Home > Travel > Notorious


We’ve been away for a few days and visited MPS in Warrnambool.  She took us over to Pt. Fairy, about 20 minutes away, for a nice lunch and then down to the waterfront to see Notorious.

Notorious is a full-size, sailing recreation of a fifteenth century Portuguese caravel built by a local, Graeme Wylie.  Graeme woke up one morning and said to his wife, “I’m going to built a ship today dear”. As you do.

Notorious started out as “Raven” and has been constructed entirely from reclaimed timber without felling a single tree.  Also, Graeme only used traditional building tools such as a band saw and chain saw.  Winking smile

He had no plans to guide him and constructed it solely from pictures.  For a gold coin donation, Graeme allows you to tour the boat, which, I might add, doesn’t take very long. The money is going towards new ropes and sails and he hopes to have sea trials later in the year.

Standing on this tiny caravel rocking away at it’s berth and preparing for sea makes you wonder how Prince Henry the Navigator could convince his minions to man such a tiny vessel and head off into the wild blue yonder which was flat in those days anyway.

The pay must have been bloody good!

Read all about it here.


  1. May 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    The funny thing is, we have this perception of ships all being huge, but a few centuries ago people were regularly putting to sea in ships this size. She looks like she’d rock a bit in high seas, but I’d love to sail her.

    Waddya mean she’d rock a bit in high seas. She was rocking like mad tied up at the jetty in calm water!

    I’d love you to sail her. Just without me.

  2. june in florida
    May 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I am with you DB, last ship I sailed on was the General Hodges an army troop ship May 1956. The North Atlantic in May is rough.I see these cruise ships getting bigger and bigger and just asking for a rogue wave. Good for him though, fantastic work.

    I’ve never been seasick but I need a few thousand tons under me before I venture out there into Davy Jones territory.

  3. May 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I never fail to be amazed when some nutter gets it into his head that he’s going to build a boat and has no plans and has no expertise and no proper know how and whatever materials he can lay his hands on, and just forges ahead and a few years later KAPOW! there’s an enormous boat tied up at the end of the dock.
    One of my neighbours many years ago did the same thing…. built a giant catamaran on his farm using plywood and scrap metal and whatever he could barter for, and then he took his family (wife and 3 kids) on a “round the word” trip. Well, they got as far as the Caribbean when the boat started to fall apart and sank in shark infested waters. Luckily a passing aircraft heard their distress signals and alerted the rescue people. They had to take a plane back to Canada having lost everything, and guess who was piloting the plane…. yes, the same pilot who heard their distress signal, so he organised a whip round of all the passengers and they got enough money to get themselves back to friends and family.
    I wonder what’s happened to that family now…. he was a crazy guy.

    Interesting story! Not sure what this guy has planned for that boat but hopefully taxpayers won’t have to fork out for a rescue at some stage.

  4. AZ
    May 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Nice ship. Now for the interesting part of the photo, the “5 Knots NO WASH IN RIVER” sign. In Arizona the sign would say “5 M.P.H. NO WAKE.” Is it any wonder foreigners get confused, they can’t wash in your river and they have to sleep at our lakes. Too funny!

    Yeah, you Yanks always speak funny. 😀

    On that subject, the boat owner said that when he sailed up the river to it’s current berth, Notorious hardly made a ripple but far smaller craft were making a bow wave larger than the Titanic’s at the same speed.

  5. May 30, 2011 at 10:23 am


    Gotta love the nutter builders!

    One of your crew?

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