HIGH SEAS: Don Parke works on his replica version of the famous yacht America which won the America's Cup in 1851. Rob Williams
SOMETHING special happened to Don Parke when he first laid a hand on the wreck of the SS Maheno.
Mr Parke was just a boy when the Maheno washed up on Fraser Island in 1935, but the effect the experience had on him lives on after 77 years.
It was after seeing the wreck that Mr Parke's father built a couple of canoes for him, and his fascination with boats began.
He started building small sailboats from the age of 14, gradually working his way up to bigger power cruisers and sailing catamarans.
Rheumatoid arthritis has slowed him down over the last couple of decades - but it hasn't stopped him and he has now hand built more than 50 boats.
With wife of 30 years, Trisha, joining in the fun, Mr Parke is rebuilding some classic boats - the latest of which is based on an America's Cup winner, which he plans to dedicate to his home town.
The 10m schooner - currently under construction in the Parke family's backyard - is a replica of the vessel that took out the inaugural America's Cup.
"We are going to call this one, The Hammer of Ipswich," Mr Parke said.
"She is going to represent the city wherever she goes."
While building the boat by hand will be a labour of love for Mr and Mrs Parke, its completion will represent a ticket to freedom.
They plan to sail the vessel around Moreton Bay, living on board for several days at a time.
"I hate the word 'retire'," the 84-year-old said.
"I detest anything that stops me trying to achieve what I want to achieve."
Mrs Parke, a talented wood worker in her own right, is currently recovering from illness in hospital, but will play an important role in the completion of the schooner, as she has done on previous projects.
In recent years, the couple has also completed a replica of a 5m canoe that is based on a classic design by American builder Rushton Ugo in 1890.
Best of all, Mr Parke said the Ugo was a dream to travel in.
Ideally situated on a 634m2 block, this property is a stroll to the local Shopping Complex which incorporates the IGA and Chemist Warehouse on Waratah Drive, as...
OVER HALF AN ACRE IN BRASSALL For all development enquiries please call Ipswich City Council on 3810 6666. Situated near the Warrego Highway for easy access to...
17 Macquarie Street Booval WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH ALL THIS SPACE AND OPTIONS ? Yes 1012 m2 Presenting a rare find, Queenslander with so much more than what...
Vacant and ready for you now! Call the Agent now to meet you here anytime ! Discover the freshness and the light of your safe lifestyle and healthy deck...
- 3 Bedroom brick home - Split level - Tiled entry area - Separate lounge area - Air conditioned 2nd living area, adjacent to modern renovated kitchen and eating...
Come and see our location and the lifestyle we have on offer! Lucky you! Don't judge a book by her cover !Your Character home reflects all the charm of your 12 ft...
Welcome to a very special home with a strong past, graceful presence and a secure future. Location is exceptional. 1860s Circa on two lots. Train Carriage retreat.
Character home with traditional charm so close to it all. Come and see our location and the lifestyle we have on offer! Lucky you! Yes vacant and ready for you to...
89 Robertson Road Raceview BRING THE CARAVAN Yes! There is space for all the family plus the Man Cave or Teenagers get away. Essential internal stairs. Three...
Presenting a home you will be proud to own. Yes rear yard access! Lowset, low maintenance, well respected Brick home on 708 M2. Come home, put your feet up and...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.