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Vessel Number: HV000284
Date: 1958
Vessel Dimensions: 10.67 m x 7.31 m x 2.59 m x 1.68 m, 6.5 tonnes (35 ft x 24 ft x 8.5 ft x 5.5 ft, 6.6 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
SIMBA is one of about four Lion Class yachts built in Australia in the 1960s. The Lion Class was an influential design from the late 1950s, which helped establish a strong fleet of varied ocean racing yacht designs on the east coast of Australia. SIMBA, 11 metres (35 feet) long, was built by the father and son combination Les and Barry Steel at Lake Macquarie, New South Wales who also built a number of important ocean racing yachts including RANI, RIVAL and STRUEN MARIE, all winners of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.
DescriptionSIMBA's design, by UK naval architect Arthur Robb (who was born in New Zealand), was a typical seaworthy, deep keeled ocean racer with long overhangs well adapted to the Royal Ocean Racing Club ocean racing rule used in the UK, Europe and Australia. SIMBA and its sisterships in Australia SIANDRA (HV000130), KAIYU and MALOHI enjoyed considerable success in ocean races. SIMBA, however, only raced in one Sydney to Hobart event, the 1961 race.

The classic proportions of the design influenced local designers, in particular Alan Payne, whose Tasman Seabird class shares some common elements and was said to be developed as a local response to the early success of the Lion Class yachts in Australia. SIMBA is carvel planked, and the cabin sides are built from teak, recycled from the hulk of the SOBRAON once a commonplace sight on Sydney Harbour. It was launched with a fractional rig, but Arthur Robb drew up a new sailplan with a masthead rig and SIMBA was changed to this arrangement by reducing the length of the taller, fractional-rigged spar. SIMBA has one unusual construction feature for the class. The mast is deck-stepped on two compression posts, which gives a more open-plan interior. It also removes an often troublesome leak area where the standard keel-stepped mast passes through the cabin top.

The original owner Charlie Dorman raced the yacht for nearly two decades in the Lake Macquarie area near Newcastle, NSW. He also took some of the local kids sailing from time to time to give them an experience of something different. It has had at least four subsequent owners, and has been used for cruising on the NSW and Queensland coast.. Ron Fawcett is Charlie Dorman's great nephew and he has good memories of the early years.

"I did go onboard Simba while it was moored. Uncle Charles left Simba's tender at his mother's place (my Great Grandmother) at Killaben Bay sometimes while he was racing, for my brothers and I to play with and fish from. I used it to row out into a stiff headwind, then put one oar out the back and let the wind and waves blow me back to shore, pretending I was in the Hobart like my great Uncle. I was 5 or 6.

I still sail and compete regularly on my small yacht. My son is a sailmaker and a world multihull champion in the F16 class, all probably because of SImba's influence on me as a young boy, then on to my young son.”

In 2009 SIMBA remained in good condition and was in use as a cruising yacht.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: Simban

Sail Number: M4

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