Boats Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!

If it floats then the Hardings will be in it or on it!
Both Liz and John are passionate about boating in any shape or form.  Liz and Sue grew up in a house where every day was just another day to get ready for the next weekend's yacht racing. Some of Liz's first childhood memories are being at the yacht club waiting for her Dad (Wal) to come in from racing his 14 footer. Over the years she has owned sabots, moths and cherubs (all off the beach dinghies). She has skippered and crewed on many keel boats (including Olympic class yachts - Solings & Dragons). Not only was Wal a passionate yachty but he also was a keen water skiier who made sure that annual holidays were spent water skiing behind his beloved speed boats at both Lake Boga in Northern Victoria and at Easter time at Paynesville in East Gippsland. Easter was the double whammie so to speak, the yachting regatta and water skiing to boot!
John bought his first boat, a "Merlin Sabre" when he finished his plumbing apprenticeship, he spent many hours water skiing and 'hooning' in this 'dart' shaped runabout. He also spent many hours using this tiny boat as his fishing boat.
When Liz and John were married John was introduced to the sailing scene which he seemed to enjoy. Eventually after a Johnston family dinner it was decided that there wasn't going to be a holiday house but a  'Motor Cruiser' with at least 6 berths and a shower & toilet combination.  Thus saw the purchase of 'Jabiru' from Pompeii's boat builders in Mordialloc, Vic. Wal, John, Sue and Liz restored this old girl who was shipped to Paynesville for their weekend and holiday pleasure.  Everyone had great pleasure from this Lakes girl, Nic was taken there at 6 weeks old, Sue and her new husband Andrew spent many weekends on her.  It was the perfect family boat and always had several of our dogs along for fun. One way to wake up a boating neighbourhood is to have a dog fall overboard at 6.00 a.m. - especially in winter.
After Jabiru was sold in early 2002 it was not too long before the "boating bug" bit the Hardings again (not to say they didn't have enough around the house anyway with 7 kayaks & a dinghy). John purchased a 22 foot Carribean Reef Runner with 175 EFI Mercury - Nic & Liz take full credit for this wonderful find - it's a great all round boat with  V berth, cabin and a mass of room for fishing.  Living as close as we do to both Port Phillip Bay & Western Port Bay (15 mins drive from both) - this baby gets a jolly good work out, especially in summer.
Recently Nic has purchased the hull of an old 'Merlin Sabre' (same as his Dad's) and everyone, especially John,  is spending quite a fair bit of time on the restoration of this old girl - John because he can see his first boat returning to it's glory and Nic because it's all he can afford as a plumbing apprentice.  Liz because she just loves the smell of fibreglass in the mornings, it brings back so many great memories. Watch this space to follow the progress from a disregarded hulk to it's return to form.
The sabre is now up under cover in the back shed, waiting for someone to locate a "short leg" 40 hp mercury engine. Most of the outboards today have a long leg. Please email if anyone locally in Victoria knows of one.