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Old 03-06-2018, 00:15   #1
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Austral 20

I'm looking for information about Austral 20 yachts. I have a 1979 version and our club has two other, younger, versions. All vary in shroud numbers and placement. I have a copy of the brochure that's online but my version is older. p.s. It's not the one on my profile. That's my Spacesailer 18.
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Old 03-06-2018, 00:49   #2
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Re: Austral 20

G'day Martin,
there is a forum in Australia called Trailer sailer place. If you want to know anything about Austral 20's that's the place to go, you will be inundated with info



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Old 03-06-2018, 23:07   #3
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Re: Austral 20

Thanks Greg. I have them bookmarked. I've been there but I think that was trying to find out about my Spacesailer 18.
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Old 13-08-2018, 02:07   #4
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Re: Austral 20

Late reply but as a previous Austral 20 owner I may be able to help you if you are still looking for info.

I had the later model with the heavier drop keel and a rudder that actually worked.
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Old 14-08-2018, 23:50   #5
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Re: Austral 20

There you go. I didn't know the later version had a heavier keel and I hadn't noticed a different rudder.
At my club, there are 4 Austral 20s. Mine is a '79 model and there's another the same. They have green stripes, with three shrouds going to the edge of the hull. The other two have blue stripes and only two shrouds, which are inboard. I'll probably move the chainplates inboard as water ingress has rotted the timbers away.
I'm just trying to learn about the boats. I have the specs from another forum.
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Old 15-08-2018, 03:21   #6
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Re: Austral 20

Martin, I have photos of our Austral 20 under my gallery.
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - GILow's Album: Haggis

Haggis was the later style, post sail number 160, which I BELIEVE is the cut-over sail number for the two types.

As you will see, she had pink pinstriping (well technically I think the colour was actually called scotch thistle, but I know pink when I see it.) The pinstripe colours I have seen have all been different so I don't THINK they are an accurate guide to boat age, though I may be wrong.

Yes, she had two shrouds connected to chain plates just flush with the cabin sides. This made going forward a bit easier as you could step around them pretty easily. I cannot remember exactly how they were mounted internally, but I do seem to remember some timber "wedges", just about in a line with the back of the cabin top.

Regarding the other main differences... yes, the centerboard was a good bit heavier on the later model. I have been told this was to allow the boat to qualify for some kind of stability metric that then made it certifiable for some particular race category, but that was all a very "don't you know" conversation over dinner at the RSAYS restaurant one night and could have been complete cobblers.

The other difference was more important, to me at least. The earlier model had a MUCH smaller rudder than mine and one owner of that model boat complained bitterly that it did not have remotely enough grip on the water. I thought he was being a bit of a sook until I sailed on his boat with him, and I realised he was dead right. The original rudder was pathetic. My version was feather light but with a rock solid grip on the water. His tiller felt like it was steering the boat through some form of psychological suggestion or maybe a seance. If you have the earlier rudder I do think it is well worth grabbing the dimensions from the later boats and making a copy.

For the record, dear old Haggis, sail number 190, became a winner of the Adelaide to Port Vincent Easter Regatta one year (I think about 2010 from memory), so the boat is a serious little workhorse as you probably already know. We went over in a decent SSW, maybe 15 knots, carrying full sail and three crew, and won the race purely by accident. That little boat punched well above her rating. Her name is engraved on a cup at RSAYS and is certain to be the only trophy I will ever skipper a boat to winning.

I miss her sometimes, she took me to Vincent and back more times than I can remember. A Raymarine ST1000+ tiller pilot was the BEST thing I ever bought for her. She loved it, and if I am honest, the tiller pilot steered her better than I did.

If you take your Austral 20 to port Vincent, the time to beat (to beat me at least) is 7 hours, 15 minutes. And, of course, as you probably know, once in Port Vincent, you can wind up the centerboard and head out to the shallow bit and see the beautiful corals in the crystal clear water. I miss this with our fixed keel boat now, and I usually end up launching the tender to go over and watch the fish playing in the coral before returning to the mothership.

Hmmm... writing about it makes me want to head over there... maybe a Port Vincent trip is on the cards soon...

Happy travels, you have an EXCELLENT boat there.

Matt
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