Melbourne, 26 November, 2023
Cutting a forlorn figure in a cradle in the back blocks of Altona, Victoria sits Australia’s reputedly oldest yacht, Zephyr.
After many years on the hard at Yaringa Boat Harbour, she is to be sold by online auction to recover unpaid storage costs.
Commissioned by South Australian Supreme Court judge, MP and past Commodore of the South Australian Yacht Club, Sir William Bundey, she was launched in 1873 to great fan-fair.
Zephyr was built by R. Playfair and Sons, in Port Adelaide from Huon pine on American-elm.
She raced succesfully for 20 years, before being converted to a fishing boat; plying the treacherous waters around Kangaroo Island for nearly 100 years.
She underwent a full restoration in 1993.
Unbelievably, Zephyr is not currently listed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels (ARHV).
If the auction is unsuccessful her future would appear quite dire.
She is listed by Lloyds Online. Details here