Frank was born in East Germany and his mother fled across the Berlin Wall with Frank & his younger brother Ralf when they were just toddlers, to join their father who had found work in Dusseldorf. At the age of 9, Frank’s family emigrated by ship to Australia and settled in Bondi, Sydney.
It was here that Frank explored the foreshores and developed his love of the water. After school, Frank joined Australia Post as a technician in training and stayed there for 12 years. He spent his spare time between shift work, water-skiing and sailing rental yachts on Sydney Harbour with his friends. In 1975, unable to afford his own yacht, Frank decided to build a 29ft Bruce Roberts designed sloop in his family’s back yard in suburban Campsie.
It was a grueling project that took almost 5 years, first creating the mold & then building the yacht, progress fluctuating up & down along with his enthusiasm and funds. During this time, Frank honed & developed more skills, which only helped to substantiate his future nickname of ‘Fix-it-Frank”. (After 35 years together, I have yet to see Frank fail to resolve a problem or fix a faulty gadget!!).
‘Stars End’ was finally completed & launched in September 1979. Frank met Nikki just 3 weeks later in Nov 1979, and as they say-‘the rest is history!’. Some weeks later, Nikki needed a place to stay and Frank offered ‘Stars End’ which was moored on Sydney Harbour.
After visiting me every day after work, it soon seemed more logical for Frank to move on board too, so I would row him back & forwards to the shore each morning & night, and spend my days painting pictures I sold on commission to an art gallery in Dee Why. In our spare time we worked on completing the yacht inside & out and explored Sydney Harbour’s extensive bays & anchorages as well as gaining experience & improving our sailing skills.
We married in 1982 and over the following 2 years explored the east coast of Australia in ‘Stars End’, plus adding a couple of extra crew members along the way!!.
After we settled in Brisbane in 1984, ‘Stars End’ became our growing family’s weekend & holiday retreat as we explored Moreton Bay and surrounding areas. Frank moved jobs & became involved in the pre-press industry, later moving into the field of computer software support, which he was then able to do working from home for 9 years. After joining friends on sailing holidays in Indonesia, Vanuatu & Fiji, we realized that our love of life afloat had not diminished with the years, and started dreaming about buying a larger cruising yacht once our family had grown up & moved away.
When we bought Stars End 2 in October 2009, our plans took on a whole new perspective and Frank admits that I became the driving force to make our dreams a reality. Over several years, we made modifications and improvements to our Freedom ’39, and learnt all about her idiosyncrasies being an unusual design with her free standing masts.
We became permanent ‘live-aboarders’ in 2014, and after Frank retired in April 2015, we finally sailed off into the sunset towards an exciting new adventure.