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IMP as a racing yacht, date unknown.

Imp

Vessel Number: HV000564
Date: 1886
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 6.4 m x 6.4 m x 2.84 m x 0.84 m (21 ft x 21 ft x 9.33 ft x 2.75 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
IMP is one of the fleet of 21 Foot Class yachts that raced in Tasmania in the 1880s through to the early 1900s. It was launched as a centreboard yacht and raced for many seasons until it was converted to motor launch. It had a successful racing history on the Derwent River and was one of the founding yachts of the Derwent Sailing Boat Club, which became the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. IMP is one of Tasmania’s oldest surviving yachts.
DescriptionIMP was launched as CLARETTA in Hobart in November 1886, having been built at Battery Point by James Davey for Alfred J. Mitchell of the Derwent Sailing Boat Club. It was 21ft. (6.4m) on the waterline (the maximum allowed for the 21 Foot Class) and with a plumb stem and stern it was also 21 feet overall. The hull was planked in Huon pine to the waterline with New Zealand kauri pine topsides. James Davey is acknowledged as a part owner of the CLARETTA in most newspaper accounts during its first two seasons of racing and he was also noted as the designer of a new 28-footer built by Frederick Shea of Battery Point in 1889.

CLARETTA’s first race was at the opening of the annual yachting season on 27 November 1886. Its early racing record was not particularly impressive until it won a few Derwent Sailing Boat Club races in February and March 1887.

Edwin H. Webster is first recorded as CLARETTA’s new owner at the Southport Regatta on 27 December 1888, and by early the following month the vessel had been renamed IMP. Under Webster it became a much more successful racing yacht and possibly the most successful 21-footer before new larger boats that were 21ft. waterline but had overhanging stems and sterns began to appear in larger numbers during the 1890s. IMP’s first season under Webster’s ownership included seven wins, a second place and two third places in ten starts and it won £70 in prize money. It was racing well enough for Webster to consider a challenge race with the Moore brothers Launceston yacht ROSETTA provided that it was held in Hobart, but this did not take place. IMP retired from racing in the 1892-93 season, and was refitted as a lug-rigged cruiser, but Webster then raced it again in the following season with moderate success.

On 22 June 1894 Webster either auctioned or raffled IMP at the Derwent Yacht Club’s rooms at the Masonic Hall and the new owner was J. McGrath of Spring Bay. There is no record of McGrath using IMP over the short period he owned it, because by the opening of the yachting season on 3 November 1894 it was owned by L. R. Rex. Early in the 1895-96 yachting season Rex sold IMP back to Webster, who raced IMP again until it was sold at auction on 1 October 1896 to R. R. Rex for £27 and its dinghy sold for a further £5 2/2. R. R. Rex (related to LR Rex) may have been acting as agent as very soon after Timothy Julian Haywood of Bellerive, the Hobart City organist, was owner. Haywood raced IMP with some success, and on a few occasions it was helmed by E. H. Webster. On 28 February 1898 IMP collided with the yacht TURK at Kangaroo Bay and was dismasted. Haywood sold IMP to the O’May Brothers in August 1898, and it then raced with the Bellerive Sailing Club.

In July 1899 Harry O’May sold IMP to Mr. Timbs of Strahan. IMP was presumably taken to Strahan as deck cargo by one of the regular steamers. IMP was run down by the SS MAHINAPUA on 2 November 1899 and suffered considerable damage, but was racing again before the end of the month. In December 1900 a yacht club was formed at Kelly’s Basin on Macquarie Harbour and it continued to race there with other craft from Hobart.

IMP is last reported in the press after hitting a reef and sinking in shallow water at Sapphire Point on Macquarie Harbour on 19 June 1934. By this time it had been rebuilt as a motor launch, possibly early in the 1900s. It was refloated and towed to a slipway for repairs, and continued as a launch owned by GH Rayner. It was understood to have been used as an ambulance between Kelly Basin and Strahan prior to 1976 and in 2011 was known to be afloat and moored at Strahan. In 2013 IMP is stored ashore, with deckhouse and other additions removed, ready for restoration at Kettering.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:non-operational
Current status:outside
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:batten seam
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:petrol
Propeller:single
Rig type:cutter
Rig type:gaff
Additional Titles

Primary title: Imp

Secondary title: Claretta

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