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Rawhiti

Vessel Number: HV000019
Date: 1905
Builder: Logan Bros
Designer: Logan Bros
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 16.46 m x 11.12 m x 2.95 m x 2.29 m, 13.5 tonnes, 146.77 square metres (54 ft x 36.5 ft x 9.7 ft x 7.5 ft, 13.72 tons, 1579.98 square feet)
Engine dimensions: 37.3 kilowatts, 4 cylinders (50 horsepower)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
RAWHITI is a racing yacht built in 1905 in Auckland New Zealand. The gaff rigged cutter was built by the Logan Bros for racing on Sydney Harbour. RAWHITI had a major involvement in Australian yacht racing over a long period in the first half of the 20th century. It challenged for the Sayonara Cup in early 1907, and later became the champion yacht on Sydney Harbour for many years, where it was a very well known yacht. Logan Bros were the premier New Zealand yacht builders of the early 1900s and at this time it represented the highest boat building standards available in the either Australia or New Zealand.
DescriptionRAWHITI is a 16.46 metre (54 ft) long racing yacht that was designed and built by Logan Bros NZ in 1905 as the last of three 54 footers from their yard, the others being ARIKI and IORANGI. The kauri planking is done in the Logan Bros. method of triple-diagonal construction.

RAWHITI's success came under two owners, firstly C T Brockhoff, a champion skipper of his period, and then the well known music publisher and keen sailor Frank Albert. The wooden, gaff rigged cutter was built to the 2nd Linear Rule and rated close to 38 feet when measured for the Sayonara Cup. This rule encouraged designers to give their craft the long overhangs at the bow and stern. These are a major part of the craft's elegant profile.

It was designed for New Zealand yachtsman AT Pittar who had settled in Sydney, and the design was intended for the Interstate yachting events. In October and November 1905 RAWHITI sailed across the Tasman Sea to Sydney in 28 days, and was hove to in severe conditions at one stage. Pittar sold it to Brockhoff after only a few months, and Brockhoff then entered RAWHITI in the Sayonara Cup contest for 1907.

The racing was held on Port Phillip, against the defender SAYONARA. As required by the rules which were similar to the America’s Cup, the challenger, RAWHITI, had to sail to Melbourne instead of going by ship. It arrived early in 1907 and prepared for the event by sailing in the La Carabine Cup series, open to yachts of all sizes. SAYONARA also raced in the series, but pulled out of the third and final race as it was sailing quite badly and was out of trim. RAWHITI however was performing well and at the end of the three races there was a remarkable three-way tie between RAWHITI, SJS and HEATHER. A sail off between those three was needed to declare a winner, but first the Sayonara Cup had to be raced.

SAYONARA had been re-ballasted to its original configuration and was back to its best. It defeated RAWHITI in the first two races to successfully defend the cup for Victoria. RAWHITI then matched up with only SJS for the deciding La Carabine Cup race, as HEATHER had returned to NSW by steamer. RAWHITI won the race on handicap and returned to NSW with one cup to celebrate its racing on Port Phillip.

It continued to race under Brockhoff and won many events, but by the end of the decade it had been sold to Frank Albert and EE Sayers. They campaigned the boat for more than two decades, with numerous race wins on the harbour or on Pittwater. At one point they commissioned naval architect Walter Reeks to overhaul the craft and he designed a new larger rig, and added 1.5 tonnes of ballast to the keel. The waterline length increased about 600 mm. It is though that this may have not been entirely successful and some of the changes were later reversed. In 1927 a new Bermudan rig designed by William Fife and Sons was stepped to keep pace with more modern yachts of the era and it continued to be a champion yacht. However the first outng with the new rig ended disastrously when the yacht was involved in a collision and the hollow spar was broken.

RAWHITI was also known for its unusual colour scheme, sporting green topsides. It is understood it was painted 'Eau de Nile' green by Brockhoff, and Albert then retained the colour. In 1910 the report on Reeks' work also noted that as well as keeping the topsides green, the bottom was now pink in colour. The flamboyant scheme however was matched with excellent results.

In the 1930s it spent much of its time laid up as newer craft were now dominating yachting; including Frank Albert’s son Alexis Albert’s International 8 Metre class NORN. Toward the end of World War II RAWHITI was sold to new owners in New Zealand. It sailed back across the Tasman soon after the war ended. In Auckland the rig was later changed again and at some point the keel hung rudder was replaced with a spade rudder.

In 2006 RAWHITI began a huge restoration in New Zealand, bringing it back to the original 1905 - 1907 hull and rig configuration, and original white topsides. In 2011 it was re-launched in September and soon after began sailing in company with the other Logan big boats on the Waitamata Harbour.
Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:lead
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:hard stand/cradle
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Current status:not on display
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel-short
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Propeller:foldingfeathering
Propeller:single
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:models
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:plans
Related materials:references
Rig type:cutter
Rig type:gaff
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Official Number: 122905

Sail Number: 6

Sail Number: A2

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