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
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
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.