Corsair 111 Diamond Project – 50 Years On
By Ian Reichelt
Maybe Diamonds can be forever! This was put to the test by putting a plywood built Yachting World Diamond back into sailing order after it was put in storage in a sail loft for over ten years. Sailmaker Doug Tannahill and RYCV cruising coordinator Ian Reichelt discussed the hope one day they and others would enjoy seeing it sail again.
The day finally came when the sailmaker had to move loft and with many suggestions of trying to sell it and with no live takers, the pair started to think a chain saw may be the next action seen. However, with all the guilt about destroying another well-known boat, Doug and Ian thought ‘why not spend some effort, clean it up and put it back in good sailing condition’ to attempt to encourage some of our younger club junior sailors to come sail it with the royals Diamond group.
They were fortunate that the boat had been in dry storage and has not suffered too badly – only some dust and a lot of Pidgeon droppings had made it look worse than at first sight. A couple of areas had ply wood rot which Doug and Ian managed to cut out and restore using new ply wood, modern glues and epoxy. The hull had been glassed over and most of it required a good sand back and a new paint job. The keel had been removed and resealed and is in great condition.
The history of this boat is starting to come out and many RYCV members and sailors have spent time aboard, learning to sail her in gone by years. They discovered that the original build details known to date are as follows.
The plans were procured by Clifford Gibson over fifty years ago. The plan number is 107 and that is its sail number as well, it is named CORSAIR 111. Doug and Ian have found some older photos of when it first came to Royals, with the keel transported in an early Holden utility – with its back dragging on the ground.
There are some photos of Cliff awaiting to fit the keel and launch it at Royals, showing that the original colouring was a white hull with a red boot stripe at the water line and a tropical blue deck.
The boat had won some local championships amongst the Diamond fleet over the years and has also competed in other states. Doug and Ian are hopeful some of this information will be discovered from Club archives, which will then be noted that with its history.
As with all boat work, to bring this boat up to workable sailing condition, labour time and resources are not easily put together. Fortunately both Doug and Ian have been given some support from locals, and when the project is complete they will acknowledge those supporters with a name on the side, to recognise their support.
The Diamond Association and many other owners have provided support, feedback and some of the owners have also offered some pieces of gear to help us make this boat workable. The launch date is expected to be last week September and will coincide with new sailing season 2018/19. The first sail day is expected to be the Wednesday summer series commencing in October 2018, and additionally a small local launch occasion will be planned.
The team are close to putting the rig back in and would welcome visitors to come observe the project and discuss any support they can provide. They’d like to have boat sailing regularly with the Diamond fleet from this coming season onwards, and our junior Club members are encouraged to join up!
Ian would like to personally thank Paul Cannon the from the Diamond Association for his enthusiasm and encouragement to get this project moving , as well as the fleet of Diamond sailors/owners for their support and assistance.
For further information on the Corsair 111 project, contact Ian Reichelt.