Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Australian Wooden Boat Festival - a Profile

by Cheryl Barnett/Sail-World on 28 Oct 2008
Yacht Elanora .. .
There's nothing in modern yacht design that can replace the exquisite grace of the best of the classic sailing boats. This must be the reason that wooden boats and wooden boat festivals are so popular round the world. Whether is the famed Mediterranean Yacht Classic Series, or the local river festival with only a dozen boats, the enthusiasm is the same.

As the next Australian Wooden Boat Festival draws closer (February 6-9), we look at some of the boats and their histories. The festival is held only every two years on Hobarts charismatic waterfront, and as with every festival there'll be plenty of music, theatre, food and fun to accompany the presence of some of Australia's loveliest Classic boats.

Sometimes the histories of these boats are as fascinating as the boats themselves. This month we offer the profile of one of the participants, Maori Lass. At the request of the organisers, the owner of the boat Cheryl Barnett here tells its story in her own words, as related to the Festival (no photo supplied):


Maori Lass was built in 1949 at New Town, Hobart by the Late Ron H Andrewartha to a design by a fellow New Zealander, H E Cox, A.I.N.A. and launched from Constitution Dock on 16 September 1950. She is a 30’ sloop, constructed of Celery Top Pine on Tasmanian Blue Gum with Tasmanian Myrtle used extensively inside the main cabin. Tasmanian timbers were chosen then as they were
heavier than New Zealand timbers.

Until 1970 she was a consistent and successful racer in club races and regattas on the Derwent out of Bellerive Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania with Ron Andrewartha and then the second owner Bill 'Wobbler' Read. Dr Terence Horne, a former Surgeon in Hobart , was I believe the third owner and used Maori Lass mainly for cruising.

The fourth owner, Christopher Small moved Maori Lass to Port Hacking (south of Sydney) in the early 1970’s and raced her regularly and successfully with the Port Hacking Yacht Club. In fact, I believe she still holds the record for the Port Hacking to Lion Island (Broken Bay) and return race. Apparently it was a broad reach up and back.

Maori Lass was originally listed on the British Registry on 6 June 1972. Roscoe met Chris Small in Hobart many years later whilst both were attending a subsequent Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

The fifth owners, the Late Jim Tabler and Jan Tabler spent five years (1974-1979) circumnavigating the world on Maori Lass with a very varied, sometimes dangerous but ever challenging life-style. We have a repository of amazing stories, letters, photos and conversations thanks to Jan Tabler and many other Hobart folk, that some day may be documented for future generations.

Jan abler visited Hobart in February 2005 for the Festival and also met with Tom Andrewartha – son of Ron Andrewartha. Tom well remembers (as a young man) assisting his father in building Maori Lass in the backyard of their New Town home.
In 1979 Maori Lass returned to Australia, was sailed around the Great Barrier Reef, spent some time in Mooloolaba (southern Queensland) until she was relocated to Pittwater (NSW) and was found by the sixth owner Mick Souter, who in turn handed her on to Roscoe and I in November 1993.

During the 1996 Sydney Wooden Boat Festival, Tom Andrewartha (who was visiting friends in Sydney) paid a visit to Darling Harbour. After walking down the gang-plank and along that arm of pontoons he came upon Maori Lass quite out of the blue and couldn’t believe what he saw.

After recovering and introducing himself as 'the son', and being invited on board, the two men had a lot to talk about. Tom very kindly gave many early photos and copies of documents on the history and construction of Maori Lass to us.
The Barnett Family and like-minded wooden boat friends have spent many wonderful times aboard her in and around the environs of Pittwater, Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury (Sydney). There were many trips down to Sydney Harbour for Wooden Boat Festivals at Darling Harbour and she also participated in the ever popular twilight races on Pittwater.

Then, after we re-located from Sydney to Hobart in early 2003, Maori Lass duly followed but arrived June 2004 via a somewhat different mode of road and ship transport.

After some 34 years of absence she was now back in Tasmanian waters again. Extensive restoration work on Maori Lass was carried out by Roscoe, on a cradle set up behind The Wooden Boat Centre Tasmania at Franklin under the guidance of Principal Boat Builder and Tutor, Terry Lean. This was an
important opportunity at that time, as it gave all the students a chance to see and learn first-hand the specialised art of repairs and restoration to an all timber vessel. Ross was also ably assisted by Llew Sweatman a former graduate of the WBCT and now a Tutor.

Maori Lass was re-launched down at Franklin on 1 February 2005 after seven long months of hard work (which unfortunately was on a part-time basis) and she arrived back up in Hobart just in time for the 2005 Festival. Another interesting fact is that the first big boat built by diploma students at The
Wooden Boat Centre Tasmania, the Lady Franklin, is the only other H E Cox-designed, one-design cruiser like Maori Lass ever built to our knowledge.

Festival Office: Space 229 Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania 7000
Phone: (03) 6223 3375 www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is supported by the Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania


Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82upffront 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA's AC50 well underway in Warkworth
Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup Class boat is taking shape at the team’s build facility in New Zealand Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup Class boat is taking shape at the team’s build facility in New Zealand, Core Builders Composites, Warkworth, 40 minutes north of Auckland. The major components for the 15-meter platform, including the hulls and cross beams, have now been built.
Posted on 28 Aug
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA play catch up with Softbank Team Japan
Back in April 2017, Softbank Team Japan mastered the foiling tack in their AC45 Surrogate boats Back in April 2017, Softbank Team Japan mastered the foiling tack in their AC45 Surrogate boats, claiming to be the first AC team to have achieved the move. Two days later Oracle Team USA claimed to have done the same.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
SoftBank Team Japan achieve first foiling tack
SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 boat SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked the foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 Sport test boat in Bermuda.
Posted on 26 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
America's Cup - Architect of NZ Qualifier withdrawal steps down
The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role and will finish at the end of the month. The move was confirmed today by America's Cup correspondent Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press.
Posted on 23 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
PredictWind - One stop shop
PredictWind have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software PredictWind the world leader in forecasting believe that more is better, and have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug