Vanity 4

Vanity, Opening Day, 1912 soon after launching in November 1911 (from Broxam 1996)
Vanity, Wooden Boat Festival 2011 (photo Mark Cowles with permission)


Vanity was the fourth of the One Designs and here launching was considered newsworthy.

Hobart Mercury Friday 3 November 1911, page 3 (
Another very pleasant function, which marks a step forward in Tasmanian yachting, took place at Mr. C. Lucas’s shipyard yesterday evening when the fourth of the one-design class established by the R.Y.CT. took the water. There was a very large and representative gathering, which indicated the interest now taken in this class. Those present included Alderman and Mrs. Alfred Crisp, Mrs. W. F. Darling, Mrs. W. E Taylor, and several other ladies, while amongst the prominent yachtsmen were Messrs. H. W. Knight, E. H. Webster, H.T. Denne, P. Douglas, J. W.Tarleton, A. and C. Oldmeadow, Russell Young,jun, D. Barclay, jun., R. Cowle, A. H.and C. Gillham, C Hurburgh, Colvin, Batt, and others. The proceedings were slightly delayed by a heavy rain squall, but when the signal was given the ribbon was cut by Miss Isabelle Ireland, and the bottle of wine successfully broken on the bows as the pretty little vessel gracefully glided into the water, and was christened Vanity. She was accompanied to the water by the hearty cheers of the spectators. She is painted white, with a red keel and red ribbon, and was as much admired as her three sisters as she floated easily in her native element gaily bedecked with bunting. After the ceremony her owners (Messrs. W.F. Darling, G. S. Crisp, and Dr Ireland) invited those present into the shed, where the commodore of the R.Y.C.T. (Mr P. C. Douglas) proposed “Success to the Vanity” and her owners. Mr Douglas offered his hearty congratulations to the owners, and said when it was remembered that it was barely 18 months ago since the originators of the one-design class met at Mr. Webster’s house they had reason to be proud of now having four boats in the class, with a fifth nearly completed in Launceston, and which her owner (Mr Tinning) intended to sail round. He drew attention to the other yacht of similar build which was in the shed nearly ready for Mr. Shannon, of Geelong, and hoped that when she arrived in Victorian waters it would induce the yachtsmen there to favourably consider the proposal of adopting the class (Hear, hear.) He paid a graceful tribute to the builder (Mr. Chas. Lucas), who has built all four, and put splendid workmanship into them (Applause ) He hoped their new boat would be the forerunner of even more, and that the Vanity’s career would obtain the success they deserved. (Applause.) The toast was received with musical honours, and Mr. Darling acknowledged the compliment on behalf of himself and partners in a very neat speech. He congratulated Mr Webster on the success of his efforts, and said it was practically due to him that the class was now firmly established, as he had really ordered three of the yachts (Applause.) He also thanked Mr. J Colvin for his efforts on behalf of the class, and hoped that his idea of inter-State contests would yet be realised. (Hear, hear) He also spoke in great praise of Mr Chas. Lucas, who had assisted them in every possible way. Dr Ireland also responded, and expressed the pleasure it gave him to do anything towards helping along such a manly and health-giving pastime as yachting. He was surprised that more people did not take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the noble Derwent, as he felt sure that one of the secrets of England’s greatness was the prowess of her sons in seafaring matters. He hoped to derive much enjoyment from the new yacht, both in cruising, for which she was so admirably adapted, and in racing (Hear, hear.) The new boat for Mr. Shannon was much admired. She is painted black with a gold ribbon, and has a white streak on the green paint on her bottom. She also has a narrow rail, which greatly adds to her appearance.”

As well as a successful racing career, Vanity has a well documented cruising career. Her Easter cruises in 1913 and 1914 were documented in The Mercury.
Vanity went through a number of hands and transformations following the demise of the One Designer class. I am indebted to Mori Flapan and his REGISTER OF AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND VESSELS for much of this information as well as information published in “Those that Survive” by Graeme Broxam and Sailing On published (and still available from) the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT).

