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Vessel Number: HV000642
Date: 1936
Vessel Dimensions: 12.19 m (40 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
SAONA is a cruising yacht built by the leading Hobart shipwright Charles Lucas in 1936. It is one of two yachts built to a design by the American naval architect Phillip Rhodes. It was used for recreational sailing however under the ownership of Vice Admiral; Sir Guy Wyatt (Rtd) SAONA was used to continue survey work he had undertaken while in the Navy, charting some of the rarely used and remote areas of Tasmania’s coastal waters.
DescriptionSAONA was the last boat built by Lucas at his Battery Point boat yard and launched in 1936. It was planked in Huon pine. It was christened SAONA at its launch by Dianne Harrison, niece of the owner Maurice Maldon Weston It is understood to be one of only two boats built to the same design of Phillip Rhodes, and both are called SAONA. It appears Rhodes gave permission for the name to be used a second time in view of its distance from the sister ship SAONA in USA. The original boat is now known as LADY PATTY and undertakes charter sailing on Chesapeake Bay.

In 1942 SAONA was sold from Weston’s estate to Len Nettlefold. He managed the General Motors agency for Tasmania and had the yachts quaint but effective dog house built in his bodyworks. It is said to have been modelled on a Chevrolet truck cab. Nettlefold raced SAONA with success, including a line honours win in its class at the Royal Hobart regatta that was recorded in the Hobart Mercury 14 February 1948. Heavy going was reported in the very strong conditions for the day.

“Saona always held a good advantage over the fleet in second division. Sailing grandly she increased her lead on the first leg to 3 minutes. Kintail was in second position with Gypsy 2 m. further back third.
Saona continued to dominate the race and gained line honours with minutes to spare from Tunis who had displaced Gypsy.” (GYPSY is HV000107)

In late November 1948 SAONA broke away from its moorings in severe winds and was saved from being lost on the rocks by two other yachtsman who rowed out to the drifting yacht, where they were eventually joined by other members of SAONA’s crew who managed to start the engine and motor it into safe water.

In 1952 SAONA passed to Vice Admiral Sir Guy Wyatt who had recently retired from being the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographer. Sir Guy proceeded to use SAONA to complete charting of many remote corners of Tasmanian waters, including Bathurst Harbour. In March 1953 Wyatt took the noted author Neville Shute on a cruise to Port Davey and return. He later shared ownership with his friend Justice Sir Peter Crisp and they undertook many expeditions around Tasmania on SAONA. In 1976 Sir Peter, with a crew whose average age was 65, cruised to New Zealand and circumnavigated both islands.

Ownership was later passed down to the Maddock family and Peter Crisp’s daughter Peta Martin. The current owners bought SAONA in 1993 and the yacht remains in Southern Tasmanian waters where it has always been based. It participated in the Tall Ships Race from Sydney to Hobart in 1998 and the Three Peaks Race in 2003, winning the cruising division. SAONA has also featured in the Gourmet Farmer TV series.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck material and construction:timber planked
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
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:ketch
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Official Number: 174398

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