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Mistral IV

Vessel Number: HV000264
Date: 1932
Designer: AC Barber
Builder: J J Savage
Vessel Dimensions: 9.52 m x 6.71 m x 2 m x 1.68 m, 3.17 tonnes (31.25 ft x 22 ft x 6.55 ft x 5.5 ft, 3.22 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
MISTRAL IV is a 1930s racing yacht built in Melbourne by JJ Savage and designed by the respected naval architect AC Barber. It represents an early Australian built yacht influenced by the International Metre boat designs. Its design marks the beginning of the transition period to the 1950s, from yachts built to Australian concepts to yachts largely reflecting international designs. The overseas influence is clearly seen in MISTRAL IV's metre boat hull shape - a contrast to the raised-deck, canoe-sterned cruising and racing yachts typical of the Barber designs of that period.
DescriptionMISTRAL IV was launched in 1932 as RIPPLE for Melbourne owner Alan Whitehead. The plans are dated March 1929. The builders were the well known Victorian firm JJ Savage, whose boat yard at Hawthorn was on a quiet reach of the Yarra River. The boat was described as having the appearance of a small International 6 Metre Class racing yacht. The hull lines were quite similar to the metre boat's narrow and deep design, with the same long overhangs, but the yacht's overall length was about a metre shorter than a typical 6 metre of that period.

MISTRAL IV was built with Huon pine planking on spotted gum frames, and its small cabin house was made of Queensland cedar. The keel-stepped mast was of rikka spruce almost 13 metres long. Whitehead sailed the boat with the Royal St Kilda Yacht Club using sail number S24. Jack Savage, son of the builder, recalls that in 1934 the yacht was one of many washed ashore in the huge Easter storm that wrecked a large number of craft on Port Phillip. MISTRAL IV survived and remained racing as RIPPLE under a succession of owners until 1946. The sail number changed to R25 around 1940, and throughout this time it raced in the B Class.

Well known Hobart businessman Guy Rex bought RIPPLE in 1946 and renamed it MISTRAL IV. He raced it with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and employed Don Knight, an engineer from Devonport, Tasmania to add 12 inches draught to the keel with the aim of improving performance.

In August 1947 MISTRAL IV was sold to Sydney, where it raced until 1953 when it moved further north to Lake Macquarie, on the New South Wales Central Coast. It continued to race for another 30 years, and by the time Phil Gordon bought it in 1987, it was ' falling apart at the seams'. He employed Ian Peden, a well known boat builder in the region, to restore it. This task was almost complete when it was sold again. Sydney shipwright Jeff Clist tidied up the last details and MISTRAL IV emerged in good condition.

In 2008 MISTRAL IV was more than 70 years old, sailing in classic yacht events on Sydney Harbour. It had the original arrangement and sloop rig with the addition of a deck-stepped aluminium mast.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:outboard
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Additional Titles

Previous title: Ripple

Primary title: Mistral IV

Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: S24

Official Number: 153910

Vessel Registration Number: HO195N

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