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The Mk II Moth TAMBU on display at Wharf 7 as part of the Sydney Heritage Fleet collection of small vessels. In the background is a 1980s scow Moth with alumimum wings.


Vessel Number: HV000048
Date: 1962
Designer: Len Morris
Builder: G T Alkin
Vessel Dimensions: 3.35 m x 1.26 m (11 ft x 4.15 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
TAMBU is a plywood sailing and racing dinghy built in NSW in 1962. It is significant as an example of the Australian MK II Moth, an important class of sailing dinghy designed in 1946 by Len Morris. The class has become one of the leading edge devlopment classes in the world.

DescriptionTAMBU is a snub bow or scow shape, and the MK II design was the mainstay of the Moth class for a long period. They were simple to build and TAMBU was made by its owner from a plywood kitset. It features a shallow cockpit with footstraps for hiking out over the side. The cockpit was self draining and had a small beam to mount a mainsheet winch. TAMBU sailed with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, which supported a large fleet of MK II Moths for members use as sail training dinghies. Before it was donated to the Sydney Heritage Fleet, it was used on Lake Macquarie for recreational fun. In 2006 TAMBU is on display at Wharf 7, Darling Harbour.

The MK II Moth design was influenced by the North American scows which raced on their inland lakes. Like those scows, the flat bottomed hull is best sailed upwind on an angle of heel to reduce wetted surface, and the square sides are effective in terms of providing lateral resistance. Len Morris had built the first Australian Moth called OLIVE in the late 1920s which was a scow shape, and then another scow design called FLUTTERBY in 1932, and the MK II was a significant step forward from FLUTTERBY. Following the widespread success of the MK II, and then the Peter Cole designed 'mouldie' moth from the late 1950s, the scow concept remained the dominant hull form in the Australian Moth Class for a long period.

There were many further developments until skiff shapes made breakthroughs in the late 1970's and the class evolved further with these narrower hull forms. In 2006, skiff moths on hydrofoils have become established as the winning combination.
Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-floating
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:dagger boarddrop board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:cat rigcat boatunauna rig
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 610

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