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In the Jubilee year of the reign of our late King George V (1935), emerged from popular opinion, the Jubilee One Design Class Yacht.

Est. 1935

A Brief History

Seen as an excellent recreation for a maritime power, racing or cruising in purpose-built vessels became increasingly popular in Britain from the beginning of the 19th century. Some immigrants brought their enthusiasms to Port Phillip Bay, holding the first regatta in 1838. The Devil Afloat, the first unequivocal pleasure yacht, arrived a year later. Regattas were organised intermittently, featuring wagers on both rowing and sailing races. The Victoria Yacht Club, founded in 1856, soon folded, but another club of that name was established in 1872 and became the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria based at Williamstown. The Albert Park Yacht Club also began on the newly improved lagoon in 1872, other clubs soon followed and inter-club regattas were organised. In the 1880s the popularity of larger yachts built for cruising, as well as for racing, increased.


Sailing in smaller boats consolidated in the first three decades of the 20th century, with several more clubs formed. After the great storm of 1932 destroyed many yachts the fleet was rebuilt with new designs such as Charles Peel's Jubilee One-Design Class dinghies.


Extract from the Jubilee One-Design Class Handbook


Charles Peel, designer

Charles Peel began yacht design and boat building at Coode Island, Melbourne, then apparently relocated in turn to Williamstown (Melbourne, Vic.), Sydney and Eden (NSW) with his son, also Charles. He is famous as the designer of the 50' Acrospire in 1923, now fully restored by Col Anderson in Melbourne, and the 18' one-design Jubilee Class developed for Port Phillip Bay in 1935 and still actively racing.

Acrospire II (Acrospire)+, Cooma, Native, Thera+, Acrospire IV+, 
Acrospire V, Eighteen Twenty, Freydis+, Idler*, Judith Pihl (Juno)+, Koomeela (La Salette), Nerana+, Query, Virginia, Wings2 (Tandanya), Yvonne+, Yvonne II (Yvonne), Zest (Pest)+.

In the Jubilee year of the reign of our late King George V (1935) the first yachtsman in our Empire, emerged from popular opinion the Jubilee One Design Class Yacht.

During the previous yachting season yacht clubs on Port Phillip Bay had suffered heavy losses, and many fine yacht had during two disastrous gales that swept our shores. Fleets were so depleted that the time was opportune to plan rebuilding along popular lines.

Mr J A Linacre, then Commodore of Royal Brighton Yacht Club, had the inspiration for a One Design Yacht, moderately priced and suitable to withstand heavy seas and hard weather.

The idea aroused great interest. Yachtsmen from many clubs met at Royal Brighton Yacht Club, and discussed ideas which were, a short time later, to realise themselves in the Jubilee One Design Class.

After much careful thought, it was unanimously agreed that the salient feature of this new class would be as follow:

  1. Boat must be powerful and stable design, so as to be able to withstand safely big seas and strong seas

  2. The boat must be of a handy size, so as to facilitate slipping and launching and beaching if necessary. The measurements therefore decided on were:

    1. Length Overall 5.468 m (18 ft)

    2. Length waterline 4.877m (16 ft)

    3. Draught 0.406 (1 ft 4 in)

  3. The design was to be tied up very closely by plans and specifications, to prevent being made obsolete by later boats improving on the original design.

These points, together with others, were then turned over to Mr. W. D. Higgins (R.B.Y.C.) and Mr. Chas. Peel (the well-known boat builder and designer) to draw up complete designs.

It is to the genius of these two gentlemen that the finished design came up to the ideals required, and the spark of an idea became the glowing light of achievement.

Within six months ten boats were built; the rate of growth since its inception has been remarkable, and the class throughout Australia has approximately one hundred yachts to its credit.

The Jubilee Design has proved itself under all conditions, and even the most experienced yachtsmen are unanimous in their praise of the complete seaworthiness. ease of handling and safety margin of these yachts.

They are comparatively small boats, but nevertheless will tackle with utmost safety the worst conditions. On the other hand, they "ghost" along most satisfactorily, even when there is no perceptible breeze at all.

Many owners go cruising in their Jubilee Boats during the Christmas and Easter holidays and, again, nothing but the utmost satisfaction has resulted. In fact, they found that the shallow draught widened the scope of their cruising activity enormously, and explored parts of the coastline, islands and creeks which to many have been inaccessible in the past owing to shallow water.

The chief attraction of owning a Jubilee Yacht, however, is in the racing of it. Picture to yourself a couple of dozen yachts 'jockeying" for the best position for a start. All those boats are identical in design, sail area, and everything that counts. There are no handicaps everyone is off scratch. Everything is even except luck and the skill of the skipper and his crew.

In 1967 the last timber Jubilee (to date) was constructed, due mainly to the rising cost in labour, scarcity of good quality timber and the general decline in boat building skills. The Jubilee Yacht Association set about designing and producing a hull and deck mould for a R.F.P. (reinforced fibreglass plastic) Jubilee. Many hours were spent in sanding and smoothing the hull and deck of J36 "GAYWIN". This resulted in the current mould of hull and separately deck/coaming, which, when bolted together around the gunwales, a smooth sleek and robust fibreglass Jubilee is produced. With a realistic price tag the fibreglass production technique revitalized the Jubilee fleets providing the class with 25 new yachts in the last twelve years.

The Jubilee has achieved its objectives and has proved extremely satisfying to all who have sailed them. The most pleasing aspect of the 'Jube" is her ability to be sailed by one to four persons, to glide along in light airs and yet handle rough conditions with relative ease.

The Jubilee is a tribute to her designers and can proudly stand among the most versatile and enjoyable yachts in the world.

Recent  Regatta Results

Historical Regatta Results

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