Sunday, 26 April 2015

Yacht - De Havilland Rambler

A "Standard Trailable Yacht" under the Australian Trailable Yacht and Sports Boat Rule 2014.
This is a wet boat*, well suited for daytime sailing on inland waters. (* Wet Boat: You get wet as the waves crash over the side, or as you briefly go under the water, or if you forget to put in the corks that stop the boat from sinking.)

Mallacoota, 2016

Lake Burley Griffin, 2016

Googong, 2015

Designed Alan Payne AM (Sydney naval designer responsible for Australia's first entry into the America's Cup - 'Gretal') the design was highly thought of.

Length over all (LOA): 18ft 6in - 5.64m
LOA less NSW RTA deductibles: 5.49m
Waterline length (LWL): 17ft 5in  - 5.3m
Beam: 8ft - 2.44m
Draught: 1ft 3in - 0.38m
Draught with center board down: 3ft 3in - 0.99m
Weight: 800 lbs - 362.8 kg
Mass: 1201 lbs - 545kg

Sailing Rig
Conventional Bermudian
Mast: Aluminium 21ft - 6.4m, 4 side stays
Boom: Simple push in with goose neck fittings
Original spars by De Havilland Marine.
Sail Area:
   1. Mainsail 126 sq ft (11.7m4)
   2. Genoa 77 sq ft (7.2m4)
   3. No 2 jib 51 sq ft (4.7m4) (optional)
   4. Storm jib 35 sq ft (3.3m4).
Originally carried Miller Whitworth sails with twist on nylon hanks for the jib and nylon mainsail battens
Ratchet winch centrally located

Original 9hp Johnson mounted off -center on the transom
Retro filled with a 54lb thrust electric motor, solar charged running off a marine 12V battery.

Storage and Accommodation
Under bow locker: Sails
Cabin: sleeps 2 comfortably (protected from crocs and goannas), prov for toilet, generous stowage under bunks
Deck: sleeps 2 uncomfortably (provision for external cover).
Electrics: Solar panels change a dedicated 12V Battery which drives navigation lights, radios, pumps, wind speed indicators, GPS and on-board computer - and acts as a backup for the electric motor.

Class Based Handicap (CBH): 0.626 (handicap as at 2014)

As a trailerable boat, the standing rigging will be put up on a regular basis, perhaps every time the boat is to be put on the water. Some pictures of the rigging setup are here.

After a bit of trial and error at putting the mast up, I have settled on the following process, which can be accomplished by one person but is much easier with two.

You can put the standing rigging up while on a trailer or when in the water, but it is far harder on the water, and perhaps almost impossible with just one person. Doing this on a trailer before launch comes with two risks. Firstly, there is an added risk of a fall onto ground (which is harder than water). Secondly, there is a new risk of the mast hitting overhanging trees, so check the path you are going to take to the boat ramp.

1: place the mast aft of the step on the hull, ensuring spreaders are angled downwards on both sides of mast and that no ropes/chains will foul the step.
2: check electrics to 360 degree white light at top of mast then disconnect electrics
3: connect upper stays (2) and lower stays (2) to deck
4. lift mast slightly above the horizontal and slip the foot of the mast into the step on the hull, until it locks onto the steel pivot in the foot.
5. the front stay can then be pulled forward to raise the mast until it is locked in place. If the mast starts to swing either way, check that one of the side stays has not become fouled.
6: connect electrics and recheck for power to the top light.
7. slip the boom into the mast pin and choose to rig for no sails or sails.
8. check that the mast is upright, ensuring that the stays are not tight but fairly evenly tensioned. Note that the rigging should only achieve tensioning when the jib is in place. Any undue top mast curvature under sail may need fine adjustments to tighten or loosen the shrouds. I have been told not to overtighten the stays - they need to be able to flex.  (see also the useful article at

If you plan on buying one of these, take an experience yachts person along with you. While these are solid boats, the age is such that some key components could be starting to fail through age - particularly the back deck (which could be very expensive to replace). I was lucky with this one - excellent care from the previous owners had left her in great shape and good working order (for inland lakes).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Peter,recently acquired a De Havilland Rambler at a very good price.The boat has no mast boom rudder or sails.Im looking at purchasing a second hand mast 6.9m for $80.2hours later yes I bought that came with rigging and ropes base of mast is not a great fit.Would like some advice as to how to obtain the correct fitting