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Thera

Vessel Number: HV000057
Date: 1911
Builder: Peel Bros
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 11.2 m x 7.84 m x 2.8 m x 1 m x 2 m, 3.5 tonnes (36.75 ft x 25.75 ft x 9.2 ft x 3.28ft x 6.56 ft, 3.56 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
THERA is a timber racing yacht built in Mlebourne in 1911. It is an early and famous design by Charlie Peel, one of Victoria;s early designers and builders. It was built by his firm, and has had a long and outstanding racing background in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. It is now rebuilt to its original configuration and continues to race on the Swan River in WA.
DescriptionTHERA has had an eventful career since being launched in 1911, when it was designed by Charlie Peel and built at the Peel Bros. yard in Melbourne. THERA was classified as a 'live ballast sloop', but to many people THERA was regarded simply as a freak. At 11.2 m long on deck and only 7.8 m long on the waterline, the big overhangs, light displacement and huge crew weight, (730 kgs with nine crew) gave THERA its impressive performance. The yacht dominated its class from the beginning and there were no other craft with similar proportions.

Having caused considerable dissension amongst the fleet, THERA was moved up to the A class in 1913. This was done in spite of complaints from owners in that class, and they tried to have it expelled. In the first race THERA sailed in the bigger class, it beat the 17.6 m SAYONARA over the line on a course across Port Phillip to Geelong. Continued efforts to have THERA barred from racing caused the first owner Chas Lucas to sell it. Under new owners THERA then changed clubs but continued its winning ways in Victoria.

When the International Rule and new metre boats were introduced in the mid 1920s THERA's dominance finally ended, but the yacht was still a fine craft. Subsequent owners raced and cruised THERA, it moved up to Sydney, and then over to Western Australia in 1935. There THERA begin a new period in the fresh sea breezes on the Swan River, and for a while it was the "Queen of the Swan'.

In the mid 1950s the yacht was converted to a Bermudan sloop rig and sailed in the early days of ocean racing in WA. The centreboard was removed and a cabin fitted, completing a major transformation. When THERA retired from ocean racing, moves were made by more than one owner to restore it back to something like its original configuration.

In 2002 a fully rebuilt THERA returned to the Swan River at the Royal Perth Yacht Club, rigged as a gaff-sloop, centreboard daysailer. Once again it showed the fleet an impressive turn of speed. In 2012 THERA was still being raced regularly and held its centenary celebrations in 2011.
Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:internal
Ballast:lead
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Propeller:foldingfeathering
Propeller:single
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:plans
Related materials:references
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: R11

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