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Larapinta

Vessel Number: HV000280
Date: 1945
Designer: AC Barber
Previous Owner: Peter Mounsey ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 11.28 m x 3.66 m x 1.83 m, 13.1 tonnes (37 ft x 12 ft x 6 ft, 13.31 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
LARAPINTA is a heavy displacement 11 metre (37 feet) cruising yacht designed by prolific Sydney naval architect AC Barber. Launched in 1945, it was sailed by Peter Mounsey and his wife Lesley who became the first Australian couple to make a world-circumnavigation in the late 1950s. This was at a time when few couples of any nationality had taken to ocean cruising and it is probable that Lesley was the first Australian woman to sail around the world on a yacht.
DescriptionLARAPINTA was completed in 1945 by professional shipwright William Gordon, but it is understood amateur builder Walter Fabbige had begun building the yacht for himself. At this time it was called SEAFAIRER. While the design is credited to AC Barber it is thought that Barber based the yacht on the style of a Colin Archer designed yacht, and the similar American Atkins’ designs. Barber is known to have adapted the design of PHALAROPE (HV000191) from an Archer lines plan. The canoe stern shape is a typical Barber feature, but the Archer and Atkins designs also had canoe sterns. Peter Mounsey notes that LARAPINTA's stern is probably finer than the more rounded Atkins style. The heavy displacement hull was typical of the sturdy and seaworthy ocean going yachts built post-World War II.

Peter Mounsey was a master mariner working on coastal ships when he sailed as navigator aboard one of the entrants in the 1953 Sydney to Hobart race. The ocean racing experience started him thinking about a circumnavigation and the Mounsey's began to plan their voyage. LARAPINTA was purchased in 1954 for 3000 pounds and they set about repairing poor framing. Other changes were also made in preparation for the long voyage. During this four year period Peter and Lesley lived aboard the boat in Mosman Bay.

They departed Sydney in late May 1958, sailing north to take the trade winds across the Indian Ocean to South Africa and then up the Atlantic Ocean to England. From there they sailed for home via the West Indies, Panama Canal and South Pacific Islands, returning in 1961.

It was a leisurely and satisfying cruise with occasional rough passages. Along the way, the novelty of being a husband and wife cruising couple ensured they met with an inquisitive, and then friendly, reception at the ports they called at. This contrasts with voyages such as the all-male Jack Earl circumnavigation in 1947/48 aboard KATHLEEN GILLETT (HV000042).

Although not as widely reported as Earl's famous voyage, the Mounsey's cruise was certainly well known amongst the Australian sailing fraternity. Their voyage on LARAPINTA encouraged other couples and women to undertake ocean cruising. It also gave Peter Mounsey a taste for short-handed sailing. In the 1960s and 70s he became one of the pioneers of short-handed and single-handed ocean racing in Australia. He was also associated with the AUSTRALIA II America's Cup challenge in 1983.

Reference: Bluewater Australians, Peter Fry, ABC 1987


Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:not on display
Current status:operational
Current status:outside
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:4-stroke4 cycle
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Propeller:single
Rig type:ketch
Sail cloth:cotton
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Primary title: Larapinta

Previous title: Seafairer

Alternate Numbers

Previous Number: MH36

Vessel Registration Number: JB723N

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