Search the Register
Advanced Search


Vessel Number: HV000428
Date: 1959
Designer: Alan Payne
Vessel Dimensions: 11.12 m x 7.53 m x 2.9 m x 1.43 m (36.48 ft x 24.71 ft x 9.5 ft x 4.69 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
CHERANA is a Tasman Seabird class yacht designed by naval architect Alan Payne and built by Trevor Gowland. It was launched in 1959 and at the end of that year won the 1959 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. The race win firmly established Payne as Australia's premier yacht designer in the 1950s and 60s, and he described CHERANA as "...arguably my most successful yacht". Gowland was one of the leading Sydney timber boat builders over this period as well and was hugely respected for his primary role two years later as foreman at Halvorsen's yard where they built Australia's first America's Cup challenger GRETEL, also designed by Payne. It remains in original condition with no significant repairs or changes in construction and layout. It is one of at least ten that were built in the 1960s and all remain extant.
DescriptionCHERANA was built in Sydney for Queensland businessman Russell Williams and Gowland started construction in 1958. Seacraft magazine noted Williams' intention to build in the June 1958 issue of the magazine and commented that with Ron Cottee's boat RONITA (HV000082) also planned for construction, five Seabirds were then being built before even one had been launched and trialed.

Payne had prepared the Tasman Seabird design as his response to the need for a strongly built ocean racing boat suitable for the rough conditions on the eastern coastline. He then optimised the design to take advantage of aspects in the RORC Rule that was used to handicap events at that time. MARIS (HV000233) for Jack Earl was the second one to be launched, but the first to be sailing, KALEENA (HV000081) the second to sail and CHERANA the third. The hull is planked in 28 mm thick Oregon on spotted gum frames at 150mm centres. It is sloop rigged but has also been rigged as a yawl.

CHERANA was built with a raised doghouse aft of the saloon, in contrast to MARIS and many other Seabirds which have an unbroken low cabin line height throughout, as originally designed by Payne. He always felt that the continuous cabin top with a conventional companionway opening was stronger and less vulnerable to damage in bad sea conditions than a taller and more open doghouse arrangement. His attention to detail and early success with this design added to his already growing reputation and confirmed that his commission by Frank Packer to design GRETEL was very appropriate.

After winning the Sydney to Hobart race in 1959 CHERANA continued to have a successful ocean racing career up until the early years of 2000. Williams sold the vessel to WRS Macrae in 1962. It raced in all the major events on the east coast. At its home club the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, it had 24 division wins between 1970 and 1996, racing under three significantly different handicap rules- the RORC it was designed for, its replacement rule the more complex IOR (Mk II - IV), and then the computer, velocity prediction based IMS.

In 2010 it remains in the same immaculate condition it has been kept in throughout its life. One long time owner was John Keelty who set a standard of presentation that was almost unmatched by other yachts. CHERANA now sails occasional races and other recreational trips in Queensland waters.
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:wood/fibreglass
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 25

Discuss this Object


Please log in to add a comment.