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Vessel Number: HV000738
Date: 1939
Previous Owner: Robert Dunn ,
Vessel Dimensions: 8.23 m × 10.82 m × 7.77 m × 2.9 m × 1.37 m, 4.07 tonnes (27 ft × 35.5 ft × 25.5 ft × 9.5 ft × 4.5 ft, 4 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
VOYAGER is a wooden cruising and racing yacht built in WA in 1939. It was built by Arthur Bishop and was a successful yacht from its earliest racing. More orders followed quite quickly and it become a class in WA, where a number of sister yachts were built by Bishop and also amateur builders. It remains in very good condition and is an excellent example of Bishop’s craftsmanship.
DescriptionArthur Bishop designed and built VOYAGER for himself, launching it just before the 2nd World War in 1939. The 27 foot long carvel hull is planked in jarrah below the waterline and NZ kauri above the waterline. The deck has a low cabin amidships over the saloon. It has its original Oregon spar and is now fitted with a Yanmar engine.

After the war Bishop began racing the yacht, taking part in the inaugural Fremantle to Bunbury race that started on 24 February 1948. The start line was inside Fremantle Harbour, out to the west end of Rottnest with its two lighthouses, then south to Bunbury. Moorings, tenders and a mayoral reception at the golf club awaited them. Fifteen yachts entered for this initial overnight offshore race. The following year the race was made into a Fremantle to Bunbury and return event, and the 169nm race grew steadily in popularity. By the 1960’s this major offshore event was attracting considerable media coverage and is the oldest race on the WA offshore calendar.

The Western Mail 13/1/1949 reported: “VOYAGER gained third place in last year’s race to Bunbury, and should do well again in this year’s race. Boat-building owner Arthur Bishop is a well-known yachting identity. He built MAID MARION (HV000332) which gained fastest time in last year’s race…Arthur Bishop expressed his approval of the decision to double the length of last year’s race. He said that the longer distance will make the race far more gruelling and interesting, and will give a fairer try-out for all competitors.”

By 1950 the success of VOYAGER was obvious as sister yachts took to the water. Western Mail on 14th December 1950 reported “The annual ocean race to Bunbury and return is scheduled to start on Saturday, February 17. Although only five entries have been received to date there is every indication that the 1951 race will provide a larger fleet and greater interest than previous races. The three Voyager-class boats who sailed last year (TE HANI, VOYAGER and FIESTA) will have two extra boats to contend with in the 1951 race- that is if the builder Arthur Bishop can launch them in time “

In February 1952 VOYAGER sailed once again in the Fremantle Bunbury race- manned by Bishop’s wartime friend Denis Robinson as skipper with a crew, all from Albany. Bishop’s larger yacht he was building for owner Gordon Barratt-Hill, the 42 footer GELASMA designed by Len Randell was also competing just after its launching with Bishop as skipper.

In September 1952 Bishop was working on a modified VOYAGER for Bill Arnold, stretched out to be 3 feet longer. And Malcolm Lord was also preparing to build his own VOYAGER, anticipating a 3 year project. As the West Australian paper reported- The designer hopes the extra feet should make a faster boat. He hopes this craft will also be an entrant in the next Bunbury race’

In 1954 Bishop and VOYAGER were back again in the race - The West Australian noted: “VOYAGER, a previous winner of the event will make a welcome return to the fleet. Last year Arthur Bishop, the skipper of VOYAGER was unable to take part.”

The current owner gave VOYAGER an extensive overhaul in 2010, and the yacht retains its original sail plan including the bowsprit.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
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
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:cutter
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 2240

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