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Old 08-03-2011, 17:45   #1
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Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

I'm looking for information from owners of a reasonably common SS design, the Defiance 30, built in Australia up until about 95-98 (mainly in Brisbane I believe). We are looking for a cruising (although odd club race for fun) vessel between 28-32ft, mainly for bumming around the area of the Whitsundays to the Palm Island group, within the protect waters of GBR, where we live. We may eventually cruise further afield to PNG etc as our experience grows.
Being an ex-racer (and a Kiwi) I want a cruising vessel that doesnít have the weight of a small moon, has a reasonable turn of speed and can point well (yep I know, so does everyone), it doesnít need to win the Americas Cup, but I do like to get places.

So how do present/past Defiance owners rate the performance of these vessels Ė to windward, reaching and downwind? In a nutshell how do they perform?

Cheers
Guy
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Old 08-03-2011, 18:08   #2
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Re: Sparkman Stephens 30 Defiance owners

Okay - didnt own one, but sailed one for many miles. Really good 30 footer, all round pleasant boat that should make for a good cruiser, always felt the hull shape was a little "pinched" in the rear which didn't help the death rolls down hill, but otherwise if I were looking for a 30ft mono it would be near top of the list for me.
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Old 27-11-2012, 14:54   #3
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

I have had a Defiance for over 20 years and have raced it in club races and cruised the east coast of Australia extensively, both activities with great success. I am based in Gosford NSW . I have only good things to say about the boat. It handles a seaway beautifully in rough conditions and also is a delight in soft air. My wife and I spent 6 months on one Whitsundays trip and at no time did we have any doubts about the vessels ability to handle what was thrown at it. It works well to windward and points high, reaching and running is a dream. What more can I say, easily handled by two or st up properly, single handed, It'll do me. Sa1lb0y
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Old 27-11-2012, 15:11   #4
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

G'Day Guy,

I'm not sure of the relationship between the Defiance and the S&S Yankee 30 built in the USA, but they look very similar in the water. Haven't seen a Defiance out of the water yet.

At any rate, I owned a Yankee 30 for 7 years back in the 70's, and it was a really sweet boat to sail. Did coastal cruising, day sailing in the SF Bay, a lot of racing both crewed and single handed, and eventually Ann and I did our first long passage (Hawaii and return) in her. That passage was very educational! The boat handled everything that came up, including a named TS and performed quite well. 16 days going, 21 returning. But, we learned that this design had a flaw for longer passages. Namely, she liked to sail at 20-25 degrees of heel angle, and on long passages this was unacceptable to us because of the fatigue that it entailed. This hadn't been an issue for coastal sailing, where one tends to anchor every day or two for a rest, but surely was on the Hawaii passages.

For your proposed usage in the Whitsundays and East coast cruising it would likely not be an issue, and of course, there may be enough difference in the two designs that our experience is not valid.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 27-11-2012, 15:35   #5
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Just a few words about the history of these boats. (Caveat: I stand to be corrected on any of the following, its bits and pieces I picked up along the way.)

A guy called Jack Savage got hold of the plans for an S&S 30, sometime in the late 60's-early70's. He went to Swansons in Sydney, and they knocked up a couple of prototype boats, out of timber. Savage then contracted Swansons to build a plug, which became the basis for glass production of the design.

Savage then went off to melbourne and commenced production of the Savage Defiance 30. Swansons kept some interest in the production (maybe quid pro quo for building the mould?), and produced a Swanson 30 from the plug. Swarbricks in Fremantle got into the act some how or other - Swarbricks and Swansons collaborated from time to time and produced versions of each others boats - and began producing a boat they called a S&S 30. Basically, these three boats are all the same hull, with the three producers putting on differnt deck/coach house arrangements. Savage has changed his design of deck/coachhouse along the way.

The design has had a very long production run, being built into the 2000's. Maybe still available new? I have only heard good things about the design. Swansons and Swarbricks are renowned for production of seaworthy boats (I am a bit biased here..owning a Swanson)

Lee
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Old 27-11-2012, 21:37   #6
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Hi guys, After Savage finished building the Defiance, I think in the early 80s, the moulds were taken up by Des Lawson of '"Anything Boating" at Sawtell south of Coffs Harbour, he continued to the late 80s when both he and the moulds went to Brisbane. Another party continued to build them. That's the extent of my recollection. In the early stages, the Defiance was the Australian half ton champion and held the race record for the Darwin to Ambon race for some years. Cheers sa1lb0y
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:53   #7
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Hi all
Just bought a SS Defiance 30 in Sydney plan to sail it to new home in Manly Brisbane after some refurbishment.
Anyone have a sail plan, mine is called Petra single spreader and keel steeped, mast tapered near top.
Sail plan anyone.
It is one of Jack Savage built ones,1978.

