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Tiller from a Snipe class dinghy

Date: c 1932
Overall: 944 mm
Medium: Wood, metal, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from M Baker
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Tiller
Object No: 00000712

User Terms

    Tiller from the Snipe class two-man racing dinghy.
    SignificanceThis boat is significant as it is the first example of its type built in Australia and had a major influence on the design of the Australian Vee-Jay class. It was sailed by pioneering women sailors Kathleen Fair and Clarice Hamilton.
    HistoryThis is the first Snipe class dinghy to be built in Australia. It was built by Ray Briggs and members of the Vaucluse Amateurs Sailing Club and launched in September 1932. Despite early attempts at establishing the class in Australia, few Snipe class dinghies were built in Australia. A few were built in the 1930s and 1940s and a small fleet raced at Sandringham in Victoria in 1947.
    The Snipe's significance lies in its influence on the design of the Australian Vee-Jay class. The prototype Vaucluse Junior (Vee-Jay) called SPLINTER was built in the Vaucluse Amateur 12-foot Sailing Club house by Sil Rohu from simplified and scaled down Snipe plans. Snipe (No 75) was bought by Kathleen Fair and sailed by her and Clarice Hamilton in the 1930s, pioneers of women sailing in Sydney Harbour. In the 1940s it was sailed in Balmain and then left in storage at Conway's Boatshed in 1949.

    The original Snipe with its shallow draft, unadorned, V-bottom hull is the largest one design class in the world and was designed in 1931 by William Crosbyin, editor of The Rudder, the leading American boating publication in the 1930s.
    The Snipe class was responsible for democratising one-design racing by creating a more affordable boat that was accessible to a larger sailing public. In the 1950s and 1960s the Snipe class dominated, before the advent of Lasers, Windsurfers and Hobie cats. The Snipe was designed before the era of planing boats such as the Laser but is able to plane in suitable conditions.

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