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Westward

Vessel Number: HV000432
Date: 1947
Designer: Jock Muir
Builder: Jock Muir
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 12.73 m x 3.63 m x 1.98 m, 15.65 tonnes (41.76 ft x 11.9 ft x 6.5 ft, 15.4 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
WESTWARD is a yacht designed and built by Jock Muir in Tasmania in 1947. It is the only Tasmanian yacht to have twice won the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, in 1947 and 1948, and represents Muir's robust construction and traditional, seaworthy hull designs. Muir was one of Tasmania's most respected shipwrights in the post World War II era and WESTWARD began life as a fishing cruiser with no intention of racing and therefore no consideration was given to racing rules during its design and construction.
DescriptionWESTWARD was launched in 1947 from Muir's Sandy Bay yard. It has an overall length of 12.73m, 3.63m beam and 1.98m draft. The yacht is strongly built with 28mm thick celery top pine planking on laminated blue gum frames, heavy stringers and deck beams. The deckhouse partially covers a self-draining cockpit. The conservative proportions and heavy construction turned out to be an advantage when its handicap was assessed under the RORC rule for offshore racing, and it ended up with a very favourable time correction factor which was used to calculate the winner on handicap for ocean racing events.

Jock Muir designed WESTWARD as a fishing cruiser for a Sydney buyer shortly after World War II. The sale fell through when the hull was only partly completed and he sold the boat to George Gibson, his former mainsheet hand in KITTIWAKE from their Cadet Dinghy racing days on the Derwent. The yacht was one of the first vessels built by Muir’s Boatyard, and with WESTWARD's success he became well known. He later built other famous yachts such as WALTZING MATILDA and MARIS. WESTWARD's first race was also the beginning of Jock Muir's heyday as an ocean racing yachtsman. Jock Muir's crew for the 1947 Sydney Hobart Race included his father Ernie Muir and his brothers Don and Wally, along with Keith Ratcliffe, Kevin Gerrod and Don Colbourn.

WESTWARD is featured in Muir’s book 'Maritime Reflections'. "WESTWARD was designed and built as a fishing cruiser, but she raced with the fishing-well sealed over and her propeller removed, I like to remember that she must be the only yacht with a fish-well to win the big race. She was a lovely boat and I still can't fault her. She has a fairly long keel and stern-hung rudder and I remember in one race she carried a spinnaker across Bass Strait when other competitors were dragging sea anchors and warps. She rated very low under the RORC rating and reveled in gale conditions - as indeed I did."

According to another WESTWARD crew member Joe Cannon "He was a skilled and meticulous boat-builder before he became a woodwork school teacher. He built his own Sydney to Hobart racer, the Joubert-designed Derwent Lass," Cannon said.

WESTWARD was the overall winner of the 1947 and 1948 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, and took part in other offshore events as well. Under other owners it has cruised the northern coast of Australia and the Pacific for almost 55 years. Its last owner was Stan Field from Queensland who sailed the yacht extensively, including a 15 year cruise with his family, mainly in the Pacific, but also visiting the Panama Canal. In 2010 Mr Field donated the yacht to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania and it was sailed from Hervey Bay in Queensland to Hobart, with plans for it to eventually go on permanent display in Constitution Dock. "This is a most significant gift to the Museum, as a living example of the traditions of yacht racing, including their design and construction from our wonderful Tasmanian timbers," said the museum’s president Mr. Colin Denny.

WESTWARD is in good condition and was sailed back to Hobart during May and June 2010, skippered by the Museum's vice-president Captain Mike Webb. They have since removed some additions to the superstructure and rebuilt the correct cabin arrangements to return WESTWARD as close as possible to its original configuration. In 2011 it is now an active sailing boat working from the museum, and other details will be gradually returned to the original specification over the next few years.



Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:internal
Ballast:lead
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:wood/dynel
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Propeller:single
Rig type:cutter
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Primary title: Westward

Previous title: Hi Hi Fo

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 43419

Sail Number: C 31

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