Its name may have regal origins, but over the past year the first ever Jubilee One-Design Class yacht has not been treated like a king.
The inaugural yacht which was built in 1935 spent most of its life at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, but over the past 12 months the timber vessel has been out of water, leading to slow deterioration.
The boats were constructed following a horror storm on Port Phillip Bay in 1932 which wiped out the bulk of the yachts in Victoria. The name was chosen to honour King George V’s 25th anniversary on the throne.
Former Jubilee Yacht Association of Victoria president Bryan Linacre opted to donate the historic boat named Freydis to the Ballarat Yacht Club in order to see it returned to its former glory. Jubilee Yacht Association of Victoria treasurer and secretary Leonie Crosbie said the former owner was eagre to see the craft remain in Victorian hands.
“(Mr Linacre) approached all of the clubs around Victoria to find a home for the boat because he didn’t want to sell it and he didn’t want it going interstate,” Ms Crosbie said. “I decided we had to take responsibility for it.”
Since arriving in Ballarat the boat has been placed at the edge of Lake Wendouree, partly submerged and filled with water. The craft which is built of Huon pine will remain on the lake in coming weeks to allow the wood to soak up water before refurbishment works begin in February.
A team of dedicated volunteers will then begin plugging any remaining holes in the wood, sanding it back and applying a brand new deck before placing it back on water in late March.
Ms Crosbie said it was important the yacht was restored to working order and not simply placed in a museum.
“Old boats like this are often gifted to maritime museums but when that happens they’re not sailed, so this is going to continue to be used and people can learn on this boat. It’s living history.”