Suspicious blaze devastates Hamilton model boating club
Everything the Hamilton Model Powerboat Club had is gone.
A suspicious fire turned all their equipment and treasured keepsakes to ash on Friday night leaving members devastated, secretary Bob Gutsell said.
They were using the old model railway station at Hamilton Domain as a storage shed until it was set alight.
Everything inside the small brick building was destroyed.
"We lost all our club assets," Gutsell said, "two dinghies, a canoe, two gazebos, the club barby, signage, our marker buoys for racing, and some of our club trophies."
Some of the trophies were over 40 years old, Gutsell said.
"It's absolutely gut-wrenching.
"The trophies had huge sentimental value – some of the names on those trophies are no longer with us and a lot of those people contributed hugely to the club's establishment."
Gutsell said nothing was insured, given the age and small value of the gear.
"No item was worth more than $1000, so the insurance cost wasn't worth it."
Gutsell has not had a chance to get down and look at the damage yet, but has been told it's all ruined.
Club president Matt Bindon said the whole building was trashed.
"Not only have we lost everything in it, we have lost a very valuable lock-up facility that was handy to the lake."
The club has leased the shed from council for the past 15 years, Gutsell said.
Before the fire, the club had a two-horsepower Yamaha outboard motor in the shed.
"That was found ditched nearby in the water, the police and the fire service both took photos of it there, but by the time we got down there to pick it up, it was gone.
"There was still a wet patch on the footpath where someone had taken off with it."
Gutsell has been told by the fire investigator the wooden side door of the shed had been broken off its hinges.
"We had a little bit of fuel stored in there for the outboard motor and it would appear the buggers got the top off that and sprayed it around."