30 Sept 2007 I just read your letter in the October Afloat. I have had a Delta craft for about 10 years, the "Coolabah" moored in Middle Harbour Sydney. Its a great family boat and very forgiving when I get busy and don't use it for few months. While the kids now find it a bit slow, in my view you really cant go past it for value.
We mainly use it around where its moored some times going over to Quarantine and Store beaches at Manly. We also usually go round to Bradley's Head on New Years eve to watch the fireworks.
My eldest now 16 years has started taking his friends out in the holidays for a boat day, so its now attracting the next generation. It has been a great boat for him to learn all his skills on ( again very forgiving).
Before the article that appeared in Afloat. I had very little knowledge of the history of the make. There are around 6 that I know of moored around Middle harbour, I don't know any of the owners.
I thought your idea of connecting with other owners sounded fun and would like to be involved. Let me know how you progress. Mark
September 2007 - I enjoyed the story of the Deltacraft Islander Afloat Aug'07. My late husband and I spent many happy hours on 'The Minnow'around Pittwater and Sydney Harbour's quieter waters.
We were surprised to find a Deltacraft in the harbour at Hydra in Greece and had a chat with the owner. I joined the Australian Volunteer Coastguard after my husband died and learned how little we had known about boating skill and safety.
My children now own boats for water skiing etc, but I still enjoy a ferry ride when the swell is up and look forward to my copy of Afloat for my boating fix. Margaret
4 Oct 2007 Just saw your letter in Afloat. and was delighted that you enjoyed my article.
Great idea to start a database on the Islander. I know about 560 were built, but am not sure how many have survived. Judging by the number you see on the waterways around Sydney I reckon there are plenty.
I've no experience in setting up an internet site, which strikes me as the ideal way to do this sort of thing.
I have copies of boat tests on the Islander from the era, as well as a lot of documentation on my boat, Newfie. Hopefully others have similar info, photos and so on. Ewen
8 Oct 2007 I also enjoyed the Afloat. article on the islander and was surprised to learn that there were 560 of them made.
I have a Mark 1 1982 model that I have had for about 8 years.The boat is moored near my house in Port Stephens. The boat gets a lot of use and it is perfect for this kind of waterway.
I recently fitted a brand new diesel in the boat which probably gives you some idea of my commitment to the vessel. Andrew
27 Oct 2007 Please find attached two photos of our much loved deltacraft. We updated from a Mark 1 in 2005 to our current Mark 2 which was built in 1986. As you can see in the photos we have a mast and foresail which we use off the wind.
My father and I are no experts, but are happy to offer advice on anything 'delta' if needed. Darren See Mark 2 in the Photo Gallery
19 November 2007 Re your Letter in the October edition of Afloat Magazine, regarding the Deltacraft Islander and your interest in documenting these vessels in Australia and talking to other Islander owners who also own one of these distinctive classic boats.
I too happily read the article by Ewan Kennedy in the August edition and was also like you very pleased to read about the history of these craft.
I can't get hold of the magazine here in Victoria so I read it online (But have now subscribed to receive it by post) and funnily enough I wrote to Afloat in October too, about the Article telling them how good it was and they published my letter in the November edition. I have just now been reading the October Letters and just found and read your letter!
I would be very pleased to add my Deltacraft Islander Mark 1, to your register of owners and vessels !
I have owned my Islander for a few years now but its been a long time since she's seen the water as I am undertaking a fairly large (for me) restoration of her, this has involved the complete strip and removal of all fittings including engine and so on, and sanding her back to the original fiberglass structure in order to undertake many repairs to her hull of impact damage suffered by being submerged and on rocks.
The restoration has been quite slow going due to the amount of damage sustained and also just plain neglect by previous owners. I bought the vessel in Sydney, submerged and damaged, and brought her back to Victoria to where I live in the Seaside town of Corinella. When she is finally completed she will be moored on a swing mooring I've had installed for her.
I can tell you after working on her hull (below the waterline) These boats are super tough and seriously built ! The damage and gouges I have re-glassed and epoxied were nearly an inch deep and this would have led to most boats being holed and sinking, but this craft had not even sprung a leak ! All the water in the boat was from failed toilet skin fittings and the stern tube gland.
The sides of the hull are however progressively thinner as it goes up to meet the gunnel rail, but this is of no concern as to much weight up high would be bad for stability and most impact damage around this area would normally be taken care of by the rubber gunnel rail.
So all in all these are a very strong and well built vessel.
I have attached some pictures, two are of how she looks now after the complete hull sanding and the epoxy fill and fairing of the side facing the photographer, I can tell you even though they are only 19ft they are a huge boat to work on and sand, it takes a lot of time and effort to get through it all, and also on this boat, she's been painted inside and out about five times over I think, in brushed on house paint or something horribly similar ! I don't think she ever got a wash, just another couple of coats of paint !
The work I've completed so far I'm pretty happy with but there is still a long way to go, and plenty more glass work on the other side of the hull. The entire gunnel rail is smashed off (due to missing gunnel rubber) and the deck and hull lip needs to be remade in fiberglass, not an easy job.
I hope this was of some interest to you Andrew, feel free to contact me anytime if you wish, and if you like I can send you more photo's as it goes on (slowly). Good Luck with your Register I hope you get a good response from other Islander owners, these boats really are unique and are truly 'Classics' and deserve to be recognised.
2 December 2007 I read the article in Afloat with great interest as I've been considering buying one of these pocket cruisers for quite a few years and very recently managed to finally do that so afraid being such a recent owner doubt I can contribute much to the database you are setting up however think that's an excellent idea so happy to provide any info I can and whatever you may consider useful.
Mine is a Mark 1 hardtop from the info in that article but have no record of exactly what year it was built, it has an 18HP salt water cooled Volvo Penta shaft drive and the boat is still in excellent condition. I drilled 2 holes for rod holders thru the lip above the transom and couldn't believe how thick the fibre glass was so expect that sort of quality is a major reason for their longevity.
I'll attach a photo of it which may be useful to you. I keep it on my mooring at Kilaben Bay which is at Lake MacQuarie and while I don't know how many of the 500 plus that were made still survive I do know there are a hell of a lot of them bobbing about up here on this Lake and in fact the mooring right beside mine has a later model Mark 2 or 3 on it. I've been aboard it and they seem to have a much bigger, roomier and better designed cabin section than mine does and I think mine could be something of an unusual or possibly customised version if Deltacraft did that.
Also wondering if mine may be the water ballasted, trailerable version as there is a drain plug on each side of it and back near but not in the transom. They are 6 to 8 inches above the water line and I've undone them and nothing has come out and I cant think of any reason for them to be there. I've looked at a lot of others Delta's up here and none of them have them plus inside the hull down in the bilge area there appears to be a sealed fibreglassed section down both sides which could be air flotation tanks I suppose but if so why are the plugs there in the hull outer other than to use to put ballast water into but oddly there don't seem to be any other plugs to drain the water back out unless their below the waterline and cant be seen.
Anyway you will be able to see them in the pictures I've attached and you may know what their purpose is.