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Margaret Rintoul

Vessel Number: HV000430
Date: 1948
Vessel Dimensions: 13.49 m x 9.45 m x 3.43 m x 1.98 m (44.25 ft x 31 ft x 11.25 ft x 6.5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
MARGARET RINTOUL is an ocean racing yacht built in Sydney for builder AE Edwards in 1948. The yawl rigged yacht won line honours in two successive Sydney to Hobart races in the early 1950s and set a record for the race with its second victory. Line honours, which was the first yacht to finish, has always captured the public's attention for the Sydney to Hobart race, and the challenge of setting a new record has since become a fascination and focus of media speculation each year in the lead up to the event. Designed by renowned US naval architect Philip Rhodes, it is an early example of a post war ocean racer built in Australia to the latest international concepts, at a time when many local ocean racing boats were dated to the 1930s. The custom built, up-to-the-minute design of MARGARET RINTOUL in 1948 just three years after the event had started, illustrates how early the development of a serious and competitive approach to all aspects of ocean racing had begun, an approach that was dominating the event from the late 1950s. MARGARET RINTOUL also represents another stage in a growing trend away from local designers toward designs from the USA and Europe, that had its beginnings in the 1930s.
DescriptionMARGARET RINTOUL was built by Ted Haddock in Sydney for builder Austin Edwards, who had chosen a design from the Phillip Rhodes, an emerging American naval architect. Rhodes had been chief designer at Cox and Stevens from 1934 and took over the firm in 1947. He then gave the firm his own name and quickly became one of the leading yacht designers in the USA in the 1950s and 60s beside a retiring John Alden from Boston and the acknowledged dean of the profession, Olin Stephens. The builder Haddock is less well known. He had a yard at Margaret St in Greenwich for a short period and is also remembered as the builder of the light-weight ocean racing sisterships NOCTURNE and SERENADE in the late 1940s.

MARGARET RINTOUL sailed in the 1950 Sydney to Hobart race and narrowly missed line honours by two minutes when the yachts finished in the dark. Close finishes then become part of its story.

MARGARET RINTOUL’s second race in the Sydney to Hobart was in 1951 and it was a grueling event. The fleet sailed directly into a fierce southerly gale as they turned south at Sydney Heads, and spent almost 2/3rds of the race pushing to windward in heavy sea conditions. Edwards had the experienced Merv Davey as his skipper, and a crew used to tough conditions. Conditions eased through the Bass Strait crossing and then it became a spinnaker run down the coast where rival yacht MISTRAL V, a similar and contemporary Olin Stephens design took the lead for a period, while the fleet bunched up overnight off the coast of Tasmania. The following morning a severe, squally southerly hit the fleet again and MARGARET RINTOUL headed out to sea while rivals MISTRAL V and NERIDA stayed close to shore. They came together again at the entrance to Storm Bay, and in the fickle conditions MARGARET RINTOUL picked a change in the wind direction before the other yachts and took a freshening sea breeze down to the finish line to an exciting 18 minute victory over MISTRAL V, watched by spectators ashore and on boats following them to the finish..

In the following year conditions were quite different, and the favourable nor-east winds allowed the leading yachts to run under spinnaker until well across Bass Strait when the wind went south west, then south east. It died away on the turn into Storm Bay, and once again there was a close finish with MARGARET RINTOUL catching an easterly shift to take line honours and new race record of 4 days, 2 hours and 29 minutes, half an hour ahead of LASS O'LUSS.

MARGARET RINTOUL was a consistent performer in many races on the east coast over a number of years after the Hobart record event. A sister ship was built in Adelaide called TAHUNA for Henry Wickens. In 2010 it has become a classic yacht seen cruising around Sydney Harbour and Pittwater, still with its original timber spars.

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
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
Motor propulsion:inboard
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Rig type:yawl
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 353

Vessel Registration Number: MR353N

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