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Rainbow

Vessel Number: HV000201
Date: 1898
Builder: Logan Bros
Designer: Logan Bros
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 15.24 m x 10.36 m x 2.64 m x 2.01 m, 9.84 tonnes (50 ft x 34 ft x 8.66 ft x 6.6 ft, 10 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
RAINBOW, built in 1898, at 15.24 metres long, is the only surviving large racing yacht from the important Trans-Tasman yacht race series held in Sydney in 1900, which it dominated. RAINBOW represents the strong and continuing rivalry between Australian and New Zealand sailors, builders and designers.

The yacht's success led directly to orders being placed by Sydney yachtsmen from Logan Bros, its New Zealand builder, and these new craft encouraged racing in Sydney for the next decade.
DescriptionRAINBOW was designed and built in New Zealand by the well-known Logan Bros of Auckland. Its triple diagonal kauri planked hull is typical Logan construction. The yacht is 15.24 m (50 ft) long, and when it was launched in November 1898 for its flamboyant owner, dentist Harry Pittar RAINBOW quickly established superiority over the local fleet.

During 1899 Pittar committed to sending RAINBOW to Sydney for the Inter-Colonial Championship Yacht race to be sailed as part of the Anniversary Regatta on 26 January 1900. Late in 1899 the Sydney Referee had noted " a meeting before the season is over between RAINBOW and Mr Hordern's new 5 rater [WHITE WINGS] .....would indeed be something to look forward to;". Pittar was keen to make his point that the Auckland big boats were better than the Sydney ones, and the Logans were just as enthusiastic to make a big impression with their craft.

Early in 1900, over less than a month in Sydney, Pittar, his skipper Arch Logan and RAINBOW made their point emphatically in the much anticipated and well reported series of races. RAINBOW was damaged on the way to the start of the Inter-Colonial race, but after hasty repairs won convinclngly. In its next race RAINBOW finished in a dead heat for first place, only to be disqualified on a technicality. The series of three match races with Hordern's yacht WHITE WINGS followed, with RAINBOW easily winning the final two. In its last race in Sydney after that series, RAINBOW was one of two yachts forced out after a dramatic collision at the start. Pittar had hoped to sell RAINBOW in Sydney but with no offers forthcoming he shipped it back to Auckland later that year.

Reporting the likely visit of RAINBOW, earlier, in May of 1899, 'The Australian Yachtsman and Canoeist' hoped that it 'would do as much good to Sydney yachting' as the 1898 visit by another New Zealand yacht METEOR had done.

Yachting was still recovering from the effects of the economic downturn of the 1890s, with only a handful of new craft sailing to rekindle enthusiasm amongst the Sydney sailors. RAINBOW's visit became the catalyst for a much bigger expansion of the fleet. Orders were placed for more Logan Bros yachts, and in the following three years a class of 30 foot linear raters developed that became the mainstay of the racing fleet in Sydney for more than a decade. The fleet was dominated by the Logan Bros designs.

RAINBOW remained in New Zealand after its return from Australia in 1900. In 2006/2007 it was restored to the configuration in which it raced when it came to Sydney more than 100 years earlier, complete with gaff topsail sailplan, and has sailed regularly on the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland.
Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:internal
Ballast:lead
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:fibreglass
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Propeller:single
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:plans
Related materials:references
Rig type:cutter
Rig type:gaff
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Hull material and construction:other
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: A 7

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