Search the Register
Advanced Search


Vessel Number: HV000061
Date: 1963
Designer: Bill Luders
Builder: Jeff Clist
Previous Owner: Sir William Northam ,
Vessel Dimensions: 9.75m x 1.83m x 1.37m (31.99ft. x 6ft. x 4.49ft.)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
BARRANJOEY is a timber racing sloop built in Australia in 1963. The 5.5 metre class racing yacht was built for (Sir) Bill Northam to contest the 1964 Olympic trials, which it won. It then became famous throughout Australia when it won Australia's first gold medal in Olympic sailing competition at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
DescriptionBARRANJOEY is 9.75 m long, planked in mahogany, sloop rigged and handled by a three man crew. BARRANJOEY's gold medal win at the 1964 Olympics also created history in other ways. The skipper Bill Northam was 59 years old at the time and a grandfather with five grandchildren, and this made him a popular figure. He also brought a sense of fun to the Olympics in contrast to other more serious competitors.

Northam was teamed up with a young crew, Dick Sargent and Pod O'Donnell and had commissioned BARRANJOEY especially for the Australian trials. The crew beat more fancied rivals who had greater experience in the class and the Olympics.
The Olympic races took place on Tokyo Harbour and the gold medal became a hard fought affair in the last heat. Their main rival from the USA had to win that race to go ahead on points, but he was disqualified for an infringement at the finish when he made a desperate move to try and pass the leader. BARRANJOEY finished 4th and had enough points to secure the gold medal.

The wooden boat was built in Sydney to a design by the American naval architect Bill Luders, one of the premier designers for the 5.5 metre class. The builder was the Jeff Clist, a highly respected shipwright and boat builder whose attention to detail ensured it was built accurately to the plans and critical measurement points that are an essential part of the design. Bill Northam allowed others to charter the boat in later years. In the 1970s it went on display outside of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Pittwater in Sydney. In the mid 1980s the club and Northam's family donated BARRANJOEY to the Sydney Heritage Fleet.

In 2012 the yacht is on display at Wharf 7 in Darling Harbour, showing off its beautfully varnished hull. In 2004 it was restored to sailing condition and raced in the 5.5 metre class world championships held in Sydney. BARRANJOEY was sailed by the same crew who had the use of the yacht in the late 1960s.
Vessel Details
Current status:hard stand/cradle
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 planked
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
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Related materials:plans
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: KA 14

Discuss this Object


Please log in to add a comment.