Register Extract:

  • Official No: 133486
  • Sail numbers: {4} {94}
  • Launched: 1911/11
  • Builder: Lucas, Charles
  • Where built: Battery Point, Hobart, Tas
  • Material: Wood
  • Rig: Sloop~gf
  • Subsequent rig: Gaff Cutter by 1917
  • Gross tonnage: 5
  • Net tonnage: 5
  • Dimensions (feet): 26.80 x9.30 x3.50 registered depth
  • Bow: Spoon
  • Stern: Counter raked tuck
  • Coachhouse 10.5′ long

Previous owners

  • HOBART 1911 W.F. Darling, G.S. Crisp & Dr E.J. Ireland
  • HOBART 1914: Darling, Crisp & Ireland:
  • HOBART 1918 Edwin H. Webster:
  • HOBART ‘?? Angus Cumming:
  • HOBART 1923 Angus Cumming &Francis Harris:
  • HOBART 1926 Harris & Flynn:
  • HOBART 1927 Francis Harris & Claude Cooper (Hobart Master Builder):
  • HOBART 1933: Francis Harris, Claude Cooper & Trevor Gibson:
  • HOBART 1943 Harris & Cooper:
  • HOBART 1946 Francis Harris & 2 others:
  • HOBART 19?? Barney Ward
  • HOBART ~1970-1986+ Jim P.Payne (Restored her and continued to race with some success):
  • PITTWATER NSW~1989-~2000 Paul Howard:
  • PITTWATER NSW~2000-2005 Peter Nicolsen:
  • BRISBANE 2005-2011 Rob & Liz Virtue (Restored)
  • HOBART 2011- Rob & Liz Virtue

Racing History

  • 1912/01/23 participated in Anniversary Day races on Derwent.
  • 1912/01/27 second in one-design race in Bellerive regatta.
  • 1912/02 second in Bruny Island – Ocean Race behind Curlew..
  • 1912/02 taken to Launceston by train to race for North v South Cup on Tamar River, won Tamar regatta race against Thelma, won race at Spring Bay, took trophy.
  • 1913 Second in Bruny Island – Ocean Race, behind Pandora. Three of the first five yachts were one-designers, crossed the line within 34 seconds of each other.
  • 1914 Second in Bruny Island- Ocean Race, behind Weene.
  • 1918 repurchased by Webster to keep one class racing alive on the Derwent.
  • 1922 awarded second prize for beauty behind Grayling .
  • 1924-25 bad season after having sustained damage in a number of races, won only a couple of times.
  • 1925/11 won first A-class race of the RYCT season.
  • 1926 second in Champion pennant.
  • Represented Tasmania in interstate races held in Tasmania prior to 1926.
  • 1926 best record in A-class.
  • 1927/10 won RYCT beauty prize at opening regatta of the season on Derwent River after thorough overhaul prior to new season
  • 1927/12 third in A-class race at Esperance regatta
  • 1928/01/01 won A-class event at Shipwright Point regatta.
  • 1928/01/31 third in A-class race at Hobart regatta.
  • 1928/05 did well during season
  • 1928/11 participated in opening of season regatta on Derwent.
  • 1930 Won RYCT Dewar Shield Challenge with Elf.
  • 1931 Won RYCT Dewar Shield Challenge.
  • 1935 Won RYCT Dewar Shield Challenge.
  • 1936 Won RYCT Dewar Shield Challenge.
  • 1970s still racing.


  • 1932 converted to cruiser, lengthened by Charles Lucas 1933 register entry shows Hobart No.4 of 1933, 6tons gross/6 tons net 34.1′ x9.3′ x3.5′.  Some refs say lengthened 1933/34.
  • Coach-house extended by 1986.

The following  are from the Archives Office of Tasmania (Images Ph30/1/1260/29, NS543/1/1872, NS543/1/1872 and NS778/1/166 I’m not sure which image is which number as the photos weren’t marked)

Vanity on Opening Day 21/11/1925
Vanity (A4), Mavis (7 not a one design) and Weene (A1)
Vanity under sloop rig at anchor