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Vessel Number: HV000210
Date: 1950
Vessel Dimensions: 3.05 m x 3.05 m x 1.35 m (10 ft x 10 ft x 4.43 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
ARIEL is a 10-foot sailing skiff built in Queenslandandnad first sailed on 18 September 1950. It is one of the very few remaining skiffs from the Darling Point 10 Footer class fleets that were sailed by the Darling Point Flying Squadron at Wynnum on Moreton Bay. and raced there from the 1926 to 1955. It is in largely original condition including an original set of sails.
DescriptionARIEL was designed and built by Don Piper at Wynnum, Queensland using the same mould as the champion boat Flight. Piper was a well-known builder of small craft in Brisbane and had built a number of the Darling Point 10 footers and larger skiffs. He was also the builder of the champion 12 foot skiff ESTRELITA (HV000200), which had a narrow hull similar to the 10 footers.

The planked hull had a chine that faired into the bow sections and faded toward the stem. The boats had a main and jib totalling 12 sq metres, and spinnaker of 11 sq metres. They were typical skiffs or open boats of this period, and were lighter than the older 10-foot skiffs with unrestricted sail areas that raced in Sydney earlier in the 1900s.

The new owner Colin Albion skippered ARIEL to impressive wins in its first two races but had a disappointing result in the third race. By mid-December 1950, Don Piper was the skipper and he was at the tiller when ARIEL won the Queensland Championship on Waterloo Bay, Wynnum, in January 1951 and the Club championship in February.

These 10 footers were crewed by three young sailors, and they raced exclusively with the Darling Point 10ft Flying Squadron, based at Wynnum. In 1926 the Wynnum Imperial Junior Sailing club was established sailing boats described as 10 foot sharpies on Waterloo Bay. The Club changed its name to the Darling Point 10ft Flying Squadron in 1930. 16 foot skiffs were a popular class during this era and in 1945 the Club decided to offer competition for 16 ft skiffs which also produced a second name change and in November 1945 they became the Darling Point Skiff Flying Squadron.

The boats were initially referred to as 10-footers or Darling Point 10 foot sharpies. An article in The Telegraph (Friday 16 February 1940) described ‘the 10ft skiff-sharpie has created considerable interest as a spectacular racing unit on Moreton Bay ….. Cleveland and Sandgate have now adopted the class..’. The Brisbane Courier (29 November 1932) described the Bay Skiff-Sharpies as ‘sleek varnished-hull skiff-sharpies registered with the Darling Point 10ft Flying Squadron now holds the largest following of sailing enthusiast on the bay … competing in the Australian championship on Sydney Harbour … The Balmain 10-footer … and although the Southern boats have greater beam and sail area the speed of the local skiff-sharpies before the breeze would counter-balance the thrashing qualities of the Harbour boats’.

Sailing on Moreton Bay could at times be very challenging if a fresh to strong easterly wind whipped up a short, sharp, sea state. The Darling Point 10 footers were specifically designed for open water sailing. The transition of the classification of the boats from 10 foot sharpies/10 footers, to 10 foot skiff-sharpies and finally, to 10 foot skiffs occurred during the period 1930-45. It was the introduction of the 16 foot skiffs to the Club and its name change in 1945 that also led to the 10 footers becoming the 10ft skiff. The larger 16 foot skiffs were faster and better open-water craft and ultimately brought about the demise of the 10ft skiff. Many of the 10 footer sailors also sailed in the other classes.

ARIEL's first owner was Colin Albion. It had a short period of class racing, winning the last state championship in 1952/53 with Crawford Pattison at the tiller and sailing up until 1955 after which the class disbanded. Its complete story after that remains unclear, but it is known that Albion sold it to Bruce Patterson. It was later sold to Alan and Bruce Moore but the date is not recorded, and they donated ARIEL to the Queensland Maritime Museum around 2000. By this time the original cedar planked bottom had been replaced by plywood, suggesting ARIEL had remained quite active over a long period.

Queensland Maritime Museum had ARIEL restored by Jack Hamilton, John Cuneo and Colin Johnston with new cedar bottom planking and a clear finish overall to replicate its original construction and appearance. Colin Albion donated an original set of sails so it could be re-rigged, and the restoration was completed by 2006.

ARIEL has historic significance as a rare surviving example of the Darling Point 10 foot skiff class of sailing boat unique to the conditions found on Moreton Bay. She is an important example of the craftsmanship of Don Piper and also of his skill as a sailor.

Prepared from research material supplied by Queensland Maritime Museum
Vessel Details
Current status:on public display
Hull material and construction:batten seam
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:dagger boarddrop board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Rig type:gunter
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:cotton
Additional Titles

Primary title: Ariel

Primary title: Ariel

Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: Red/white/blue pennant

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