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William Fife III 59 ft Gaff Cutter 1897 / 2001



William Fife III 59 ft Gaff Cutter 1897 / 2001

Designer William Fife III
Builder A McFarlane - Adelaide
Date 1897
Length overall 73 ft 0 in / 22.25 m
Length deck 59 ft 9 in / 18.2 m
Length waterline 39 ft 1 in / 11.9 m
Beam 12 ft 6 in / 3.8 m
Draft 9 ft 6 in / 2.9 m
Displacement 16 Tonnes
Construction New Zealand Kauri planking on hardwood frames
Engine Volvo Penta TMD 22 80 HP Turbo Diesel
Location Australia
Price EUR 590,000
Vat VAT Not Paid

These details are provisional and may be amended



SAYONARA to a William Fife III design was almost unbeatable in the early years of Australian yachting and was to become the founding yacht of the Sayonara Cup, having won the first three challenges of 1904, 1907 and 1909 – followed by a long career saying “goodbye” to all her competitors. A million dollar restoration in 2000 brought her back to life again; leaving her not only in impressive condition but demonstrably able to prove herself fast in both light airs and heavy weather.

SAYONARA represents a very exciting opportunity to compete in the prestigious vintage gaff class in an early William Fife III design that, sailed well, is surely destined to win silverware again. Meanwhile, mindful of her location, her owners undertake to pay for her transport to a purchaser’s desired Australian port within the Listing price. Please see details below.



VAT is unpaid on this yacht


Restoration / refit

- 2 year full and thorough restoration to original drawings by 4 full time experienced shipwrights
- Example of extent - every fastening was replaced
- Re commissioned in 2001



SAYONARA; Japanese for “goodbye” was commissioned by George F Garrard, then Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV) at a time when the largest yachts in Australia were to be seen there on Port Phillip Bay. Designed as a fast cruising yawl by William Fife III of Fairlie in Scotland – effectively a sister ship to his own champion CIREGO, SAYONARA was built A McFarlane of Birkenhead, Adelaide and launched in November 1897. She then cruised to Melbourne in record time.

In no time she proved to be invincible on Port Phillip Bay - a marvel in light weather in which she would ‘walk away’ from all opposition. Then a hard blow was struck when the various clubs decided to limit the sizes of yachts entering important races and regattas. This decision only affected SAYONARA and the ALEXA which had remained in Victoria for several years as there was no other competition for a yacht of her size in Adelaide.

In winter 1899, SAYONARA’s rig was altered to the alternative Fife plan of a top sail cutter, increasing her sail area to 2,079 sq ft. After being sold to Alfred Gollin around 1903, her new owner tried to stimulate New South Wales interest in an inter colonial challenge. This at first did not get approval as a larger type of yacht would have to be built than was then in vogue in Sydney. Finally a challenge issued through the RYCV was accepted by H Binney of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS), his Auckland designed and built BONA having reputedly never been beaten. Mr. Gollin then donated a one hundred Guinea (£105) trophy for the series. From her moorings at St. Kilda, SAYONARA took 13 days to reach Sydney in light, fluky conditions. The three heat series in January 1904, was closely contested with SAYONARA winning the first and final heats, so winning the Cup. Alfred Gollin then offered back the Cup as a perpetual trophy to be called “The Sayonara Perpetual Challenge Trophy” for competition between Victoria and New South Wales. Conditions were then drawn up for future competition on lines similar to those of the America’s Cup.

Victoria received and accepted further challenges such as in 1909; from the 19 year old THELMA owned by Lloyd Jones of the Royal Prince Albert Yacht Club. Once again SAYONARA was put up to defend - converted to her cutter rig again. After three most exciting and keenly fought heats, she won the Cup for another year in the safe keeping of the RYCV. In 1910 however SAYONARA had to concede defeat to CULWALLA III in another closely contested three-heat series and the cup finally found its way to Sydney. SAYONARA herself was sold to Sydney in 1912 where under several owners, she remained until 1997 to be purchased in a very dilapidated condition by a Melbourne syndicate and taken back there for an authentic and complete restoration true to original drawings.



