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THERA  sailing again for the first time after restoration in 2002 on the Swan River.

Charles Lucas

Charles Lucas was a prominent Tasmanian shipbuilder and yachtsman who worked from Hobart. He was born in July 1864 at Sorell just to the north of Hobart, a rural community. He became a carpenter but his passion was for boats. In his youth he built a 9.14m long sailing yacht, and was already building boats before he became a tradesman apprenticed to shipwright Robert Inches at Battery Point on the Derwent in the early 1880s.

After completing his apprenticeship he remained with Inches and became known in his own right as n excellent tradesman. In 1900 he set up his own yard next to Inches and began over 40 years of profitable boatbuilding. CAPRICE was his first vessel, a yacht intended to start a one-design class on the Derwent, but that did not eventuate. However CAPRICE has survived and is still sailing, now on Sydney Harbour.

Amongst the many craft built were trading ketches such as ALAMA, BORONIA, HEATHER BELLE and ENTERPRISE. Many fishing boats and motor craft came from the yard too, such as CURLEW, HCM, and MOANI. He is also very well known for a number of yachts that raced in Tasmania with great success, including SPINDRIFT (now WEENE) and SPINDRFT II, PANDORA, CANOBIE, GANNET, CURLEW, VANITY and CARESS. These yachts largely formed the fleet for the one design class that finally eventuated around 1910, based on a USA design by William Hand Jr that was modified by Alfred Blore.

Amongst his most famous craft were the trio of 21 foot Restricted Class yachts designed by Skipper Batt- the TASSIE’s, which dominated the class and its main event The Forster Cup for interstate racing. TASSIE was built there largely by Ivor “Chips’ Gronfors a Finnish shipwright in Lucas’s employ. TASSIE Too followed a few years later, then finally TASSIE III.

He built a number of craft for himself to go cruising and fishing on the east coast and d’Entrecastaux Channel.

Charles Lucas retired from managing his boat building yard in 1936, selling it to the Taylor Bros. However following the tragic drowning of one of the brothers Lucas kept working there while he could and passed away in 1946 aged 82.

For further detail see ‘Spirited, Skilled and Determined’ by Nicole Mays, 2014