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ClubMiddle Harbour Yacht Club
RigGaff Yawl changed to Sloop Rig
LOA7.92m, 26f
Beam2.59m, 8.5f
Draught1.21m, 4f
Year Build1932 (age 90)
Owner (s)Lal McDonell
Randall McDonell
Sullie Sullivan
Other Boat NamesSarong
Builder(s)Sid Perry


From MHYC: The First 60 Years

Article by: Max Barnett

Published: 1999


The original Seabird was built by Thomas Fleming Day, Editor of the American yachting Magazine "Rudder" into the United States. 

She was a Gaff yawl Rig, 26' x 8' 6 x 4' Chine Hull. She was the first small yacht ever to cross the Atlantic. Her trip from New York to Rome and her best days run was 165 miles in 24 hours, the year 1911.

With a pedigree like that it was no surprise when "Sullie Sullivan" V.C. decided he wanted one and he approached Sid Perry (father of Jim) to build her.

The year was 1931 and Clontarf was inhabited by victims of the Great Depression, all living in tents or humpies. Sid Perry was one of these inhabitants and seized the opportunity to work and promptly laid the keel and set up the frames near the water's edge at Clontarf. 

She was built on Spotted Gum frames, timbers, and keel, tied together by grown Ti tree knees spaced at 12" centres throughout her length. Full length Oregon planking completed the job, and like the original she was a Gaff yawl.

Launched in 1932, she raced with Sydney Amateurs and cruised to Broken Bay and Port Stephens.

Her owner was chosen to join a contingent of V.C. winners to attend the coronation of King George VI in 1939. Sadly he was killed in an accident on this mission.

She was purchased by Dr Randall McDonnell who kept her for several years and then sold to his son Dr Lal McDonnell who Sloop rigged her to a plan by George Griffin and successfully raced her in MHYC Division 11.

Subsequently Max Barnett bought her and renamed her "SARONG", modified the Sloop rig, removed the inside Ballast and swung it off the Keel. With the performance greatly improved she performed well in MHYC Division II and also the JOG. conducted by the CYC.

With the "wealth" generated by this job, Sid Perry moved to a houseboat moored nearby and upon this houseboat built Janaway one of the MHYC founding fleet.


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