuilding and appears not to have built another boat.
Wee Georgie was the son of Jack Robinson who raced and built several 18 footers. He was the Balmain Tigers First Grade Rugby League halfback in 1919 when he built Britannia, the replica of which is the focus of the construction section of the Open Boat book. He raced Britannia until 1944, then steered Aberdare for several years, then became the starter for the SFS (with Britannia as the starter boat at first) for 28 years.
Incomplete list of boats built:
1915 Britannia 6'
1919 Britannia 18'
1922 Waitangi 30' yacht (recently restored by Rick Wood)
1930 Jean 10' for Mr McFarlane
1947 Scamp 18' for and with son Ron
1960's Brit 20' clinker launch as replacement starter boat (still afloat)