Built by Stebbings in 1948, the 30′ 7″ sloop Restive was designed by Nigel Warington Smyth O.B.E. for use by himself and his family. The requirement was for a modern cruising yacht, large enough for three people but designed for easy handling by himself and his wife Barbara. The specification and cruising qualities of Restive were described in detail in earlier editions of Eric Hiscock’s Cruising Under Sail (1950) as the little big ship. The designer kept Restive for many years. Restive has a couple of sister ships. Black Cygnet was built in 1949 by the Falmouth Boat Construction Ltd (which was owned by Nigel Warington’s brother, Rodney Warington Smyth), and nowadays is based on the Tamar in the United Kingdom. Peter Robyn, by contrast, was built in Sydney, Australia in 1950, without the blessing of the designer, and currently sails from Hobart, Tasmania. Peter Robyn was recently featured in the National Historic Ships UK 2017 Calendar.
Once notified of our inclusion in this leading UK maritime publication we posted on our blog Peter Robyn makes Miss May! The UK National Historic Ships Register makes mention of the boat due to her lineage described above. The featured photo was taken at dawn in Sandy Bay and is a long exposure of the dew-covered deck, the surrounding moored boats and the delightful Derwent horizon at sunrise.
Restive has sailed all over the world and was last known to be in Vancouver, Canada, where her mast was restored. Nigel Warington Smyth served with the Royal Navy during World War Two. Nigel, along with his brother Nevil, designed surf-boats of various types that could land on French beaches to extricate and repatriate downed allied airmen.
In the words of the previous owner, Peter Robyn was built in Sydney by McNalley, who had a furniture business. The quality of the builder’s craftsmanship is quite evident. It is named after his two children, Peter and Robyn. The launching took place in 1950. In 1949, an article appeared in Yachting Monthly that I believe provided the inspiration for her building. Hiscock, in his 2nd edition of the Cruising Under Sail, makes possible reference to this fact. Peter Robyn is Spotted Gum framed with full length Oregon planking.
She was re-engined and restored (top side) in 2016 and has a Nanni 30hp diesel and a 3 bladed prop. There are three berths (two in the saloon plus a quarter). She is a delight to sail single handed and is often seen on day trips all over the Derwent Estuary and longer trips to the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.