Search the Register
Advanced Search


Vessel Number: HV000488
Date: 1947
Designer: David Philp
Builder: P&W Books
Previous Owner: Tom Guiffre ,
Vessel Dimensions: 16.76 m x 14.81 m x 4.11 m x 2.9 m, 34.55 tonnes (55 ft x 48.6 ft x 13.5 ft x 9.5 ft, 34 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
EOLO is an ocean racing yacht designed and built in Sydney, NSW in 1947. The sport of ocean racing in Australia was expanding after World War II, and in New South Wales there was a small series of regular events that included the Sydney to Hobart Race. EOLO was one of the first racing yachts designed and built within Australia especially for ocean racing, and also one of the first designed to the English RORC rule used for handicapping the different sized craft. EOLO was designed by Sydney based yacht and launch designer David Philp, and is one of the few remaining yachts from his short period as a yacht designer. It is understood to be the first yacht built in Australia with splined seams.
DescriptionEOLO was built at Long Nose Point, Balmain in Sydney at P&W Books yard in Snails Bay, and launched from there on 23 October 1947 by floating crane. The carvel planked hull was splined at the seams with timber instead of the usual caulking, and it was reported that EOLO was the first yacht built in Australia to this method. It was heavily constructed including diagonal support for the NSW white beech planking. The deck was also white beech, over marine grade plywood. The deck and hull were reinforced with monel metal straps and it was further reinforced forward with special diagonal stringers to allow the yacht to be punched into heavy head seas. It had about 11 tonnes lead ballast. EOLO was cutter rigged, and was intended to serve a dual purpose as an ocean cruising yacht as well.

EOLO was built for Tom Guiffre who had come to Australia from Italy at 16. He named it after the island of Eolo where he was born, and the name is a variant of Eolus, the God of the Winds. It was launched in time for the 1947 Sydney to Hobart race, where one of its competitors was SOUTHERN MAID, a large steel cruising yacht designed by David Philp's brother Colin and built in Tasmania. The Mercury ( Hobart) followed its progress in the lead up to the race, and reported on the 15th December:

"Eolo's Speed in Sydney Race - The new 55 foot cutter Eolo, specially designed by Tasmanian-born David Philp for the Sydney-Hobart race, consolidated her position among the favourites for the ocean classic yesterday when she outclassed the field in the Cruising Yacht Club's 48-mile race to Lion Island and back."

EOLO did well in the 1947 Sydney to Hobart race won by WESTWARD ( HV000432), coming second in its class, and was skippered by David Philp.

David Philp was from Tasmania, and along with his brother Colin, had studied as an architect, but both had also taught themselves how to design yachts, and separately had designed a small number of craft in the late 1940s. David concentrated on vessel design at his office in Pitt Street, Sydney and included brokerage as well, while Colin remained in Tasmania, designing boats as a secondary occupation to his architecture practice. Neither stayed in their professions for long, in 1951 they left Australia with their families and settled in Fiji, operating a hotel on the waterfront.

Guiffre continued to campaign EOLO in ocean races along the east coast for a number of years, and had some good results in the 1950s. By the 1970s it was ocean cruising, and in the hands of an American owner. After a Pacific cruise it was refurbished and overhauled in New Zealand, before sailing back to the tropics and eventually North America, where it is currently located.

EOLO remains rigged as a cutter but now has a bowsprit as well, and there have been changes to the arrangement and replacement materials for the deck, superstructure and other minor areas of repair. It is in very good condition with many years of cruising still ahead, and EOLO is up with the times on Facebook - "Classic Sailboat Eolo" .

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
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: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:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:cutter
Sail cloth:synthetic
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel

Discuss this Object


Please log in to add a comment.