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Tassie Too

Vessel Number: HV000234
Date: 1927
Vessel Dimensions: 7.62 m x 6.4 m x 2.44 m x 0.76 m, 1.97 tonnes (25 ft x 21 ft x 8 ft x 2.5 ft, 2 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
TASSIE TOO is a 21 Foot Restricted Class yacht which won the Forster Cup, the premier trophy for the class, an unequalled ten times between 1927 and 1952. It is believed to be the only surviving one of the three 'TASSIE'-named boats which represented the state and dominated the class for more than two decades.

DescriptionTASSIE TOO was built in 1927 for the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania by renowned Hobart builder Charles Lucas at his Sandy Bay yard as the second 'TASSIE'.

TASSIE TOO was designed by WP 'Skipper' Batt, with assistance from designer Alfred Blore, who had collaborated on the first TASSIE and again drew the plans needed to construct the hull to Batt's lines lifted from his model. The first TASSIE was built on a shoestring budget, and rushed together for the 1925 Forster Cup series, which it won convincingly. It then repeated the wins in 1926 and 1927. This encouraged the Tasmanians to build a second boat, but in more organised circumstances. The club raised the funds by subscription and TASSIE TOO was made ready for the Sydney series in 1928, which it won.

TASSIE TOO is planked in Huon pine on hardwood frames as specified in the class rules, and features a pivoting centreboard - a detail introduced to the class by the Tasmanians. The centreboard was also designed to flex when sailing upwind. The thought was that this would create more lift and improve the yacht's windward abilities. The round-bilge hull shape was designed to be at its best in heavy conditions, but it performed well in all conditions. It was considered an extreme design by other sailors in the class.

TASSIE TOO was skippered by Harry Batt and other notable skippers from Tasmania to many convincing wins, in almost all of states where the Forster Cup was sailed. A third boat TASSIE III was also built in 1929, but it only triumphed over TASSIE II at the Forster Cup on two occasions. For a period, Tasmania had the three TASSIE's sailing and used this to their advantage with team sailing tactics to secure a win for one of their team, which upset the other states.

Controversy was a key part of the Forster Cup history, with TASSIE TOO at the centre of some of the incidents and protests on and off the race course. In another series TASSIE TOO did not measure in at a flotation test on a freshwater flooded Brisbane River and was longer on the waterline than allowed. The crew successfully sought a re-measure in more buoyant saltwater conditions down stream where it came in at 21 feet (6.2 metres) on the waterline, as allowed by the rules.

TASSIE TOO was also very succesful with seven wins in the Albert Gold Cup race that preceded The Forster Cup series on the calendar. Six of these wins were in succession from 1947 to 1952. TASSIE III was built as a successer and had one Forster Cup win, and plans were made for a TASSIE IV, a 1/2 model at the RYCT shows the hull shape, but the vessel was never built.

The demise of the class after World War II was gradual. After 1952 the Tasmanians no longer contested the series, and after 1955 interstate racing stopped. TASSIE TOO, like many of the class, raced in mixed fleet events and eventually ended up racing on Port Phillip in Victoria under new owners. It remained in Victoria and was rescued from decline in 2003. It was restored to its original configuration including the gaff rig sail plan, in time to be re-launched at the 2005 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart. Veteran skipper Ediss Boyes, who had taken the helm of TASSIE TOO for one series in its heyday was welcomed aboard again and remarked on how wonderful the yacht was to sail.

Vessel Details
Current status:covered
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Rig type:gunter
Sail cloth:cotton
Spar material:timber
Current status:museum vessel
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: T2

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