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Tashtego

Vessel Number: HV000531
Date: 1962
Previous Owner: Max Dowling , John Minter ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 12.8 m x 3.22 m (42 ft x 10.56 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
TASHTEGO is a wooden ocean cruising yacht designed by Trygve Halvorsen and built at Lars Halvorsen Sons at Ryde NSW in 1962 for RL Dowling. Halvorsen's are best known for building motor cruisers, and TASHTEGO is one of the sailing yachts built by the yard for a client other than themselves . It is also one of the few yachts of thier design that they built with a transom stern instead of a canoe-stern. It is in excellent original condition, and only the spade rudder has been modified with the addition of a skeg and new profile shape.
DescriptionLars Halvorsen Sons built TASHTEGO following their building of GRETEL (HV000471) for the America’s Cup. TASHTEGO was job number 1172 and launched in 1962 from the Ryde yard for its owner Rick Dowling. It is glued, double planked fore and aft in Oregon pine with a masthead sloop rig and a classic cabin and raised doghouse superstructure. 'Tashtego' was the name of one of the native American characters in the novel ’Moby Dick’. He was a harpooner and at the climax of the novel, Tashtego is the one who sights the great whale first, but is then denied the reward when Captain Ahab claims he sighted it at the same time.

TASHTEGO is relatively unique amongst the yachts that were Halvorsen designed and built over many decades. Many were made for members of the Halvorsen family, and in the 1950s onwards they made a series of champion ocean racers designed by Trygve (who prepared all the lines drawings) and his brother Magnus for their own use, culminating in the famous multiple Sydney to Hobart race winner FREYA launched in 1963. TASHTEGO forms part of that series as it shares the characteristics and proportions common to the yachts, but it was designed and built for a private owner who had his own requirements, in particular the request for a transom stern and not the canoe stern used on most of the Halvorsen yachts. PEER GYNT, SOLVEIG, ANTRA V and FREYA were all double-ended or canoe-sterned, following the Colin Archer Norwegian tradition. However NORLA, built in the early 1960s was the only Halvorsen racing yacht built transom stern, and the 41 foot long TASHTEGO was originally developed as a longer version of the 38 foot long NORLA.

The transom stern was the more widely used form in the 1960s,when heeled it gave longer waterlines improving speed, but the Halvorsen preference for the canoe stern was more than just acknowledgment of their Norwegian heritage, they also respected and were comfortable with its proven seaworthy characteristics in a following sea. The transom stern however gave it a longer overhanging counter, and drew out the elegant sheer line in profile, and it could be that this styling was the primary reason Dowling had a transom stern applied to TASHTEGO. The bow and cabin profile are otherwise very much in the style of the other Halvorsen yachts, and compare very closely to FREYA, the next Halvorsen yacht built after TASHTEGO.

One other point of interest is the keel and rudder arrangement. Trygve had designed SOLVEIG, ANITRA and NORLA with spade rudders, set well aft rather than the more conventional configuration with the rudder and rudder post on the aft end of the long keel. The yachts still had a substantial keel, and it curved aft on its trailing edge to meet the hull. The spade rudder was vertical, with a curved bottom edge. This arrangement was applied to TASHTEGO as well, and it would have been one of the few cruising boats with this arrangement. FREYA reverted to a long keel and keel hung rudder when Magnus asked for a design that would steer easily and track along its course comfortably. This suggests the spade rudder arrangement required more concentration by the helmsman to maintain an steady course.

Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:lead
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:double plankeddouble-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:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Propeller:single
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 1247

Vessel Registration Number: JA492N

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