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Altair

Vessel Number: HV000448
Date: 1947
Builder: J J Savage
Designer: J J Savage
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 7.62 m x 6.4 m x 2.32 m (25 ft x 21 ft x 7.6 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
ALTAIR is an example of the 21 Foot Restricted Class yachts that was built in Victoria by JJ Savage in 1947. It was one of the last 21s built in Victoria and Australia during the the time the class raced for the Forster Cup interstate series. It was also one of the few in this class to be launched with a Bermudan rig rather than the traditional gaff mainsail plan.
DescriptionALTAIR is carvel planked and was built in 1947 at Williamstown in Melbourne by its owner, the well known builder JJ Savage. It was one of four 21s built by the Victorians in a post-war attempt to wrest the Forster Cup from the Tasmanians who had dominated the series in the 1930s and were winning again when the series restarted after World War II. These four yachts became the last 21s to be built anywhere in Australia during the time the class raced for the Forster Cup, with the last series for 21s held in 1955.

ALTAIR was a rare example of the class that was launched with a Bermudan rig sailplan. This had been a later class development; the original rig had been a gaff mainsail. The Bermudan or Marconi rig had been trialed during the 1930s, but no one had made it work as well as the traditional gaff rig that was soon peaked up to a high Gunter rig profile. Unfortunately ALTAIR's experiment was not a success either, it did not show any distinct improvement and did not feature in any high placings. It represented Victoria in the 1948 series in Hobart, along with near sister yacht ENDEAVOUR and the much older ROYALIST.

ALTAIR was owned and skippered by the builder Jack Savage until 1954 when he sold it to Les Walker. He later sold it to George Dabovich from the Royal St Kilda Yacht Club. It remained there until 1991 when it was sold interstate joined the growing fleet of historic 21s now racing at Goolwa in SA. Owner Graham Jordan campaigned it over many seasons, and it even survived a swamping one day when caught out in very rough conditions. In 1988 ALTAIR traveled to Victoria with DOLPHIN and ENDEAVOUR where the three vessels competed in the 1988 Bicentennial Race at Albert Park in Melbourne.

ALTAIR remains in Goolwa, sailing regularly and racing with the standard aluminium spar Bermudan-rigged sail plan adopted by most of the Goolwa fleet, now made up of eight historic and two new 21s. Goolwa has become a home to the historic 21s, where they race with the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club.

Vessel Details
Ballast:internal
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:outboard
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: SA 03

Sail Number: H7

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