Karina is a Jubilee Class small yacht understood to have been built at Eric Montgomery’s shed in Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria in 1945, from ‘odds and ends’. The yacht was raffled as first prize by the Royal Brighton Yacht Club as a fundraiser. Karina was won and subsequently launched and sailed by unknown owners. Eric Montgomery became an important builder of yachts and small craft in Victoria after World War II. The 5.5 metre long hull is planked in King Billy Pine on Tea Tree frames. This is an unusual choice of timber for the planking, many of the class were built in Huon Pine or other timbers heavier than King Billy Pine. It has a canvas covered plywood deck and a Spruce mast.
The Jubilee Class is a very important Australian one-design class, which remained active in 2008. The class began in the mid 1930s when Charlie Peel was asked to design a simple and inexpensive centreboard yacht for racing and recreational sailing to rebuild Melbourne’s small yacht fleet after a serious gale destroyed a large number of craft on Port Phillip. The class has remained popular in Victoria and Karina is a good example of Peel’s typical wooden construction for the class. Karina’s early history is unknown until Bill and Trish Wright found it in a paddock with ‘grass growing through the hull’ in 1958. They returned it to sailing condition and it raced out of Brighton. In 1973, Karina was sold by the Wrights who lost touch with the boat. In 1988, the Wrights were invited to a ‘burn the boat barbeque” to discover their old boat Karina was to be the barbeque. The Wrights spoiled the fun and rescued the sacrificial Karina and donated it to their newly married daughter and son-in-law. Karina was once again restored. The work began in Melbourne and was finished in Tasmania when the family moved there in 1994. The Shipwrights Point, School of Wooden Boat Building at Franklin, south of Hobart, assisted and displayed Karina as a ‘work in progress’ at the 1994,1996 and 1998 Wooden Boat Festivals in Hobart. She has appeared as a boat afloat ever since, and visited by those that helped restore her. Karina was relaunched for the third time on 1 January, 2001 and in 2008 remained the family’s summertime recreational yacht sailing out of Dover on the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. In 2016, the Crawford family became the latest custodians, sailing Karina out of Barnes Bay on Bruny Island. Most recently in 2018, the Spruce mast was restored. It would be a joy to see her featured in the next Wooden Boat Festival.