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June Bird

Vessel Number: HV000064
Date: 1914
Vessel Dimensions: 8.84 m x 3.2 m x 1.22 m, 7 tonnes (29 ft x 10.5 ft x 4 ft, 7.11 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
JUNE BIRD is a timber yacht built in 1914 in Sydney NSW. It was built by Hayes and Sons and is an excellent example of their design and construction skills. It also has connections to the design and construction of the couta boats and is associated with the Gale family from Sydney Harbour, and represents an important part of the evolution of Sydney Harbour cruising and racing yachts.

DescriptionJUNE BIRD is an 8.84 metre long cruising and racing yacht with a gaff rigged sloop sail plan. The hull is built in the style of the couta boat and represents an important connection between the working boat design of the couta boat and the gradual development of a series of yachts using the couta boat style of hull shape and construction details.

A small number of the Victorian couta boats had come up to Sydney in the early 1900s, and had established themselves as capable racing and cruising yachts around the harbour. JUNE BIRD is an early example of the Sydney built boats that evolved along their own path based on the couta boat.

There are two stories as to its origins. One is that it was built around 1914 or a year or so earlier. The builder and presumably designer was Charles Hayes whose yard was located in Balmain at that time, and the first owner was Fred Doran who gave it the name SEABELLE. He was an experienced sailor and also an engineer with the Manly Ferry Company. He is said to have sold the boat to the company director, Walter Dendy. The second story is that it was designed by Fred Lomar, a close associate of Walter Dendy and while the boat was built by Hayes, it was not constructed until after the First World War, and Dendy acquired the boat in 1918.

The next owner after Dendy was R.A. McDonald. Cliff gale became owner in the early 1920s, and renamed the yacht JUNE BIRD fafter his only daughter June. Up until then the boat had a centreboard, and it exited through a slot in the cast iron keel. The iron was special alloy called Lowmore iron which resisted rusting. Cliff Gale removed the centreboard after he found the boat sailed just as well with it retracted. The centrecase box remained and formed the base for a table. Cliff Gale later designed the smaller RANGER, and the influence of the JUNE BIRD seems apparent in the design of the RANGER.

Cliff Gale sold the boat in 1928, probably to Mick Aspinall. Subsequent owners included Mick Earl, son of marine artist Jack Earl, and in the period soon after the Second World War the various owners found it necessary to rebuild parts of the structure from time to time. When Kep Enderby became owner of JUNE BIRD it was given an extensive restoration and now remains in excellent condition, cruising and racing on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. The yacht retains its gaff rig and is a regular entrant in vintage yacht events.
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 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:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:2-stroke2 cycle
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:petrol
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Additional Titles

Primary title: June Bird

Previous title: Seabelle

Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: A19

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