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Landseer III

Vessel Number: HV000628
Date: 1912
Previous Owner:
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 12.1 m (39.7 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
LANDSEER III is a cruising yacht built at Woodley’s boatyard in Sydney, NSW in 1912. It was designed by Walter Reeks, the premier naval architect in Sydney at that time, and It has had extensive use as a cruising yacht on Sydney Harbour and adjacent waterways for over 100 years. It represents a classic vessel of the Edwardian period, and the contemporary profile shows a stage in the development of Reeks' style over his design career from 1885-1925.
DescriptionLANDSEER III is a sister ship that was built form the same plans as ARETHUSA, also built by Woodleys in 1909 for owners F Foreman and A Jarvie. LANDSEER III is carvel planked and 12.50 m (41 feet) long. The Sydney Morning Herald reported its launching on October 14 1912.

NEW YACHT LAUNCHED. A fine new auxiliary yacht was successfully launched at Messrs Woodleys Ltd’s yards on Saturday morning. … It was built for Mr Albyn A Stewart, managing director of Hercules Engineering and Hercules Ltd, and was christened Landseer III by Mrs Stewart. … The bottom planking consists of NSW spotted gum, the topsides and deck of New Zealand kauri, and the cabin fittings are maple and Indian teak. She is fitted with a 20 hp Frisco standard engine and is intended for a comfortable cruising pleasure yacht”

The yacht has a short overhang, rounded spoon bow and a long overhanging counter. The bow profile was a change from the clipper bow or straight stem of earlier periods which were still used by Reeks, including MISTRAL II ( CAPELLA) built in the same year by Ford, across the bay from Woodleys. LANDSEER III was rigged as a gaff yawl with a short bowsprit and matching bumpkin for the mizzen.

The design featured a long low cabin, with a large saloon, and the auxiliary engine (almost a standard feature on yachts by this time) was set well forward. In many ways the design’s style and layout is one seen on a number of craft worldwide that bridge the gap between the clipper and straight stem pre 1900s era of powerful gaff rigs and the 1920s developments of Marconi rigs and elegant overhangs that became the classic style until the 1960s. Reeks reverted to the earlier period’s style in later designs – VALENCIA in 1923 is a straight stemmed harbour craft that mirrors the Hayes yachts of the period, and the plans for a schooner Design No 303 also from 1923 show a lovely long clipper bow profile that draws its inspiration from Reeks 1903 design BONA .

Lewis Davies from Bellevue Hill owned LANDSEER III from 1920 to 1937, and it graced the Harbour and Pittwater as his cruising yacht. Lewis and his brother Arthur were prominent business men who established the Australian Guarantee Corporation, as well as having the import agency for Ford engines. The Davies seemed to favour Reeks designs, they were also owners of VALENCIA at one stage, and Arthur Davies (one of the founders of the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club) commissioned the design of the schooner No 303 from Reeks but it was not built. Lewis Davies had however commissioned and built the 16 metre launch CAMBRIA, designed by Reeks in 1907.

In October 1924 LANDSEER III was ‘gutted by fire’ according to a newspaper report, however the damage may not have been too severe as it was rebuilt and continued to be sailed by Davies. Davies daughter Cherrie Jackaman recalled the times when the family took LANDSEER III to Broken Bay and Pittwater, enjoying the relative quiet and beauty of the area.

David Yaffa was the next owner of LANDSEER III, and from 1937 until 1965 the Yaffa family sailed LANDSEER III on the Harbour and other regional waterways.

Subsequent owners included FE Teiffel, DC Coleman, and R Tolley and S McDonald. LANDSEER III was restored in late 1980s, and has been kept in excellent condition ever since. It remains sailing on its home waters.

The design for the original vessel ARETHUSA was featured in Jan 1911 Rudder, pages 58 – 60, and soon after a slightly scaled down version (the work for this revision is credited to Alf Blore) called GYPSY (HV000107) was built in Tasmania, and is still sailing out of Hobart in 2014.



Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:lead
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
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
Propeller:single
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:yawl
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber

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