Olympic 5.5 metre yacht "Kirribilli"



This is the story as we understand it so far …

“Kirribilli” was built for the 1956 Olympics by a consortium from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and built a few doors down from the club.

She is a beautiful 5.5 metre yacht built by Bill Barnett, one of the great Australian boatbuilders from designer Jan Linge father of the Soling, but unfortunately she was unsuccessful in the trials.

The story we have is that she was quick when the water was flat but tricky when the water was rough. Jock Sturrock sailed her a couple of times and made the boat perform quite well – but most people had lots of trouble.

Looking at the keel it seems pretty obvious that the entry is too sharp – in fact it has a knife like leading edge in the wood keel above the lead ballast (which is more conventionally shaped)

Maybe she might have beat Bill Northam if her keel had been profiled more in line with the theory of the time.

A couple of years ago Ted at Duckflat Wooden Boats got a phone call from one of the shipwrights working in Adelaide. He had Kirribilli in his backyard and was going overseas and had to get rid of the boat. So he offered that Duckflat could buy her for the scrap value of the lead – which is all that he was going to get money for anyhow.

So Ted bought Kirribilli to protect her from the chainsaw.

The deal included a jinker, the mast, most of the custom running gear – the tiller, winches and backstay runner reels are all cast with her name and registration (KA3) – some sails, the mast and rigging.

The hull is in amazingly good condition. I’ve seen Dragons in much worse condition than this finished up to “Gold Plater” standards relatively quickly.

So now Duck Flat is looking for someone to either buy the boat or to pay Duckflat to restore her.

5.5s are great boats to sail and have racing in the “Classic” division when there are National and World Championships.

Her owners have been
Cyril Morrow and Jim Perry
Pat Taylor
Keith Laws
Gordon Ingate
Phil Rutter (who sailed her in the ’64 eliminations)
Bill Solomons

For further information email Ted at Duckflat Wooden Boats

UPDATE June 2007 The restoration has started. When I get the chance I am putting up pictures and text on the OZ Woodwork Forum here – Oz Woodwork Forum


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