Weene 1

Weene was the The first of the One Designers, launched on 17 October 1910. Some information states that ‘Weene’ is the Aboriginal word for ‘trier’ however this is considered unlikely as an old toolbox still on board in 2005 spells the name as Weene’  and the Batt’s, the second owners who renamed her, are believed to have pronounced her name as “weena” )

The photo below, taken from “Those That Survive” (Broxam 1996) shows  Weene (originally named Spindrift) being built in Lucas’s shed. Jeff Gordon, Weene’s owner from 1993 to 2002 prepared a detailed history of Weene.

Various photos and a summary of Weene’s history is set out below.

Present Name                            Weene

Original Name                            Spindrift II (renamed in 1911)

Construction                              ¾” carvel planked Huon Pine hull on Blackwood frames, Celery Top Pine deck

 Rig                                            Sloop – originally gaff rigged

                                                Converted to Bermudan/Marconi sloop in 1925

 Register of British Ships              343856

 MAST Registration                      21257 (Tasmania)

 NSW Waterways Registration      1910N

 HIN                                          AUWWA138127HT5

 Sail number                               A1  (originally 1 ) -Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania

 Year Built                                  1910 (Launched 17 October)

 Designer                                   William H Hand Jnr (USA)

Plans dated 25/10/1899, first published in Rudder magazine, USA, February 1900

Alfred Blore, a committeeman of the RYCT laid down the design to full size

RYCT responsible for minor alterations

Builder: Charles Lucas, C Lucas Boat Builder & Co, Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania

 Erections                                   Coach house 10’ 6” long


  • 1910 Edwin H. Webster
  • 1911 Harry C.L. & W P Batt
  • 1963 William Strong
  • 1974 R W Strong
  • 1979 Alexander Bayne
  • 1985 Paul Conde
  • 1993 Geoffrey Gordon
  • 2003 Robert & Leslie Swan
  • 2005 Mark Smith 2006 Ben Stoner


                                                Originally                       Currently

  • LOA (plus Bowsprit)                  32’ 8”                            36’ 0”
  • LWL                                      21’ 0”                            24’ 4”
  • Beam                                      9’ 2’’                             9’ 2”
  • Draft                                      4’ 8”                              5’ 6”
  • Depth                                     3’ 4”                              3’ 4”
  • Displacement                        8000 lb
  • Ballast                                 3200 lb (1.43t)               4900 lb (2.2t)
  • Weight                                                                      17,850 lb (7.97t)
  • Working Sail Area                     667sq’                           567 sq’
  • Mast Height above deck            47’ 0”*                          46’ 6”
  • Mast Length                                                                   50’ 0”

 * Unknown if this measurement is height above deck or overall length

 Racing History

(collated by previous owners and from Mori Flapan’s REGISTER OF AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND VESSELS )

  • 1911 Won North v South Cup (for yachts with WL not exceeding 21’, Launceston v. Hobart) against Tamar Yacht Club’s Thelma
  • 1911 Second in Ocean Race around Bruny Island (800 sq ft sail) The Hobart ‘Mercury’  on 13th February said “The Owners (of the new one design class) are to be complimented on their pluck, not only in starting a new class, but in taking part in this ocean race, which stamps them once and for all as the best all round boats yet built in Tasmania”
  • 1912 Participated in Bruny Island Ocean Race
  • 1912 Participated in Anniversary Day races on Derwent River
  • 1912 Won One-Design race in Bellerive Regatta
  • 1913 Fifth in Bruny Island 100-mile Ocean race.  First five yachts, all One-Designers like Weene, crossed the line within 34 seconds of each other.
  • 1914 Won the Lipton Cup
  • 1914 Won Bruny Island Ocean Race
  • 1914 Won North v. South Cup
  • 1915 Won the Bruny Island Ocean Race
  • 1920 Won John Colvin Race   (The John Colvin Race was reconvened to initiate interest in the One-Design class after World War One)
  • 1921 Won RYCT Pennant and the Derwent (possibly Dewar)Shield
  • 1921 Won John Colvin Race
  • 1922 Won John Colvin Race
  • 1923 Collided with Vanity, causing the starboard side to be holed, and dismasted.  Then Alice M drove up on Weene’s port side and burst open her bow
  • 1923 10 November won the 1923-4 opening day A class race in both line honours and handicap
  • 1924 Won Port Cygnet Challenge Cup against Altura
  • 1924-25 Won Championship of RYCT and Derwent Sailing Squadron
  • 1925 Beaten by Grayling (A yacht built to a modified, longer version of Hand’s plans) for Port Cygnet Challenge Cup
  • 1925 Second in A-class event at Port Cygnet regatta
  • 1926 Winning races held by RYCT  Only boat in A Class with Marconi rig
  • 1926 Won RYCT Commodore’s Trophy
  • 1927 Won Derwent Sailing Squadron A-Class Champion Pennant
  • 1927 Second in RYCT A-Class Champion Pennant
  • 1927 Won Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore’s Trophy
  • 1927 Weene and Canobie collide on opening day
  • 1937 Dead heated with Ninie for the Championship Pennant.    In a “sail off on Sunday 28 February 1937, Weene was successful by 26 seconds”
  • 1962 Rejoined the first division fleet
  • 1970 Still racing, hull refastened and painted black for her 60th birthday.
  • 2003 3rd in Green Island Race
  • 2004 Purchased by Robert and Leslie Swan of Bruny Island, certain restorations to original design undertaken
  • 2005 Purchased by Mark Smith of Paddington, NSW.  Transported by semi-trailer to Sydney. Re-entered on RYCT yacht register retaining A1 sail number. Entered on The Australian Register of Ships.
  • 2006 Acquired by Ben Stoner. She is sailed on Sydney Harbour and is being actively maintained in the respectful manner she deserves.

Modifications and Milestones

  • 1925 Converted to Marconi rig, had been top performer in the previous season under gaff rig, 47′ mast replaced by 51′ mast
  • 1925 Sail Number changed to A1
  • 1929-30? Lengthened by 3′ 4” by Charles Lucas, an experiment to improve performance, the one design class having been abandoned and Weene racing against larger yachts in A-class
  • ?? New mast fitted which was previously fitted to the 8-metre yacht Norn
  • 1950 Fitted with auxiliary motor
  • 1960 Refitted
  • Entered on the British Register of Ships with Official Number 343856
  • 1972 Sailed around the Southern tip of Tasmania to Port Davey on the West Coast. She subsequently returned to Port Davey three times as well as a number of voyages up the East cost of Tasmania
  • 1981 Hull splined at Muir’s Boatyard under the direction of Jock Muir
  • 1985 Sold to Paul Conde who completely restored and refitted her including new Australian Red Cedar interior
  • 1994-02 Still sailing on the Derwent River and entered in 4 Australian Wooden Boat Festivals.
  • Fitted with new 20hp Beta diesel motor 2000


  • Rudder Magazine, USA, Jan 1900
  • Hobart Mercury 13 February 1911
  • Australian Motor Boat & Yachting Monthly magazine 1925/5, 1925/6, 1925/7, 1925/11, 1925/12, 1926/2, 1926/4, 1926/7, 1927/6, 1927/9
  • British – Australian Register of Shipping
  • The Anchor magazine 1912/1/11, 1911/10/05, 1911/11/30, 1912/1/11, 1912/3/7, 1912/3/21
  • A Hundred Years of Yachting E.H. Webster and L. Norman, 1925
  • Sailing On, A history of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, 1880 to 1980.  M.D. Geeves, G.C. Griggs, J.L. Honeysett & R.A. Johnston, 1980
  •  Lloyds Register of Yachts – 1974

More Photos of Weene