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Skerry of Kurraba

Vessel Number: HV000132
Date: 1958
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 12.8 m x 8.38 m x 2.13 m x 1.31 m, 2300 tonnes, 22 m² (42 ft x 27.5 ft x 7 ft x 4.3 ft, 2263.2 tons, 236.83 ft²)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
SKERRY Of KURRABA is one of only two remaining 22 Square Metre class yachts in Australia. Built in Sydney in 1958, it is one of the few of that class built locally and not imported.
DescriptionOnly a handful of the 22 and 30 Square Metre class yachts were imported or built in Australia. The Square Metre yachts were popular classes in Europe and North America, and especially in the Scandinavian countries where they originated. The rule fixed the sail area ( 22 or 30 sq metres) and allowed controlled development of the hull. Although only a few came to Australia, they influenced the design of a number of yachts including the famous NOCTURNE designed by Alan Payne and the big ocean racer PANAMUNA originally from Victoria.

SKERRY OF KURRABA is an excellent example of the type, with its elegant profile and long overhangs, beautifully hand crafted by the builder, Harold Griffin at his Bayview yard. He used well seasoned North Coast beech for the planking and Honduras mahogany for the brightwork and cabin. It had five bronze floors and a yellow siris ( Australian teak) hardwood keel. The internal fitout was Australian red cedar.

It was built for Alan Tierney who commissioned Knud Reimers to prepare the design to suit the requirements for Sydney Harbour. It was considered a good hard weather vessel and a bit under canvassed for its hull size in the lighter weather. Its hard weather capabilities came to the fore in a gale blown race for the Squadron Cup, Division 2 in the 1962 Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Centenary Anniversary Regatta. Many of the fleet retired after rounding the Manly buoys and sheltered from the gale at Quarantine or Store Beach. However SKERRY OF KURRABA sailed on to take the trophy.

An interesting feature of its design was the deckstepped, revolving mast. It was large section, hollow Oregan spar set up on a greased bronze ball fitting at the base. It was an advanced rig for its period, and a relatively new development to Sydney although it had been used in Sweden and the USA with good results. The span to the forestay from the gooseneck was supported by a set of diamonds, while the sidestays attached to the same hounds point as the forestay to allow it to pivot. The only topmast support was a backstay, so in strong gusts it flexed to ease the power. The mast was also supported by runners. attaching at the hounds. The revolving mast created a better sail shape and entry for the mainsail luff and allowed the craft ot point quite high when sailing to windward.

In late 1967 it was purchased by AL Tony Cohen and the timber spar was replaced with a taller alloy section, and it was given a longer boom and new forestay postiion, increasing the sail area to around 25-26 sq metres. This improved its light weather sailing, but it no longer rated as a 22 sq metre and was not as good in heavy winds.

The Square Metre classes are ideal for inshore racing and SKERRY OF KURRABA raced in mixed fleets on Sydney Harbour for many years. In 2008 it was used principally as a recreational day-sailing yacht. In 2010 it has an aluminium spar and rig proportions that are only slightly different from the original plan.
Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:lead
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:wood/dynel
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
Motor propulsion:outboard
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 165

Previous Number: HV*

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