Sydney skiff and offshore sailors have been shocked by news of the death of Pittwater boatbuilder and shipwright Ian Perdriau after he presumably suffered a heart attack on Wednesday night.
Perdriau, 64, is survived by his wife Margaret, two children and several grand children. “He was very family orientated,” said long-time friend and crew-mate Ken Beashel. Beashel added that Perdriau had only recently passed a complete medical check-up. He was still actively involved in his Mona Vale-based business with one of his current projects re-furbishing and re-rigging the vintage 32sq m Avenger for Richard Winning.
Perdriau served his apprenticeship with Beashel and the late Trevor Gowland at Halvorsen’s boat yard and sailed with Beashel to win the J.J.Giltinan international 18ft skiff championship aboard Daily Telegraph at Auckland in 1968.
He built several 18-footers and was on three Australian championship winners as crew. In 2007 he donated his time and expertise to build a replica of the 1925 18-footer Yendys for the Australian Open Skiff Trust, formed in that year by John Winning and Bob Killick to help fund Australian historic skiff racing.
Then he steered Yendys in the Sydney Flying Squadron’s centenary championship for the historical 18s, on Sydney Harbour in 2007.
I was fortunate enough to sail offshore with Perdriau several times in the 1970s, including on a memorable Pittwater-Lord Howe Island race aboard Ken and Barbara Beasel’s Mother Goose.
Besides being one of the handiest guys on board because of his shipwright skills and strength, he was also a congenial companion, relaxed afloat and ashore.
Sail on Perds.
– Bob Ross