Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

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Hawk
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Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Hawk » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:35 am

Hi All,

I have acquired a Jack Holt Vagabond that I have been restoring. The restoration is roughly being documented here:

http://www.woodworkforums.com/blog.php?u=27678

with questions being asked here:

http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=100708

Now my purpose for posting to this forum is not to generate more traffic on the above links (although there are several interesting threads regarding restoration of Australian designed dinghies...most of which would probably fall into the 'Old' category within the CVRDA). My purpose is to try and find out more information regarding the Vagabond design that I am currently restoring.

I have determined that the actual boat that I'm restoring was built in England and then transported to Australia, which sort of accounts for how such an uncommon class ended up in Australia. I have yet to find anyone else in Australia that has one. The Heron is a far more popular design here in Australia.

I've also found out that the design was produced for a French magazine, "Bateaux".

Would anyone have a copy of this magazine with the original article, or similar magazines from the same era that have write-ups on the design?

The other information I've gotten is from the database on this site, so the history of this design is fairly sparse.

Any further information anyone can provide would be much appreciated.

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Ancient Geek » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:10 am

Impressive record of a comprehensive job, well executed.
I remember the Vagabonds launching on the Putney Emankment outside Jack Holts office and workshop in about 1960-3 sorry cannot be more specific, it had the Heron style Gunter Rig in tan and the double chine hull of the Enterprise, but smaller, lots of features in the deck are Enterprise like, but the built in bouancy was an innovation for build your own boats of the time.
Like oh so many good boats at the time it sort of got swallowed up, sadly, by other classes that caught on. The trailer is of a type available from Holt a few years before, we had one, its chassis is now in the foundations of my sister conservatory! It lasted through two Enterprises and five Merlin Rockets. Perhaps it was the boat of one of the "Ten Pound Poms" who took it with him?
Simples.

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Hawk
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Hawk » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:51 am

Thanks for the prompt response Geek. I waited a little while to see if anyone else was going to chime in with some more info.

Since my first post, I have found out the the boat was built in 1972 and shipped to Australia with the personal possessions of the family that was immigrating. So it would not surprise me if it was the only boat of it's class in Australia.\

Are you telling me that the trailer is also the original trailer built in England?

It looked like it had been modified to carry a different sort of boat. There's a whole restoration job in the trailer itself.

Your observations about the details of the boat are correct. The added chine softens the hull when compared to the Heron, and also adds additional free board. One of the previous owners that I contacted said that it performed quite well single handed in breezes up to about 10 knots, but beyond that it was a handful...quite 'tippy'. As documented in my blog, the boat was in pieces when I acquired it, so I have yet to have any experience of how she sails.

Thanks again for your info.

Merlin3241
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Merlin3241 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:57 pm

Hi
I had the pleasure of sailing Vagabonds 701 and 702 in the early seventies. They were built off plan in about 1972 by a dockyard shipwright for our local scout group. I've fond memories of them. Whilst they look a bit like a small enterprise they're nothing alike to sail.
I've some info on them, just the write up in a couple of dinghy identifying books. I'll mail you the info I have when I get a minute.
Good luck with the retoration and enjoy the boat.

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Hawk
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Hawk » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:02 pm

Hi Merlin,

Thanks for that. I don't know if you looked at the restoration thread, but mt boat is No. 712, so I wonder whether it was made by the same dockyard. I suspected that my boat may have been professionally build, just by the way it had been put together. It has been well built, but it doesn't appear to have any of the personal touches that a private builder might put in a build. It's functional.

Frank Baldry
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Frank Baldry » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:37 pm

The Vagabond is listed in the 1972 Edition of the "Boat World Guide to Dinghies" .

"Commissioned by the magazine Yachting World magazine to fill the gap between the Heron and the GP14. She is neat in appearance with ample built-in buoyancy in the bottom, where it is most effective. Her canted side decks and seats make her comfortable to sail, and her sailing qualities are good, even with her designed load of two adults and two children, or even with a racing crew of two.
All in all she is one of the prettiest light small boats on the water and a great credit to her designer - Jack Holt"


Built by Avacraft in Maidenhead

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Hawk
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Hawk » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:08 am

Thanks for that info Frank.

That's interesting about the design being commissioned for Yachting World, as it conflists with the article reproduced in this newsletter that indicated that he designed it for "Bateaux". I've been refering to the design as the Heron's younger French cousin, :wink: when in fact it may not be.

Either way, whichever commissioned it, it appears that it may have been published in both magazines.

It's interesting that it's referred to as filling the gap between the Heron and GP14, as it's design specs are very similer to the Heron, just a little more evolved. Obviously not enough to quell the populatiry of the Heron.

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Ancient Geek » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:47 am

Perhaps one of the Yachting World editorial team who were in post at the time, (David Pelly and David Thomas.) spring to mind, could help? Or even the archives if more information sadly one of my wives threw my Yachting Worlds away so I can'toffer to look the Vagabonds Birth up, some Yacht Clubs keep annualy bound sets going back to when God was young.
Simples.

JimC
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by JimC » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:57 pm

Hawk wrote:as it's design specs are very similer to the Heron, just a little more evolved.
Its longer than the Heron though isn't it? At least my memory is that it was, but I could easily be wrong.

So that cunning so and so Becher Moore managed to ge one French and one UK magazine both to sponsor the same design? Smart bloke:-)

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Hawk
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Hawk » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:48 pm

The Vagabond is a little longer than the Heron, and also a little beamier. Taking the information from the Dinghy Database now at this site:

Code: Select all

                             Heron                                        Vagabond
Number of Crew               2                                            2
Trapeze                      N/A                                          N/A
Length                       3.43m                                        3.6m
Beam                         1.37m                                        1.45m
Sail area (main + jib)       6.5sq.m (7.61sq.m with genoa)                8.2sq.m
Spinnaker                    6.36sq.m symmetrical                         N/A
PY number                    1363                                         112 (YN2), 134(PN)
Designer & date              Jack Holt, 1951                              Jack Holt, 1958
Highest sail number 	      10020                                        ???
The vagabond has more sail, but doesn't have the option for a spinnaker.

Frank Baldry
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Frank Baldry » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:03 pm

"Vagabond" was the famous Thames A Rater owned by Beecher Moore so maybe that was where the name came from?

STEVEB
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by STEVEB » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:10 pm

Hi,
looks like a nice boat to build, any chance the plans survived?
Steve :?:
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Nessa
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Nessa » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:02 am

My book says commissioned by Yachting World to 'fill the gap between the Heron and GP14......Vagabond sails well but not particularly fast...' Listed with a PN of 134.

From: 'A Source Book of Dinghies', Tony Harrison, Ward Lock, 1978
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JimC
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by JimC » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:34 pm

STEVEB wrote:any chance the plans survived?
Holt (no longer Allen) are still an active company: I'd be quite suprised if they haven't.

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Jack Holt 'Vagabond'

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:21 pm

I'd not rely on Yachting worlds archives though.
Simples.

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