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CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH on a broad reach in a north east  seabreeze on Pittwater, NSW in 2005.

Camille of Seaforth

Vessel Number: HV000079
Date: 1964
Designer: Wally Ward
Vessel Dimensions: 11.13 m x 9.15 m x 2.92 m x 1.83 m, 6.25 tonnes (36.5 ft x 30 ft x 9.6 ft x 6 ft, 6.35 tons)
Engine dimensions: 84 x 90 mm, 30 kilowatts, 3 cylinders (3.3 x 3.54 in, 40horsepower)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH is a racing yacht built in Sydney by Swanson Bros. in 1964. The yacht played an important role in Australian ocean racing when it was a member of the first Australian yachting team to contest the Admiral's Cup series in 1965. It also represnts the Swansons typical style of yacht which they were well-known for in this period.
DescriptionCAMILLE OF SEAFORTH is an 11.1 metre carvel planked yacht designed by Wally Ward. He was an amateur designer who was well-known around Sydney for his canoe-sterned yachts such as JANAWAY (HV000495), and had collaborated with the Swansons.

Ward followed the lead of English designers including Harrison Butler who used an analysis of the underwater hull shape called the Metacentric Shelf Theory to achieve a well balanced hull form. The method compared the changes in the volume or displacement distribution of the hull in normal trim and as the boat heeled. In a balanced hull this distribution remained relatively constant. It was a tedious set of calculations by today's computer standards. In practice most hulls designed to the method proved to be well behaved sailing and ocean going yachts. Ward's handsome boat designs were outstanding in this regard.

CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH was one of the largest boats that Ward designed, and it was built for Ron Swanson ( by his firm Swanson Bros) as an ocean racer, sailing with the Middle Harbour Yacht Club. It is planked in oregon and has a plywood deck. A feature of the construction was the additional keelson atop the floors, incorporated to stiffen the boat against the high forestay tension that was applied to the rig.

When it was launched, Seacraft magazine noted in its March 1965 edition that "Yachting will hear a lot more of Camille" The yacht was launched early in 1965 and then contested the trials for team selection in Australia's first ever challenge for the unofficial world championship of ocean racing, the Admiral's Cup, sailed out of Cowes in the United Kingdom. CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH was selected along with FREYA and CAPRICE OF HUON for the three boat team. Remarks were made in England about the cruising yacht designs the Australians had sent, but fellow competitors were then surprised by the strong performance of the team when they gained second place overall.

The elegant canoe-sterned profile shown by CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH was also a feature on other yacht designs by Jim Swanson and Wally Ward. These included the smaller CARMEN class boats that were built by the Swanson Bros. The double-enders formed a niche in the ocean racing fleet and had many successes, as well as becoming the basis for many cruising yacht designs. The moderate to heavy displacement, sturdy timber construction and balanced lines gave the craft a very sea kindly behaviour which is still recognised today as a valuable asset for sailing offshore.

In 2014 CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH is now with it fourth owner and in excellent condition, retired from racing and used for family cruising.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:floating
Current status:not on display
Current status:operational
Current status:outside
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:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:film
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: MH 111

Sail Number: 53

Vessel Registration Number: ND398N

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