HISTORY - Legendary yacht Sayonara visits Sydney’s National Maritime Museum

HISTORY - Legendary yacht Sayonara visits Sydney's National Maritime Museum

Melbourne-based Sayonara, one of Australia’s most graceful historic yachts, will be moored on display at the National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, from September 7 to 18.

The gaff-rigged racer, 19m long (on the deck) with a towering 15m mast, was built in Adelaide in 1897 to a plan by William Fife III, a Scottish designer widely considered the most important naval architect of his time.

Melbourne businessman George Garrard commissioned the plan and had the yacht built by the Adelaide firm A McFarlane & Sons.

The hull is carvel planked in New Zealand kauri on Australian hardwood frames. Fife was clearly pleased with the outcome as he built a sister yacht Cerigo from the same plans for his own use in Scotland.

Sayonara dominated inter-Colonial and then inter-State match-racing regattas for several years and played a major part in yacht racing in Victoria and NSW through until the 1910s. It gave its name to the Sayonara Cup, the premier series of yacht races in Australia from 1904 to the 1960s.

The big yacht spent most of its time from 1910 to the 1990s in the Sydney region. Its new owners in the ’90s, a holding syndicate, took it back to Melbourne for a million-dollar restoration and re-launch in 2000.

Sayonara is presently visiting Sydney and will return to Melbourne later in the year.

Doug Shields, Sayonara syndicate manager, and David Payne, manager of the Australian Register of Historic Vessels, will present engaging talks over a light lunch at the National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, on Friday, September 18.

This will be followed by an inspection of the yacht.

The details:
Time – Noon to 1.30pm. Date – Friday, September 18.
Price – $20 (museum members $15). Bookings essential, phone (02) 9298 3644.

Read more on Sayonara by David Lockwood in the Preloved column of year’s May edition of Trade-a-Boat issue 388.