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Vessel Number: HV000495
Date: 1938
Builder: Sid Perry
Designer: Wally Ward
Previous Owner: Les Soars ,
Vessel Dimensions: 8.63 m x 2.53 m x 1.36 m, 4.07 tonnes (28.3 ft x 8.3 ft x 4.45 ft, 4 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
JANAWAY is a yacht built in 1938 to a design by amateur designer Wally Ward of Sydney NSW for his own family use. The yacht's success led to subsequent famous Australian ocean racing yacht designs by Ward, particularly in the 1960s with the Carmen Class and CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH (HV000079). JANAWAY is one of the earliest Australian designed yachts to use the English 'metacentric shelf theory' that helped create the hull shape, and was the basis of Wally Ward's continued success in yacht design. It also represents the beginning of the three generations of the Ward family - Wally, his son John and grandson Ian- who were all well-known sailors on Sydney Harbour, and followed a similar pattern of self-taught design and success with their respective craft.
DescriptionJANAWAY was built in unusual circumstances for a yacht by shipwright Syd Perry and his son Jim. They lived on a houseboat in Middle Harbour NSW, just to the east of The Spit in Fisher Bay on the eastern or Seaforth side. JANAWAY (and other craft) were built on the main deck of the house boat, largely undercover of the roof, while the Perry's lived around the hull and in areas below the main deck. This houseboat hull is still extant in the same location, but features a more modern house structure.

JANAWAY was carvel planked in New Zealand kauri from stock material that was left over from a lifeboat contract, with a spotted gum keel and frames. It is probably one of the last yachts built in kauri in Australia; the supply of kauri from New Zealand stopped with World War II and was not started up again post war. An Austin 7 marine engine was fitted, the hull has a raised deck and it was rigged as a sloop. Its canoe stern was one of the features related to its fine balance when heeled, which was carefully shaped around the calculations that underpinned 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 tended toward a symmetrical hull forms fore and aft, and usually exhibited good sailing characteristics. 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.

The yacht was launched in October 1938 without a keel or ballast, the houseboat was taken to the side of the bay to where a set of sheerlegs were used to lift it up and the houseboat towed away from beneath the overhanging hull. The hull was completed with its keel and ballast casting at Griffin's shed on The Spit, and a second launching followed soon after. It was Wally Ward's own boat, and one of its features were the many handmade fittings designed and built at home by Ward in his own workshop. JANAWAY stayed with the family for 35 years. It raced successfully with Middle Harbour Yacht Club for many seasons, and was eventually taken over by Ward's son John and his wife Nola in the mid-1950s. Various modifications were made over its life time with the Wards, including repositioning the rudder with the shaft running through the stock, increasing the sail area for better light weather performance, and fitting solid stainless steel rod for the rigging. As well as racing it was cruised extensively by the Ward family.

JANAWAY was followed by JASNAR in the late 1940s, a very similar hull shape built to the same theory. JASNAR was very successful as an ocean racer, and was followed by CAMIRA, then the Carmen Class and finally the big ocean racer built by Swanson Bros CAMILLE OF SEAFORTH, which represented Australia in its first Admiral's Cup challenge in 1965. The Carmen class included CADENCE, winner of the 1966 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and yachts such as CARRONADE (HV000454) which cruised the world.

The Wards sold JANAWAY in the mid-1970s. John designed his own yacht JACANA , which was built by Cec Quilkey in the late 1980s at Taren Point, and once again John made all the fittings himself at his workshop, inherited from his father. Meanwhile his son Ian was well known in the Moth class as a champion sailor, designer and builder of scow Moths, and he also made many of the fittings on his boats.

One of the subsequent owners of JANAWAY was artist John Firth-Smith, who owned and helped restore a number of classic yachts over many years. Les Soars purchased JANAWAY in the mid 1990s and gave the yacht an extensive overhaul, including a new deck and a small coach house. JANAWAY was kept in top condition by Soars up in Pittwater, and it was sold in 2006 after Soars died suddenly. The current owner sails JANAWAY regularly and it remains in fine condition.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
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
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: MH 202

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