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Ownership History


William (Bill) Oliver of South Yarra Melbourne Wool pastoralist

Her original cost was 10,000 Sterling and Hurrica V was placed on the Australian Register on British Ships in 1924. Oliver was 71 when vessel was delivered as a private family yacht mainly for cruising, favoring Wilson’s Prom and Bass Straight. Kept in magnificent condition, she was the feature yacht at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria and had three full-time paid hands. Oliver also owned a 55 ft race boat and 38 ft motorsailer.  Hurrica’s The hull was copper-sheathed and the mizzen mast was later altered to a Bermudan rig. In 1938 Oliver became ill and the crew was dismissed, and at the time of her sale she had fallen into disrepair. 


William (Will) J Stuart of Darling Pt Sydney – Stuart Bros Builders

Bought for 2,000 Sterling in poor condition by Willian Stuart, the internal layout was remodeled with a new Bermudan rig and sail plan was designed by Ali Barbour with a taller rig and short bowsprit.


Commonwealth of Australia – Requisitioned vessel for the war service by the Australian Navy

Bought for 3,250 Sterling, Hurrica’s ship registration was cancelled and major internal alterations were made. The Rig and sails were removed and a wheelhouse, fly bridge and sponsons were added with a large machine gun at the bow.  Two more machine guns were added port and starboard and at the stern.  Depth charges were also included with a new diesel engine, generator set and radios.  She was repainted navy grey as HMAS 542 Stingray and served search and rescue duty in New Guinea & Milne Bay until after the war she was offered back to Stuart.


William Stuart of Darling Pt Sydney

Re-purchased for 1,650 Sterling in poor condition after war, Hurrica was rebuilt back to her pre-war layout, then resold as Stuart had purchased the larger Fife “Astor”.


Clifford (Dick) Crane of Wahroonga Sydney, Member RSYS, G E Crane, chairman AMP & AGL, on boards of CSR and Wormald.

Hurrica served as a social family and business entertaining vessel on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. The gun mounts were still evident in deck, and the hull was re-sheathed in Muntz metal with new teak decks and a 65 hp Perkins diesel. The ships registration was re-established in 1956 before sale. Interestingly, the sailing master and crew enjoyed a 60-year reunion on board in 2011, and it was reported that she “had often been used for Immoral purposes” and the occasional social race.


Henry (Harry) John of Shellbank Ave Cremorne Sydney of Clifford Love & Co

Purchased by Henry John and used as a private family yacht based in Sydney.  On holidays his family would sail to Pittwater and the New South Wales coast. A wood dodger was built over the cockpit, and when John died in 1963 the title transferred to his wife Phyllis and she was again put up for sale.


Edwin (John) Shaw Jnr of Mona Vale Sydney – Shaws Sand & Gravel.

Bought in a swap for 3 residential blocks and 2 industrial blocks of land, plus 3,000 Sterling, Hurrica was used as a private family vessel based in Pittwater, Australia. In 1963 she cruised to New Caledonia and the  Loyalty Islands, weathering a typhoon.  John & Jan lived on board Hurrica at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in 1965 (Hurrica returned to the RPAYC in 2019 with owners Mark and Maureen Sanders). The vessel was used for social sailing in Pittwater and had an extensive refit in 1965 and again in 1982.  New bulwarks and teak decks with a new raised coach house were built, plus a new diesel and new hollow masts added. A large overlapping head sail was used and the rudder was enlarged to assist downwind control. Shaw had the interior stripped and ready for a refit when the 1983 recession hit,  and Hurrica was left on mooring for many years in a derelict state.  Shaw was the longest owner of Hurrica at 23 years.


Gary John Dover of Sylvania Sydney. Builder.

Bought for $40,000 (Australian dollars) with only a diesel in the interior, Hurrica was rebuilt from the bare hull specifically for charter from Port Stephens NSW and renamed “The Gift”, following an inheritance. A new cockpit hardtop was installed, and the top of the main mast was made hydraulic folding to access under a bridge.  She ran hard aground after a channel marker went adrift during a cruise to Port Moresby and Milne Bay to deliver medical supplies to a religious mission. She was sold in fair condition with keel damage after hitting the reef.


