In 1941 several things happened to change his life. He got out of the hated metal trade job, sold Westwind, married and went to Sydney. It is a family joke that Jock describes it thus: "I got out of the job by selling Westwind so I could go cruising around the Pacific... but instead I invested in Mollie and not once have I ever regretted it." In fact the Muirs are coming up for their 50th wedding anniversary in April, 1991. Mollie and Jock went to Sydney to start married life and with every intention of staying there. But, again, fate stepped in.
Time In Sydney
He bought a skiff-hiring business, in Middle Harbour, Sydney, and later a boat-building shed which included a brokerage business in Mosman Bay. After the start of the Second World War, joined by his brother Don and Tim Chambers of Sydney, he built lifeboats, in wood, for the United States Army which were used in the New Guinea campaign. Jock Muir was already establishing a name for quality work even with the humble lifeboats. A Ship Building Board inspector made the comment: "If everyone turned out this class of work, there'd be no need for us." About this time he was having built at Narooma, down the New South Wales coast, a 50-foot trawler, Wake. The young couple, with two young children, lived near the boat for several weeks to see her finished. He had almost completed commissioning her with the help of one of Ernie Muir's early shipmates, "Snow" Williams, when tragedy struck. Poliomyelitis - the dreaded disease, particularly of the young, that killed and paralysed - hospitalised him for two months. The disease precluded any hard physical work for at least a year and the young family was forced to sell up and move back to Hobart. It was a grim time but Jock has a philosophy about it: "It shows how fate works. I was knocked down with one hand but on the other hand it gave me the opportunity to both build boats for and compete in Sydney-Hobart yacht races. I've said it many times - most things that happen in life seem to have a purpose. "I caught polio on my left side and it rendered my left thigh and right arm almost paralysed and a little weak. However, I can honestly say that it hardly affected me for the greater part of my life. Looking back, I'm sure the physical exertion of boatbuilding, to say nothing of those early days rowing around after our model yachts in chaser dinghies, helped build up my strength to largely overcome the polio."