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Carronade

Vessel Number: HV000454
Date: 1964
Designer: Ron Swanson
Designer: Wally Ward
Previous Owner: Andy Wall ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 9.2 m x 7.5 m x 2.74 m x 1.67 m, 5 tonnes (30.19 ft x 24.61 ft x 8.99 ft x 5.48 ft, 4.92 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
CARRONADE is a wooden cruising yacht built in Sydney NSW in 1964. It is one of the robust and popular Carmen class of yachts and became the first Australia designed and built yacht to round Cape Horn in the late 1960s. Only 9.2 metres long, the class became famous in Australia when CADENCE won the 1966 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and has since maintained a strong following. Many of them were built by Swanson Bros and it helped establish their business. The yacht was co-designed by Ron Swanson and Wally Ward from Sydney NSW. The yacht's hull shape explored an English theory that was known to produce well-balanced hull designs. CARRONADE gained further recognition for the class's capabilities with its cruising exploits which became a subject in two books at the time. The voyage also inspired others to do the same, and subsequently other Carmen class yachts have successfully sailed around the world. CARRONADE is still cruising the world and in 2011 is currently based between south east Asian and northern Australian waters.
DescriptionCARRONADE is a canoe-sterned double-ender, with a raised deck and a small doghouse. Ron Swanson joined with Wally Ward to design the hull in 1962 and CARMEN was the first to be built. Ward was an amateur designer and had been very successful with his own designed yacht JANAWAY which was a canoe-sterned shape influenced by the 1930s English design principle promoted by Rear Admiral Turner and called the Metacentric Shelf Theory. The theory suggested that as a yacht heeled its balance was affected by the changes in the immersed form of the hull. The analysis undertaken involved calculating the change in buoyancy distribution and helped the designer achieve equal buoyancy in the dissimilar ends of a design. It involved a number of calculations comparing the yacht's heeled and level distribution of displacement. Yachts designed to this theory usually exhibited good sailing characteristics, but it was not widely adopted, possibly due to the extensive nature of the manual calculations required, and was never widely supported in professional naval architectural circles. Ward was one Australian designer known to have been influenced by the system.

Swanson built the yacht at the Swanson Bros’ Dee Why shed and it was launched in Sydney in 1964 and fitted out by its young owner Andy Wall. It is carvel planked in Oregon and sloop rigged. It was originally built with a standard moulded plywood doghouse. Wall intended to cruise the yacht extensively, and already had considerable sailing experience on other vessels.

CARRONADE'S first long ocean passage was from Sydney to Lord Howe Island. Soon after Andy Wall sailed it to New Zealand and then CARRONADE continued across the Pacific stopping for long periods to sail the Austral Islands in French Polynesia, up to Hawaii, then across to San Francisco on the west coast of the USA. From there Wall sailed CARRONADE south again non-stop back to French Polynesia. From Papeete they departed for Cape Horn. The non-stop passage from Tahiti to Cape Horn took 37 days.

Wall was twenty two years old by this time, and sailing with crew who were 18 and 19 years old. The epic voyage with these three very young but experienced men sailing to the bottom of South America was never heralded. No one knew this small Australian timber sloop was not far behind the renowned Sir Francis Chichester. CARRONADE sailed around Cape Horn on March 31st, 1967 just nine days after GYPSY MOTH IV's highly publicized rounding.

It was the long passage from Tahiti through the Roaring Forties before rounding Cape Horn that truly tested the capabilities of the young crew and the well designed and built CARRONADE. After mastering these rugged conditions CARRONADE, along with its crew of Andy Wall, Bob Nance, and Ken Mills, spent many weeks sailing the stormy waters of Tierra del Fuego. They continued on to cruise the Beagle Channel before heading up to the more moderate conditions of the East coast of Argentina. CARRONADE was one of the earliest yachts to cruise in this area, normally people had been content to make the rounding of the Horn, but moved on without stopping.

One of Wall's crew was Bob Nance, a brother of Bill Nance, who had made a name for himself in Australia sailing out from England in a small yacht CARDINAL VIRTUE, sailing single handed beneath the Three Capes. The two other members of the crew, Ken Mills and Des Kearns documented different parts of the trip, including the fact that the yacht was rolled in a violent gale, but luckily only damaged the doghouse. Mills and Kearns wrote separate chapters in "Force Nine and More" in 1969 and then Kearns included the story of his time on CARRONADE in his own book "World Wanderer- 100,000 Miles Under Sail". "National Geographic" magazine even mentions CARRONADE tacking into the Harberton anchorage in their article "Housewife at the End of the World"

Andy Wall and his crew sailed up the east coast of South America, the Caribbean, and ended up in Florida where Andy met and married Pam Krueger. Their honeymoon was sailing CARRONADE across the Atlantic to Europe where they cruised for three years before sailing back across the Atlantic to Florida. Andy and Pam's new little daughter, Samantha, was christened at two weeks old in the Gulfstream aboard CARRONADE.

CARRONADE remains in good condition in 2011, with new plywood decks and a slightly bigger doghouse and is still sailing and flying the Australian flag.

Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
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:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Propeller:single
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Official Number: 317423

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