Patrick Silver of Avalon Sydney – Retired banker, property management & maintenance

Purchased as social vessel and occasionally as a liveaboard, based in Pittwater, NSW and renamed back as Hurrica V, her charter layout was retained, topsides were splined and painted, decks sanded and the cockpit hardtop was removed. Hurrica was cruised to Fiji and retained the rig, complete with the folding topmast as installed by Mr. Dover. Unfortunately Silver had difficulty with upkeep on the vessel she was in very poor state when once again offered to the market for sale.


Annabel & Steve Gunns of Roseville Sydney – Architrade Architects

Hurrica was purchased By Steve Gunns specifically as a professional restoration project, and the work was undertaken by the famous Australian boatyard which restored “Cambria”, Norman R Wright & Sons of Brisbane Australia. Gunns was the design manager, sourcing manager and project manager for the restoration, and after nearly a decade of work Hurrica V returned to her home port in Broken Bay Australia in February 2011.  Her maiden voyage was across the notorious Bass Strait to the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, captained by Gunns who was a veteran of the famous Sydney-Hobart race.

Gunns had specific objectives for Hurrica’s restoration:

• To restore the yacht as close as reasonably possible to the original design, given the additional objectives below.

• Restore Hurrica in such a way that she will remain structurally sound and ready for the next 90 years.

• Adopt modern construction standards to extend the life of the yacht and to eliminate past weaknesses without affecting the classic beauty of the vessel.

• Minimize long-term maintenance costs as much as practical by using modern techniques and technology.  

• Enhance the yacht such that she is comfortable and usable by a family without crew.  The ability to sail short-handed in all conditions is essential.

• To restore Hurrica  aesthetically to the maximum degree possible, with the highest standard of finish to preserve the classic beauty of the vessel.  Hurrica is unashamedly not a museum piece; and the details of the restoration enhance the usability of Hurrica as a sailing vessel.  This is  exemplified by the enlarged cockpit aft of the coach house with folding table and fixed awning (the original cockpit was little more than a foot well). An dual oil-burner binnacle sits behind the mizzen mast just as it did in 1924, and bulwark stanchions have been replaced by a solid plinth, eliminating the leaks and rot that are so common traditional stanchions in wooden vessels.

• The hull was stripped to its bare shell and the worn deck was removed.  Broken frames were replaced and every hull bolt renewed with new bronze. The hull planking was repaired and totally re-roved, with an all new retroussé counter. The frames were strengthened or renewed at the masts and chain-plates, and new water-tight bulkheads were fitted.

• The new decks included laminated beams, two layers of marine ply sheathing, swept teak decking, new bulwarks and teak cap-rails. New Brazilian mahogany deck structures include butterfly skylights, a large coach house, a steering box and cockpit coaming.

• The interior was rebuilt to the highest of standards with solid Brazilian mahogany throughout in raised and fielded joinery. Accommodations include a large owner’s suite with a king bed plus en-suite head and vanity, two queen guest cabins, a main bathroom and separate shower with a washer/dryer, and a raised coach house with two more berths.  A “drinks cabinet” hides the instrumentation and berths have French fabric covers, period fans, and antique-style lamps. The saloon table seats eight with gimbaled and electrified oil lamps, a ships half model, standard clock and barometer and chesterfield-buttoned leather couches. A TV, music system and bookcase are behind doors. The galley includes a four-burner propane stove and oven, separate refrigerator and freezer, microwave oven, range hood and a double-bowl sink.|

• Instrumentation including radar, HF and VHF radios and a chart plotter.

• A new Bermudan sail plan to a 1923 pattern by Dijkstra & Partners, with new hollow spars built by Collars in the UK. Custom bronze castings were made in authentic detail from the originals.

• Modern systems include a 115 hp Perkins diesel with a feathering prop, Wesmar bow thruster, electric (variable-speed) halyard and main sheet winches, head-sail furlers, main and mizzen sails with catch bags and lazy jacks, auto pilot, chart plotter, radar, a custom Muir bronze windlass, with Dyneema running rigging and Highfield levers on the running back stays.


Mark and Maureen Sander, San Francisco Bay Area

The Sanders purchased Hurrica V in 2019, and enjoyed her in Broken Bay, berthed at the RPAYC in Avalon.  Late in the year she was sailed to Brisbane by the new and previous owners where routine maintenance was performed at Norman Wrights and Sons, the same yard which completed the restoration ten years earlier.  From there Hurrica was shipped to Ensenada, en route to her new home-port in San Francisco Bay.

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