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Vessel Number: HV000184
Date: 1929
Previous Owner: Michael Veenstra ,
Vessel Dimensions: 7.62 m x 6.4 m x 2.13 m x 0.76 m (25 ft x 21 ft x 7 ft x 2.5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
MILSONIA is a 21 Foot Restricted Class yacht built in 1929 as NSW III. In that year it won The Forster Cup, the last victory for NSW in that event. In 1932, renamed MILSONIA, it again won the Cup but this time representing Victoria.
DescriptionMILSONIA has had a long and successful life as a sailing yacht and a member of its class, the 21 Foot Restricted Class. The yacht was built by James Hayes and Sons at Careening Cove NSW in 1929 and launched early in 1930. It was launched as NSW III, and was part of a successful fund raising project by the major NSW yacht clubs that built three 21 Foot Restricted Class yachts for The Forster Cup series held in Melbourne in 1930. NSW I and NSW III represented the state, and NSW III helmed by James Milson won the series. Both NSW I and NSW III were built by Hayes, and it is known that NSW I was also designed by Charlie Peel. It has been thought that Peel also designed NSW III, however after the series, James Milson acknowledged the design and construction of NSW III to James Hayes. This is reported in the Australian Motor Boat and Yachting Monthly magazine April 1 1930, where Milson writes:

"The winning boat was designed by Mr. James Hayes & Sons, Careening Cove, who was also the successful designer of Nettle...."

NSW III also won the Albert Cup in 1930, which was sailed for during the invitation race for the series, and this was the only time a NSW yacht won that trophy. The Forster Cup was a hard fought series between the states and featured appalling weather conditions. The win by NSW III ended an initial period of success by the Tasmanian yachts. It also represented the last major combined effort by NSW to contest the series.

In 1931 NSW III was sold to a Victorian syndicate headed by A.T. Rose and renamed MILSONIA in recognition of its original helmsman and the famous sailing family he came from. Victoria entered the 1933 series in Adelaide with MILSONIA, helmed by H.A. 'Toby' Armstrong, and again after a very close finish the yacht won The Forster Cup. On the last run of the last race MILSONIA ran downwind at great speed to catch the leaders, nearly nose-diving and swamping on some of the swells. As it closed on the leader CARINA, NERANA rode passed MILSONIA on two big swells to finish second by only three seconds, leaving CARINA and MILSONIA equal on points for the series. NERANA then retired acknowledging an earlier minor infringement, leaving MILSONIA as the outright winner ahead of CARINA.

MILSONIA changed hands in Victoria on a couple of occasions but remained sailing with the class and in mixed fleets before and after World War II. In 1934 it was rigged with a Bermudan mainsail, an experiment that was also tried by a handful of other vessels in the class but without success. Most went back to their gaff or gunter style rigs. MILSONIA suffered misfortune in April 1935 when it was swamped at its moorings inside the Royal St. Kilda Yacht Club breakwater during heavy gales on Port Phillip. After four days lying submerged it was refloated and found to be undamaged, but was then badly scarred as it was being manoeuvered onto a cradle.

The class became dormant after the 1955 series which MILSONIA sailed in, and along with other 21s it drifted off to other clubs and had its rig modified again. Eventually it was bought by South Australian owners and became part of small fleet of existing 21s sailing together in Goolwa, SA. The yacht has a modern Bermudan rig similar to others in the fleet, but otherwise retains much of its original structure and configuration, which includes the Queensland red cedar planking, a typical material used in the class.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:outboard
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Additional Titles

Previous title: NSW III

Primary title: Milsonia

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: GR 50 S

Sail Number: SA 004

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