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ClubLake Macquarie Yacht Club
LOA16.45m, 54f
Beam3.73m, 12.25f
Draught2.53m, 8.33f
Year Build1948 (age 74)
Former OwnersAlbert Victor Toll
Sir Claude Plowman
Designer (s)Laurien Giles
Builder(s)Dave and Jim Jones
Former CrewIan Thorald Toll (son)


LMYC Forecast Apr 1969

"Ruthean" a 54' L.O.A. 40' L.W.L. 12'3"Beam, 8'4" Draft Yawl was designed by Laurien Giles and Partners of Lymington, England for Sir Claude Plowman and the keel was laid at Triabunna,, Tasmania in 1948, the builders being Dave Jones and his brothers, then Jim Jones.  Ruthean was designed as a seagoing racing yacht with the Sydney - Hobart Race conditions in mind.  Her double planking - 1 1/2  inch Huon Pine,

1 1/2 inch Bulkheads and equally robust scantlings and timbers have proved her to be one of the strongest cruising racing yachts in Australia. 

 In 1951 Don Robertson well know to us at L.M.Y.C. (Rondon Trophy) said the yawl could be obtained and after an inspection was purchased in July, 1951.  In December, 1951 my wife, Ian, Wal Turnbull, Ted Morgan and Jack Shields went into quarters at Triabunna.  Stores and fittings had been sent ahead by steamer, lead 5 tons temporary ballast, sails, (hand sewn) Meadows marine engine, Gas stove etc.  were supplied by Guy Rex and a mast was trimmed with a broad axe from the oregon yard of some rigger.

Ruthean was launched on the 10th January, 1952, jury rigged and sailed back thru the Schouten Passage to Kiama and Newcastle.  Time 6 days, 4 hours using second main and jury jibs.  Her lead keel was cast at Wickham, I still remember 8x44 gal oil drums over the hot plates, Ian left handed and I right handed swinging our picks into the drums and the lead flowing into the mould, 7.75 tons of it.  It took 4 days to cool out then after being trued in a planing machine was taken to Stockton Ferry slip and fitted.  She was then taken to Francis Holmes yard at Neutral Bay and outfitting completed in time for the 1952 Hobart Race, a slow race won by "Nocturne", Ruthean 3rd over the line won the C.Y.C. Trophy.

In 1953 Ruthean came 4th over the line after leading by 10 hours over the Strait, in 1957 4th again.  In 1958 Ruthean retired 92 miles south of Eden with a broken backstay fitting.  After refitting new sails etc in 1962 Ruthean came 5th over the line in a slow race.  In 1963, Ondine's first race, Ruthean again performed well coming 4th over the line.  Montague Race 1953 Ruthean - line honours and 3rd on handicap.  Sydney - Swansea race 6hrs 42 min. was a record.  Ruthean also won some Lake Championships and is noted for her heavey weather performance as well as light and medium weather.

Ruthean was named after Ruth and Ian.  Ian did not like the name so I spelt it ean.

Many people have had their first sail on Ruthean and some fine yachtsmen learnt their sailing as crew members of this well known vessel.  Ruthean was redecked in June and July 1968 and is on the way to more good performances providing the channel is made trafficable.

Vic Toll.


Ruthean is presently at the boat builder's yard of BLUNTS - Williamstown - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The present owner had her transported down from Darwin early in Feb and intends to restore her here. (From Tony Cable) 

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