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I recently received the following email for a very special 8-metre international class racing yacht called Frances:

On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 9:02 PM, doug jenkin wrote:

Could you add FRANCES to your list of Yachts for Registration and SALE. More information is available as required’ Lodged on behalf of owner Mrs Loraine WOOD, Widow of the late Capt. Michael Wood.

Many thanks

Doug Jenkin phone contact 03 93150003 or 0427004241


The information on the Frances from the register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats is as follows:

Corrections, additions and updates to the register record always welcomed.

For more information on 8 metre yachts see the following website:

Name: Frances   

Later names {also Sail or Rego or Fishing No}: {B8}  Brigitte-'61b62b71  Frances Digby-a62b74b01b02  {7}  Frances-b09b10

Material: Wood

Rig: Sloop~bm   Rig changes & identification codes: D.c

Type:Yacht   Propulsion: Sail

Designer: Digby, Ernest O.

Year built: 1947   Yard or Job No: <unknown>

Builder: Digby, Ernest J.

Where built: Williamstown, Melbourne, Vic

Engines: <unknown or N/A>  

Boilers/Gearing: <unknown or N/A><unknown or N/A>

Official Number: 315405    IMO Number: <unknown or N/A>

Dimensions (ft)—Length: 39.5 Breadth: 8.5  Depth: 5.40

Volumetric ‘tonnage’ measurements (1 ton = 100 cubic ft):

Gross: 15  Underdeck: <unknown>   Net: 15

Decks: 1Dk   Deck Erections: <unknown>   

Number of funnels &location: 0  Number of bulkheads: <unknown>

Tanks, etc: <unknown>   Freeboard: <unknown>

Stem: Raked rounded   Figurehead: Nil   Stern: Counter square raked 

PORTS and owners: HOBART'47b51b54b55b56b60 Ernest Jon Digby: '60 D.C.Petley &B.Macgregor: MELBOURNE'61b62 D.C.Petley &B.Macgregor: HOBART'68 D.C.Petley &B.Macgregor: '71b74b81 T.S.Kirkland: c81b82b98b00b01 Alex Morrison: '02b09 Capt Michael Wood: '09b10 Mrs Lorraine Wood

Fate/Status— Year: 2010  Type: Operational  Details: <unknown or N/A>

History and details: International 8-metre class. Carvel NZ kauri planked, Queensland white beech deck. 51' Loa. 6.5' draft. 846sq' sail. 9t displ? Digby was overseer of shipwrights at Melbourne Harbour Trust. Registered with RYCV. 1949 A-1 class on Port Phillip Bay. c1949 participated in Williamstown-Geelong race. 1951 successfully defended Sayonara cup against Tasmanian yacht Erica J (qv), won 3 to nil. 1952 successfully defended Sayonara cup against Tasmanian yacht Erica J (qv), lost first race when winch &spinnaker gear broke, but won next three races. 1953 lost Sayonara cup to Erica J on Port Phillip Bay. 1954/01 sailed to Hobart, regained Sayonara cup against Erica J winning 3 races to one, raced in Storm Bay. 1955 raced for Sayonara Cup against Saskia (qv) & Erica J. (qv) on Port Phillip, Saskia successful in challenge. 1956/01 sailed to Sydney, unsuccessfully challenged for Sayonara cup against Erica J. (qv) and Saskia (qv) at Sydney, lost to Saskia representing NSW. Melbourne No.9 of 1961. 1962/02 Melbourne-Sydney, encountered gale, unsuccessfully challenged for Sayonara cup, lost 3 to nil. Hobart No.6 of 1968. 1974 home port at Hobart. Fitted with motor after 1974 &by 2001. Stern reduced by about 3' pior to 1998. 1998 at RYCV Williamstown. 2000 third in race two in Victorian Logan Classic Cup series. 2000/c12 second in CYAA race. 48.1' long by 2001. 2000 second in race three of Logan Classic Summer Series sailed on Port Phillip. 2001/02 fourth in passage race Williamstown to Geelong as part of Geelong regatta, fourth in triangular Sunday race. 2001 second in race 2 of Logan Classic Winter series on Port Phillip. 2003 still racing on Port Phillip Bay. c2005 restored by Michael Hurrell to as new condition without engine. 2007 sailing with RYCV. 2010/09 for sale at RYCV, Williamstown, Vic 200K.

References (see Ar01,02:Cya1^2000/1,2000/4,2000/12,2001/5,2001/9,2004/4,2005/9,2007/12:Cynz2^1998/10:DEF1(P):DougJenkin(P):Int:LorraineWood:Naa1:Rpa1:Ste1:Tho3:Y74

Weblink: #

Research notes: Tho3 sys designed & built by Francis Digby (sic?). Some refs say original name Francis(sic?). Check if builder E.J.Digby or E.O.Digby.