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Utiekah III

Vessel Number: HV000719
Date: 1925
Designer: J J Savage
Previous Owner: Ireton Elliott Giles ,
Vessel Dimensions: 17.07 m × 13.33 m × 2.1 m, 38.62 tonnes (56 ft × 43.75 ft × 6.9 ft, 38 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
UTIEKAH III is a cruising yacht built in Tasmania in 1925. It was built at the Wilson yard in Cygnet, a family of well-known boat builders in Tasmania over three generations, and was the first non-commercial or private vessel they built. It was built for Ireton Elliot Giles, a charismatic Victorian teacher and adventurer who pioneered sail-training for youths and supported the practice for many decades with UTIEKAH III. He also cruised UTIEKAH III as the first Australian yacht to sail in the South Pacific.
DescriptionUTIEKAH III was built by the Wilson Bros assisted by two other men and a boy over 10 months. It is planked in Huon pine and copper fastened. It has 5 tons of lead placed in the keel and 7 tons of internal ballast that ensured a sea kindly motion in the open sea. It was the first private recreational vessel built by Wilson Bros who had only done commercial vessels up to that time.

UTIEKAH III was preceeded by UTiEKAH II (HV000505) which was designed and built by Jack Savage Senior in 1911, and built by Lyons and Savage in Williamstown. The name UTIEKAH is thought to have Maori origins, and refer to the sound of rippling water. Giles collaborated with Jack Savage to design the third UTIEKAH for the purpose of taking students at Melbourne Grammar School on challenging and character building exercises where they learnt the art of seamanship, blue water sailing and understanding the elements of the ocean, a project he had started with UTIEKAH II. Over 4,000 young students undertook these adventures and many recall them as some of their most memorable experiences. UTIEKAH III crossed Bass Strait over 50 times with these voyages. Giles retired and moved to Hobart, Tasmania where he continued to use UTIEKAH III to teach sailing to the local boys from The Hutchins School. In the late 1930s he formed a crew of his friends and they cruised extensively in the South Pacific, the first Australian flagged yacht to do so.

Giles sold UTIEKAH III at age 90, and he passed away two years later. It was bought by the Fowler Family in Tasmania. They fitted it with a deck house and a 1958 Ford Thames diesel motor which is still installed.

A syndicate purchased UTIEKAH III in 1972 intending to use the yacht for charter work on the Great Barrier Reef. In 1974 it foundered on a reef off Mackay in 1974 and was written off and abandoned. A storm came up from the south and washed the yacht into a lagoon where it was found floating and recovered by Gary Underwood. It was taken to New Zealand mainly under power, fitted with a 3.5 tonne reinforced concrete keel to replace the one lost on the reef, then brought back to Australia and sold. It ended up in Hobart and was sold again, but the two owners fell into a disagreement and it was bought by John and Carolyn Mahoney who set out to rebuild UTIEKAH III to its original configuration.

A bronze bust of Ireton Elliot ‘Spuddo’ Giles was designed in honour of the dedication given to his students at Melbourne Grammar. At a reunion held at the school in 1996 Johnny Mahoney spoke to 150 ex-students and recalled there was not a dry eye in the auditorium. He had sailed UTIEKAH III from Tasmania to Melbourne at attend the ceremony. As it continues to sail In Australian waters it stirs memories and people sometimes ask if this is the UTIEKAH III that their father or they learnt to sail on.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
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
Motor propulsion:inboard
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:ketch
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
ships:ship:Byzantine ships:ships:wheelhouse
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: ATS 27

registration number: 151815

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