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Olive

Vessel Number: HV000149
Date: 1931
Builder: Len Morris
Designer: Len Morris
Previous Owner: Jack Newey ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 3.35 m x 1.22 m x 0.08 m (11 ft x 4 ft x 0.25 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
OLIVE has national significance as the first Moth and was the craft that began this famous class in Australia.
DescriptionOLIVE was designed and built by Len Morris in the late 1920s for sailing at Inverloch in the Gippsland region. This unassuming and simple craft lead to a small local fleet of similar sailing dinghies eventually called Moths, and from this it grew to a national class and then finally the International Moth Class. OLIVE is a cat-rigged, scow-shaped wooden sailing dinghy, 11 feet long and 4 feet wide (3.35m x 1.22m).

Len Morris was a manager at a Gippsland milk depot. In 1927 he traveled to the USA on behalf of his employer. He came back from that trip with ideas for a boat design based on the racing scows popular on the inland USA lakes. Morris wanted a simple sailing dinghy he could put on top of his car, and sail by himself or take another crew with him. His scow design was a very simple box shape in section, with a single chine and was rigged with a single mainsail. Named after Len Morris's wife it was christened OLIVE and he sailed it with the Inverloch Yacht Club where it soon attracted the attention of other sailors. More craft were built along OLIVE's lines and it became a class within the club, called the Inverloch 11 Foot Class around 1933.

Soon it was noted that the class restrictions based on OLIVE were almost identical to the American Moth Class. This class had been started in 1930, and had been featured in an American 'Rudder" magazine article a few years later, so by agreement the locals changed the name to the Moth Class. There was also an English version of the Moth, and overtime the separate classes combined and adopted the Australian rules to become an exciting international class.

OLIVE's design was later superceded by Morris's new boat called FLUTTERBY, and the class also had another fleet established nearby at Lake Boga. Other sailors designed their own craft or adopted plans from America and from this point on the class gradually spread to other clubs in Victoria, then interstate.

OLIVE changed hands and was sailed by Jack Newey for many years. It is now on display at the Albert Park Yacht Club, one the clubs in Victoria to adopt the Moth class in the early years of the class. Only the hull remains but it shows the original construction and layout developed by Morris.
Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:on public display
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:batten seam
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:dagger boarddrop board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Rig type:cat rigcat boatunauna rig
Sail cloth:cotton
Spar material:timber

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