A mate had one in Geelong called Eclipse which we Di some trips out in the paddock, King Island, Port Fairy and so forth.
Very good sea boat from my experience.

Beers & Cheers
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:17   #8
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, GoPopp.
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Old 29-06-2018, 16:04   #9
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

I think I've got one of the Savage Defiance 30's (1980's boat, one time Sydney to Hobart boat - not 100% sure), currently doing some refurb work (....just got its survey done, new paint, electrics, ropes, batteries) to make a nice bay boat for Melbourne (.....and maybe Bass Strait islands one day - who knows)
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:53   #10
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

I owned the original Defiance that Doug Brooker built and was a cold moulded boat. Quite fast and a great offshore boat. Got hammered off the West Australian coast in 1989 and later on arrival in Freo my wife got pregnant...... so happy memories. We never even had a chart for that coast so stayed offshore about 200 miles and found Freemantle on the atlas. Obviously no radio, liferaft, safety gear etc. Different times. Great boat. Sorry, got married later so she was not my wife.
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Old 05-08-2018, 16:10   #11
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

That sounds pretty hairy....cost/space implications of all the now "essential" gear will probably mean this boat stays in the bay - when I feel the need for the deep blue stuff, that's when I like to step onto other people's (bigger!) boats. But yes I understand that the Defiance S&S30's have great off shore potential/capabilities - its just that the Defiance's size that makes off shore/long distance cruising very hard work with a small crew (in my experience). But its been a great first boat for me - enjoy getting on her to do work and some bay racing and family trips.
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Old 10-10-2018, 21:44   #12
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Hi,

Iím doing a bit of research in preparation for buying my first yacht - that's if you don't count a 1953 clinker-built kauri Frostbite...

I'm trying to source plans and/or accurate specifications for the Defiance 30 (wide-hull version if possible) and am trying to find out as much about them as possible. There are many accounts online about how good they are and where they have been, but no technical data - most of the information I have read about their history has been on this forum. They are not listed on sailboatdata.com for instance, unless the Northstar 1000 is considered close enough? If anyone has any info about how the wider-hulled version came into being, or knows where I could go to find out, I would be most grateful.

The one I'm buying seems to have a good provenance and has spent her life cruising on the Gippsland lakes. The interior arrangement was professionally done but is very basic and the boat oozes potential if you are someone who likes tampering with things, and I'm already thinking about how she might be improved down the track a bit which is what got me thinking about plans.
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Old 10-10-2018, 22:21   #13
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Years ago I owned a Yankee-30, an American S&S 30. Not quite the same boat, so I can't offer personal advice. However, I had some problems with oil-canning near the bow and contacted S&S for help and they provided advice without hesitation. I suspect that they would be a good source of info about your design if not the builder. Couldn't hurt to ask!

Jim
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:53   #14
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by X24 View Post
Hi,

Iím doing a bit of research in preparation for buying my first yacht - that's if you don't count a 1953 clinker-built kauri Frostbite...

I'm trying to source plans and/or accurate specifications for the Defiance 30 (wide-hull version if possible) and am trying to find out as much about them as possible. There are many accounts online about how good they are and where they have been, but no technical data - most of the information I have read about their history has been on this forum. They are not listed on sailboatdata.com for instance, unless the Northstar 1000 is considered close enough? If anyone has any info about how the wider-hulled version came into being, or knows where I could go to find out, I would be most grateful.

The one I'm buying seems to have a good provenance and has spent her life cruising on the Gippsland lakes. The interior arrangement was professionally done but is very basic and the boat oozes potential if you are someone who likes tampering with things, and I'm already thinking about how she might be improved down the track a bit which is what got me thinking about plans.
The Defiance class came about because of the rougher conditions in Australia. Doug Brooker had started to build the boat that was to be the mould and had all the frames made. They were chopped up and a new set made with more beam. My best friend who is near Sydney was a highly qualified pattern maker and can give you all the details. If you PM me I can give you his phone number and he will fill you in on the whole story.
John
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:10   #15
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Re: Sparkman & Stephens 30 Defiance Owners

Thanks John, I've sent you a PM.
Chris
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