In the Beginning
On page 8 of the Hobart Mercury, on Tuesday 18 October 1910 appeared the following small article
LAUNCH OF THE SPINDRIFT.
A good deal of local interest has been excited over the construction of these one- design yachts, and the Spindrift, which is the first to be completed, was much admired, both on the slip and in the water. Her owner can certainly claim to be the pioneer of a movement which is almost certain to be of incalculable benefit to yachting, and when the other two which are in course of construction are afloat it will be surprising if more do not follow very rapidly. Mr. D. Barclay, jun.’s. yacht is now ready to have the keel fitted, and the one for Messrs. Douglas, Tarleton, and Knight is ready, for planking.
The shipyards of Mr. Chas. Lucas were yesterday afternoon the scene of a pleasant little ceremony, which will probably mark a new era in the history of yachting in Tasmania. The occasion was the launch of Mr. E. H. Webster’s new one-design yacht, and as she left the ways she was appropriately christened the Spindrift by the owner’s two sturdy little sons, Masters Hugh and Guy Webster. Mrs. E. H. Webster was also present and a few yachting enthusiasts, who cheered as the handsome little vessel started into her native element.
Thus, Spindrift (later renamed Weene), the first of the class, known in Tasmania simply as “One Designs” was launched . Elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand (and India?) they were known as “Tasmanian One Designs”.
A total of 7 One-Designs were built in Tasmania. Their status is listed below, by sail number:
- (1) Weene – Built 1910, by Charles Lucas, for E. H. Webster – Now on Sydney Harbour being sailed by Ben Stoner;
- (2) Pandora – Built 1910, by Charles Lucas, for D. Barclay Jr – Now in Kettering;
- (3) Curlew – Built 1911, by Charles Lucas, for Douglas, Tarleton and Knight – Currently being restored by Roy Turner at Logan Village (south of Brisbane);
- (4) Vanity – Built 1911, by Charles Lucas, for W. Darling, Dr Ireland and Stanley Crisp – restored by Peter Kerr at Deagon Slipways for Robert Virtue soon returning to Hobart;
- (5) Pilgrim – Built by E. Jack of Launceston, moved to Melbourne in the 1960s currently awaiting restoration;
- (6) Canobie – Built 1911, by Charles Lucas, for A. J. Cotton. Recently recently restored for Owen Stacey in Perth .
- (-) Gannet – Built 1911 by Charles Lucas, for Charles Shannon of Geelong. Restored by Martin Cox and is now in Sydney
Although this site, commenced in February 2006, is primarily aimed at collating information from the remaining One Designs to help fill in the gaps for the restoration of Vanity, and documenting her restoration, it will cover the history of the class a notes and photos of the remaining One-Designs
If you have any details on the missing One-Designs or any other information of interest or comments, contact Robert Virtue 0428480057
Thanks to the following for their help in finding plans, history, photographs or fittings:
Andy Gamlin, Stuart Harris, Jeff Gordon, Graeme Cook, David Short, Graeme Broxam, Pete Kerr plus various others who’s emails and notes are buried in my hard drive somewhere.