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Jenny Wren

Vessel Number: HV000024
Date: 1889
Vessel type: The Small Raters
Vessel Dimensions: 8.53 m x 6.1 m x 1.83 m x 1.68 m (28 ft x 20 ft x 6 ft x 5.5 ft)
Registered Dimensions: 7.4 m x 1.88 m x 1.55 m, 3.99 Tons (24.25 ft x 6.2 ft x 5.1 ft)
Engine dimensions: 6 kilowatts, 2 cylinders (8.05 horsepower)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
JENNY WREN is a racing yacht built in 1889 by Thomas Cubitt in Berrys Bay NSW. It is one of the oldest racing yachts still extant in Australia. It was designed by Walter Reeks and is possibly the only existing racing yacht design by Reeks that still survives. It is a very early Australian and probably international example of a Length Waterline and Sail area rule designed yacht. This rule was introduced in 1886/87 and encouraged greater beam compared to the earlier narrow hulls often termed 'plank on edge'. It is a regular feature at many heritage yacht regattas, complimenting both AKARANA (HV000013) and KELPIE from 1893 and together they provide one of the few groups of similar vintage craft sailing in Australia.
DescriptionJENNY WREN is a wooden gaff cutter that was designed and built in 1889 as one of the first vessels for the new 2 & 1/2 Rater class that was adopted by the Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney. It was built by Thomas Cubitt in Berry's Bay, Sydney. Cubitt was formerly a shipwright with WM Ford boatbuilders located nearby in Berry's Bay. A sister ship LOUELLE and two other similar designs by Reeks called NORNA and ASTROEA were also built by Cubitt in 1889 and 1890 for the same class.

JENNY WREN had a briefly successful career before two new and very different designs from England joined the others and then dominated the 2 & 1/2 Rater class. At this point the crews from the earlier boats lost interest in racing as a separate class, and soon the 2 & 1/2 Rater class disbanded. JENNY WREN then raced occasionally in mixed fleets and eventually spent more time as a cruising boat. With a succession of owners it underwent various modifications, including the installation of an engine and a small cabin house.

JENNY WREN's longevity was a source of surprise for years. Seacraft Magazine February 1959 has an interview with Skipper Rayment, a respected old timer on Sydney Harbour.

' I asked the "Skipper" whether he knew JENNY WREN's full history, at the same time letting drop that the old Jenny was still sailing around Sydney Harbour.
"JENNY WREN?" he exclaimed. "Don't tell me!"
" I remember- it must have been about 1920 - going to look at JENNY WREN with the idea of buying her. She's a true plank on edge, you know - the traditional lead mine. And she was as old as the hills even then!"

In 2006 JENNY WREN now has a new gaff rig and other changes to the hull, deck and layout. Despite these modifications over time JENNY WREN still captures the appearance and essential sailing qualities of a deep keeled yacht of the 19th century.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
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
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:petrol
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Rig type:cutter
Rig type:gaff
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 49

Related Sites Berrys Bay NSW

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