The Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats


Salvador Mata Luque owns the yacht Nell Gwynn now based at Mooloolaba, Qld.

He is looking for information on her history, particularly that in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s.




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Salvador wrote -

"Nell Gwynn (every owner has called Nelly, she is that endearing) has an interesting life, started life as a job for Mr. Justice Hutchins of Hobart, Tasmania in 1938.  The builder was F. Hickman, who had a building yard in Moonah, Hobart, As I understand there was some monetary and legal problems with the timber collected for the construction,  she is built of two layers (diagonal) of 3/4" of Huon Pine, hull and deck, that means that all her timber had to be full length planks, a big undertaking even for those days. The end result is that Mr. Hutchins got out of the project and Mr. Hickman was left with an unfinished project, which he took over and finished in 1948."

"During and after the war, it was hard to get materials and manpower. The keel was cast from 5 tons of lead surplus after the war."

"After the war she was raced hard and often by keen Tassie lads with more enthusiasm that resources. I have met some of her former crews of those earlier years and all tell stories of mad dashes across the Tasman in crazy weather with a minimum of gear or support."

"I am collecting as much information as I can in order to put together a history of a remarkable yacht and its people. It is very nice to stop somewhere only to have people coming along and tell me stories of Nell Gwynn."

"I have large gaps in the 70 and 80's when she was in Sydney, I know she did the 50th anniversary of the Sydney to Hobart race with J Carny of Brisbane as owner. She  now lives in Mooloolaba, in semiretirement..."

You can contact Salvador at 

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