- New Zealand Kauri carvel traditional caulked planking on hardwood frames
- Lead cast keel bronze bolted
- Queensland solid beech deck planking over sheathed plywood sub deck
- Mahogany and ply interior joinery


Deck layout, equipment and ground tackle

- 2 x Danforth anchors and tackle
- Electric anchor windlass with remote control
- Ash cheeked blocks by Dragonfly UK
- Custom cast bronze hardware
- Self draining cockpit
- Tiller, engine controls and ice box
- Fenders and fender boards
- Hardy hemp lines and mooring lines
- Boat hooks
- 10 sets embroidered Logan wet weather gear


Accommodation and domestic equipment

- From Cockpit sliding hatch and companionway steps down to main cabin
- 2 x Quarter berths each side aft
- Chart table to port; stowage aft under and outboard

Galley to stbd
- Maxie 2 burner spirit stove
- Microwave
- Sink with cold fresh water tap
- Electric kettle and toaster
- 12V Eutectic fridge
- Stowage aft under and outboard
- Unbreakable Crockery, cutlery
- Stainless steel cookware
- Plastic glassware

- 2 x Settee berths with stowage under and outboard
- 2 x Pilot berths above and outboard
- Fiddled drop leaf dining table offset to stbd allows clear passage fwd

Head compartment fully enclosed forward to stbd
- Rariten electric WC
- Hand basin with cold fresh water tap

- 2 x Pipe cot bunks
- Stowage for sails and lines etc


Rig, spars and sails

- Laminated clear grained Oregon pine keel stepped mast and Douglas fir spars
- Spinnaker pole stowed on deck
- 2 x Topsail spars stowed on deck
- Spliced and served galvanised wire standing rigging traditionally varnish preserved
- Laid synthetic running rigging

All sails by Hood in Classic Cloth
- Mainsail and reefing tackle
- Topsail
- Staysail in Hood Classic cloth
- Jib
- Jib top
- Full covers plus separate boom sail cover


Mechanical electrical and tankage

- Volvo Penta - TMD 22 80 HP Turbo Diesel new 2001, rebuild Jan 2008
- Single lever Morse type controls
- 1 ¼ inch stainless steel shaft to Hydralign 3 bladed feathering bronze propeller
- Cutless bearing
- Rudder hung by 4 x strong bearings through solid timber post on full length keel
- Tiller steering
- 1 x 12 Deep cell battery under port settee in dedicated box for domestic and engine start
- Service electric isolator switch
- 12 V service for lights and boat services
- 240 V from alternator on main engine and inverter mainly for galley appliances
- 240 V inverter
- Shore power connection
- 2 x S steel fuel tanks under cockpit total c 106 gallon / 400 litre
- Fuel filler under cover plate in cockpit sole
- c 26 gallon / 100 Litre fresh water tank
- Limited assorted tools
- Operating manuals


Navigation, communications and electronics

- Raytheon GPS
- Raytheon log and depth
- Steering compass
- VHF radio



- 15 x Adult lifejackets
- 6 x Child lifejackets
- 15 x Harnesses
- Flares set
- Man overboard recovery sling
- Inflatable Dan buoy
- Webbing jack lines
- Heaving line
- 2 x 1 Kg Fire extinguishers and fire blanket
- Manual 1 x 1 ½ inch bilge pump under companionway step
- Manual 1 ½ bilge pump in cockpit
- Rule electric 1,500 GPH bilge pump on auto float switch
- First Aid Kit


Transport to alternative location

The Listing price includes the cost of transporting SAYONARA according to these terms
- To any major Australian shipping port and offloaded to bond
- All customs clearances, import duties, taxes and like charges to be at the purchasers expense
- Onward transport, unpacking, re-rigging, etc. to be at the purchaser’s expense
- Current owners would assist with re-rigging advice



02 & 39: Australian National Maritime Museum


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts