Launched 15/6/79 (date of contract)
Owner Andrew Waldby
Configuration Tall rig and mark 2 rudder
Colour White hull with green/yellow trim and cream
Berthed RPYC, B jetty
Sail Number R34
Australian Registration  
State Registration  
Call Sign  
Builder Bill Waldby at Swarbrick Brothers
Hull Number 71
Fit Out Bill Waldby L shaped dinette to port with
engine under (as per original S&S 34 design) and pilot berth, with berth to stbd
and stowage over.
Previous Owners Bill Waldby
Previous Names Nil

The Yacht’s Story

Swagman, originally built and owned by Bill Waldby is now raced by his son Andrew,
with help from his son Brett and daughter Alysha, along with wife Vera on
foredeck. “Swagman” was initially based at SPYC, but the prospect of better
Saturday racing eventually enticed them across to RPYC. In the past
with Bill at the helm Swagman has competed very successfully in numerous
offshore races in WA. Before the “Mk2” S&S 34 was built, Bill modified the
rudder to a spade rudder using UFO 34 parts and reshaped the keel along similar
lines to the new S&S Mk 2 version. Perhaps Olin should have been talking
to Bill! She has a tall rig and so is effectively a Mk 2 boat, and her
excellent turn of speed when racing reflects this.

From Andrew:
Our basic philosophy for sailing is to race and have a good time. We are a very
competitive boat and are always improving “Swagman” so that we can stay ahead of
the opposition. Especially as the design of the S&S34 is over 30 years old, and
the boat was built in 1979. We race every Saturday during the summer sailing
season on the Swan River, with the occasional venture outside off Fremantle for
an inshore ocean race. We also regularly sail in the social twilight cruises and also try to get out for some Wednesday afternoon races, plus the occasional winter Frostbite race.

About the Owners

Known by many a name. “Billy Skipper”, “Old Man o’ the Sea”, “Boss” are among just a few. Bill is the owner, builder, former skipper and maintainer of “Swagman”. He is so in tune with the boat that it is sometimes very, very spooky. Although, it is quite understandable with the amount of hours he has spent building, sailing and maintaining her. Bill is now receding from the lime light of sailing “Swagman” and
has handed over the running and skippering of the boat to Andrew. However, he continues to
help maintain her and has a keen interest in how “Swagman” is used and her
racing results.

Andrew, or Drew to his close friends, is Bill’s eldest son. He generally does all of the organising for the boat nowadays, and as stated above is now the prime skipper. Andrew’s son Brett
now sails whenever possible and is a very competent crewmember. His daughter
Alysha is also frequently on board as crew. Season 2005/2006 was Andrew’s first full season of skippering “Swagman”, although he
previously skippered the boat in a number of regatta series. Over the years Andrew has revolved right through all of the crew positions, becoming extremely proficient in most, especially his beloved foredeck.
This has now been taken over by his equally proficient wife Vera (whom he stole
from the bow of Hitchhiker, although she occasionally sneaks back there when not
needed on Swagman!) Therefore, it is difficult for him to be stuck on the ‘piece of wood’ (tiller) and not able to cross the demarcation line (mast line) and
leave working the foredeck to Vera.



Andrew Walby in the rain. S&S34 Christmas Twilight 2005. Photograph: Steve Laws

Jane Laws & Simon Torvaldsen. S&S34 Christmas Twilight 2005. Photograph: Steve Laws

The Motley Crew of Swagman 2001.

Commodore’s Race 2001.

S&S34 Mini Regatta October 2005. Photograph: Steve Laws

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *