FOR SALE – Classic Yacht “Aotea”

  • April 16, 2020

Aotea was built at Williamstown, Victoria in 1900 by the Nelson Place boat builder Clement Blunt to a design by the famous Scottish naval architect William Fife Jr.

She was built as a lug rigged yawl for use on Port Phillip Bay, allegedly for the Governor General of Victoria. In her first race at the Geelong Regatta on New Years Day 1901 she was dismasted and was later re-rigged as a sloop. Aotea was not entirely successful under that rig either and before the 1901 yachting season she was over she was re-rigged as a cutter with a pole mast and a jack yard. This improved her performance and she was the fourth most successful competitor in Royal Yacht Club of Victoria events for seasons ending in 1902, 1903 and 1905 and third in 1904. Owner A C Barber was later a well –known Sydney-based naval architect.

In 1907, Hobart clerk A. V. Windsor purchased Aotea. Under his ownership, she won the cruisers race at the Hobart regatta three years in a row: 1908, 1909 and 1910, sailed by Frederick Turner on all 3 occasions. She led the fleet around Cape Bruny in the 1908 100 mile Ocean Race (now called Bruny Island race) but broke her gaff.

In 1951, with her days as a first-class racer behind her, Aotea’s then owner Stan Davidson of the Bellerive Yacht Club had her topsides built up at Cuthbertson’s Yards at Montagu Bay to make her more comfortable for inshore cruising. Unlike many such conversions it was tastefully done and although it completely altered her character she re-emerged as an elegant craft, her rakish lines set off by oval port-holes along her raised hurricane deck. Steve Harvey converted her to a cutter rig with a roller-reefing headsail in 1973/4, making her suitable for single-handed sailing.  (History taken from “Those that Survive” by Graeme Broxam)

She has been in the Cygnet area since 1996 where she has continued to be loved, raced and sailed in the Huon Estuary and Channel some 120 years after she was built, winning the Noel Doepel Classic Yacht Trophy at Dover 3 years in a row from 2017 to 2019.

Due to a change in circumstances, the current owner is regretfully now looking for someone to take over her care. Only the right custodian will be considered.

For more info and Expressions of Interest please contact Annie on 0438 602 502 or vikingfilms@bigpond.com.