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Vessel Number: HV000108
Date: 1911
Vessel Dimensions: 9.45 m x 3.35 m x 1.62 m (31 ft x 11 ft x 5.32 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
SHONA is a timber racing and crusing yacht built in Sydney in 1911. it is a rare surviving example of a small yacht designed by Walter Reeks and was built by W.Holmes, one of the principal builders of the period.
DescriptionSHONA was built by Holmes at his Lavender Bay yard on the McMahon’s Point side of the bay for joint owners John Manson and Charles Young. Young was a JP and appears to have sold his share to Manson after a short period of joint ownership. Manson was a well-known architect and responsible for some of the fine houses of that period in the eastern suburbs. SHONA is said to be named after a small bay in Scotland, just inside the Inner Hebrides, however another suggestion is that it was also the name of the wife of one of the owners.

The hull is of typical construction, using NZ kauri planking on spotted gum frames, and fastened in copper and bronze. The double ended hull shape and well resolved deck line in plan view are very reminiscent of larger Colin Archer style yachts. It is an interesting companion to Reeks' much larger design, SEA SCOUT (HV000022) also a double ended yacht. One previous owner has commented that this stern shape created a wake that was almost silent. SHONA had a wooden pivoting centreboard, fitting into a cast centrecase. This shaped centrecase remains in the hull and has become a feature of the interior. It also forms the base for a folding table in the saloon area.

The original rig was a gaff cutter, but this appears to have been replaced by the late 1940s to a Bermudan mainsail. In the late 1950s a new mast, said to be almost 16 metres long, was stepped. This spar was salvaged from a yacht that had been destroyed by fire. The mast seems to have been cut down to a more modest length at a later unknown date, and may still be the spar fitted currently. The yacht was extensively restored in 1981 and remains in good to excellent condition. It has a Perkins diesel engine from the 1950 or 60s.

SHONA has had many owners, and for a period in the 1930s it was on the register of the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, sail number A 14. Previous owners sailed with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. SHONA has been described as one of the prettiest craft on the harbour, and carries its name inscribed on the rudder stock capping.

A previous owner sent the following story. "I was thrilled to find ‘Shona’ on the website recently. My husband and I bought her in October 1966 from a Mr Christie of Northbridge. She was our first boat and we learnt to sail in her and lived aboard for three years in Mosman Bay. After only sailing for about 18 months we took 6 months off and sailed her up to Gladstone and then on through all the islands of the Barrier Reef to Bowen before returning to Mosman Bay. At the time of our ownership she had an old Thorneycroft petrol engine."

SHONA starred in the 2008 film 'Nim's Island' filmed in Queensland tropical waters. The guardrails were removed and other modifications made to fit the plot, which included the vessel being wrecked. However this event was filmed using a model. The yachts appearence in the movie attracted attention to its elegant lines and a number of wooden boat forums carried a discussion about its background and good looks. One entry noted that after the movie the yacht was sold for $45,000.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Current status:outside
Deck layout:cabin
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:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:references
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:cutter
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 209

Vessel Registration Number: 131570

Sail Number: A 14

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