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Lady Luck

Vessel Number: HV000729
Date: 1931
Previous Owner: Doug Roach ,
Vessel Dimensions: 9 m (29.53 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
LADY LUCK is a wooden yacht built in 1931 in Sydney. It was designed and built by Lars Halvorsen at his Neutral Bay boat yard and launched in August 1931. It was built to be raced on Sydney Harbour and has raced there consistently for many decades. It is one of a small number of yachts including MAUD (HV000085) built by Lars Halvorsen and his subsequent family company who were very well known for their motor launch and cruisers, and it was one of the few commissions they received during the depression era. It is understood to be a sister ship to a yacht designed and built by Lars Halvorsen during the brief time he worked in South Africa in the early 1920s.
DescriptionThe first owner is understood to be J Dunning, and it was listed as yard number 89. Early racing records show LADY LUCK skippered by J Dunning winning events at Sydney Amateur Sailing Club (SASC).

The carvel planked hull had a small cabin, and was launched with a tall hickory mast and long boom that went right to the stern. As was the fashion at the time it was Bermudan rigged with a ¾ sloop sail plan and the long boom meant it had runners instead of a backstay.

LADY LUCK’s ownership shows it changed hands many times, and apart from the unknown second owner is well documented. The third owner Grant Crichton raced the yacht, and kept it in impeccable condition, especially the varnish work. LADY LUCK was the sold to David and Pam Rose around 1955. They also raced in SASC 2nd Division, and Pam made her very pretty down below with fancy cushions and bunk covers.

The fifth owner John Jackson who was a past Commodore of SASC bought LADY LUCK in 1964 for about 900 pounds. John Jackson told the following to a later owner:

“LADY LUCK was raced by Jeanne and myself in the 2nd Division with some success, we removed the engine and got rid of her propeller improving her sailing qualities.
I broke the mast on two occasions, probably because I was sailing her too hard. After the second break she was rigged as a Dragon with assistance of a Dragon Champion who had represented Australia in the Olympic Games at Italy. It was the kindest thing I could have done for her, she was a dream under the new rig and much easier on the hull, we went on to win a number of races, but never a medal.
In our early married days Jeanne and I used to camp onboard for weekend on Sydney Harbour or up at Pittwater over Christmas, a little cramped but with a big cockpit it was all we could ask for (or afford).
We replaced some of the cabin but apart from that she was in pretty good nick considering she had been sailed hard by the last two owners. When our son Peter arrived we could plug up the self-draining cockpit fill it with freshwater and wash him in it! Then it became all too small so we moved on.”

John Jackson then sold it to Dr Bill Hughes, but Jackson continues the story:

“I sold her about 47 years ago to a Dr Bill Hughes, Bill was an ophthalmologist to whom I used to refer patients, which was just as well, for when he told me the condition the ship was in when he inspected it he could have knocked a few bob off the price.
Freddy Wrobel, a SASC member who owned the Elizabeth Bay Boatshed was the selling agent and had it on his mooring. Fred had forgotten to close the hatch and also to put the cover back on. She was full of water, over the bunks, the Dr and his son bailed her out with a bucket. Fred said “it must have rained since the last person looked at it” When Fred then sent me a bill for a mooring fee and commission I paid neither.
Bill asked me if I still had the engine, which I did and was pleased to give him the hunk of rust and all the fittings which he lovingly restored and fitted. It was a Chapman Pup with the petrol tank down the back and a wheel to madly spin to get it going, then it would chug on forever.
Bill Hughes told me he did a lot of work to her but gave no details, so I don’t know what condition she was in when he sold her.”

T R Jones was the seventh owner, and he was the proprietor of “Jones Coaches – Charter and Tourist Services”, and lived at Chiswick up the Parramatta River. After a period he sold LADY LUCK to Don Roach in June 1992 for $6500 including dinghy and 6hp Johnson. He raced with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

LADY LUCK is now in the hands of its current owner who bought it in 2016 from Don Roach’s family, and continues its long period of racing and sailing on Sydney Harbour.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:wood/dynel
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull material and construction:wood/dynel
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:fin keel
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:petrol
Rig type:sloop
Spar material:carbon fibrecarbon
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 5387

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