Welcome to the online home of the Australian Sailfish, set up for those who have sailed one, wished they had sailed one, been passed by one, or are just interested in the Sailfish and it’s history.
Designed by Bruce Scott and Jack Carroll in 1956, the first two boats were developed by them for their own sailing pleasure, with no intention of starting a new class. The interest in the boats when they launched at Parkdale Yacht Club on Port Phillip was such that Bruce and Jack realised that they needed to draw up some “real” plans so that others could also build themselves a boat. This led to the formation of a Class Association in 1961 and expansion through plan sales into New South Wales, Queensland and even as far as Papua New Guinea.
Australian Sailfish Key Specifications
|Designers||Bruce Scott & Jack Carroll|
|LOA||11 feet 6 inches (3.505 metres)|
|Maximum Beam (excluding gunwales)||2 feet 10 7/8 inches (88.6 cm)|
|Maximum Depth (centreboard down)||3 feet (91.44 cm)|
|Sail Area||65 square feet (6.03 square metres)|
|Minimum Weight||63 pounds (28.57 kg)|
|Hull Materials||Timber and/or Plywood and/or Fibreglass|
|Maximum Mast Length||16 feet (4.87 metres)|
|Maximum Boom Length||8 feet 3 inches (2.51 metres)|
The Association grew and by 1968 there were National Titles being held, with contestants from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The seventies and early eighties were the boom time for the Sailfish with strong club representation in Victoria and New South Wales and active involved Associations in both states. By the late eighties though both associations had ceased to operate, and the Sailfish dropped from sight at the many clubs that had been their home.
Bruce Scott passed away several years ago, with Jack following in August 2022.
The Australian Sailfish class may be unique in having had, in Jack Carroll, a co-designer who was VERY active in the Class Association as:
– founder of the Class Association
– office-bearer in the association for much of the duration of its existence
– custodian of plans
– registrar of boats and principal measurer for much of the duration of the association, and
– highly rated competitor in club, state and national championships
Jack had an important and long-term relationship with the Australian Sailfish. This website gratefully acknowledges and celebrates that relationship. With his permission this website has been able to make available for free download the full-size plans and accompanying construction notes. Check them out!
There are still plenty of boats out there, down at the holiday home, hanging from the roof of the garage or tucked up under the house gathering dust. We hope that this page will help record the history of the class and flush a few boats back out and onto the water and it might even inspire new boats to be built. Its virtues as an inexpensive, car-toppable and exciting dinghy still remain.
The Site Moderators (who to blame) are:
Greg Barwick – Cutty Sark, 2410; Strider, 2101; Ockerfish, 3250; Mrs Vicious, 1375. My current boats are Bruce!, 2028; Stanley Crocodile, 3330.
Chris Cleary – Janus, 1918 & Westerly, 2218.
Both unashamedly Sailfish tragics who are old enough to know better but too silly to do anything about it, hence the website.
There has been a lot of assistance from many people, and this help is greatly appreciated. In particular, Michael Bates supplied nearly all our initial details on the QLD fleet, and Ian Milton is our skilled researcher and general guide on how to correctly present information. If you have something to offer, drop us a line via our Contact page.