John Spencer's designs

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Milan, May 20, 2005.

  1. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

  2. Ben Dodwell
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Sydney

    Ben Dodwell New Member

    I've just picked up this thread which I note is very old. My Grandfather owned Buccaneer and sailed on here when it was delivered to Long Island from Sydney in the mid-1980's.
    I would be very keen to locate her if anyone has any leads...
  3. Adam Lambert
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Location: Melbourne

    Adam Lambert New Member

    Greetings all, I came across this thread and grateful that I did too. Perhaps this could be the place to have a few questions answered.
    I am from the east coast ( Melbourne) and have been looking at boats online, as one does when at work, and found the following yacht in West Australia.
    The broker offered little in the way of information about Her as when I rang she was out of her office without the file.
    From reading a lot of what is written above I feel that I am in the right place to ask a few questions about this design, there is little I can find online, nor even pictures of other boats of the same design.
    My concerns initially regarded the integrity of the ply, ( there seems to be a little movement in the backstay tang at the deck) however reading on this forum perhaps there are other areas to look over at a survey if things get this far.
    Does anyone know the boat and perhaps some history on her?
    Many thanks for your assistance.
  4. Bruce Woods
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    Location: perth

    Bruce Woods Senior Member

  5. Adam Lambert
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Location: Melbourne

    Adam Lambert New Member

    Many thanks Bruce.
  6. Martin B.
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Mandurah, Western Australia

    Martin B. Junior Member

    Hello Adam, YES I know Seeker from "way back". In about 1972(?) I sailed in a Fremantle to Geraldton race on an S & S 34. During the lay-over week awaiting the Return Race, several yachts sailed out to the Abrolhos Islands, I went out on Starfire of Perth but made the return leg to Geraldton on Seeker. She was owned at the time by Neil Kane from South of Perth Yacht Club. I always remembered the half round aft end of the cockpit - had never seen this before ( or since) and the wheel steering.
    As for performance she was "well built" and thus heavier than the mighty John Spencer's earlier designs and certainly heavier built than the Scimitar 35 "Matthew Flinders" I purchased only a couple of years later - see the several post and pictures on this thread above on my ongoing modifications to her with resulting huge improvement in on-wind performance.

    Re 'Seeker' she was not that fast for a 40footer but then again, my 35' was initially hopeless to windward; before the one sail on Seeker, I had several offshore races on 'Outlaw', a Spencer Serendepity 28 which, likewise, had poor windward performance - subsequently the fabricated steel keel was found to be curved on one side only and dead flat on the other !

    I do not recall ever seeing Seeker out of the water so can not comment on her keel shape or construction.

    Hey CT249 - the long missing Spencer 40 rises again !

    If you have any further queries feel free to email me , I live only 20km from Wannanup .
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  7. Stephen Madigan
    Joined: Jun 2018
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    Location: Adelaide

    Stephen Madigan New Member

    Hello. I've read this thread about John Spencer's designs with interest, as I purchased a 1978 Spencer 30 in November 2017. She's a lovely design and a treat to sail. Named 'Moncoeur' I wonder whether anyone has heard of her before as I'd love to know more about her history? The previous owner told me she'd sailed the Melbourne to Davenport a few times. I've got her now at Garden Island, South Australia. I've attached a few photos and the specs from (no affiliation)
    SPENCER 30 sailboat specifications and details on
    moncoeur 3.jpg Moncoeur 2.JPG IMG_0956.JPG IMG_0952.JPG
  8. Robert Stephen
    Joined: Jul 2019
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    Location: San Luis Obispo, ca

    Robert Stephen New Member

    Need some input on John Spencer boats. Just recently purchased “Kiaora” out of Ventura. It is listed as 55’ in the ad but known as a John Spencer Custom 52 and the survey report says it is 48’9”. So I am not sure what to say the length is. It is hard chined and everyone I talk to about it that sees it says it will be fast.
    The outside skin is Kauri wood epoxied over what looks like marine plywood. Does anyone have any info or suggestions on where to look for info?
  9. M Spencer
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Australia

    M Spencer Junior Member

    l. Named 'Moncoeur' I wonder whether anyone has heard of her before as I'd love to know more about her history?

    Sister Boat = [​IMG]No longer for sale: 1982 J/30 Hull #387 "HeyJude "

    Built around 74 , the recession from Arab Isreali wars / Petrol Shortages , E U so Britain dropped N Z in it regarding Agricultural Establishment . Apparently the Govt. Now thinks Farmers are retarded . SHUT THE GATE , Ya B#!t@&d.

    Right ,

    If the recollections arnt off , one of the pair ( Hey Jude ) was built for a South African . To be retyained in NZ for a year or two , and was based at Maraitai , When Kevin Hart ( Devonport Naval Dockyard Appretice , from Okura )
    and myself had a few days in the inner gulf with with the Pater , in her .

    Yours I assume ran a few seasons racing in and about the Gulf . And perhaps further afield . There were mutterings of the establishments framing of Sir James Henry , of the Cook Islands . ( along with John Kirk -
    a $ 600 US second hand firebird was stated by the bimbos . . Er ... Media , in N Z . .. As a $ 60.000 Car . And Wheierdy getthe money . He was obviously a crook , charges were proceeding . Never turn your back . . . )
    RIGHT ,
    Im prtesuming the Elbow Bending with the Afforesed was on one of your Yachts expiditions to those parts . A few races to / from / around those parts . In the Mid 70s . Away from the gloom hysteria and mechanations
    plots against Norman Kirk for dareing to stand up to the democratically declared " Neuclear Free Pacific " and his ( and others ) subsequent ' elimination ' . Resulting in the election of a despot generally refered to as ' the Gang of One'
    by his cringeing and obsequeous colleagues . And admired by ' the contralliy named ' Red Squad ' and other fachists , no doubt .

    This was when BEER was still below $ 10 a crate . Whick was twelve Quarts . Beer being a good below decks Naval Tradition .
    Even if they did poison it subsequetly at the Battle of Traflgar . A sound ecconomic measure , as a third of the Seaman no longer required outstanding wages .

    Subsequently Id presume that one 30 went to South Africa , tho the political situation there and the infiltration of S. A. ' operatives ' into New Zealand ,
    the subsequentimediate history is purely assumption , Peter Tait or Geoff Stagg , who Father enjoyed a close association and neighbourly residance at that time .
    Bit of Infdo There . Silphe – 26ft John Spencer?

    The " 30 " presumeably is the WATERLINE measurement . Perhaps pertaining to the ' Half Ton ' rateing regultions ?
    J.A.S. Had retained the materials / Timber , bought before the inflation and shortages , and piggy mouldoons ( Oft refered to as More Doom )
    ' Luxury Tax ' killed the domestic kiwi sail boat industry . Not to mention the motorcycle traders and inebiate poms bankrupting the construction unions .

    The plywood was still at his okaito at his ' not mysterious in the least ' demise . after all , we cant have yough upstarts holding the despots to account .
    And whos to know who is ' calling ' at such a remote location in the middle of the night extorting signatures on falsified documents ,
    why bursting a blood vestle in the brain would be perfectly natural , in the circumstances . A good nautical tradition even. As is telling them to F off .
    Pity they left pariphiallia in their fleeing . Incidently his ancestry pedeceeded post roman poms , in those parts .

    o.k. so one of two sheets off the best 3/4 marine ply was last seen as a botom in a pram dingy , of someone he said " Appears quite keen. But I'm Not To Sure " .

    Indeed .

    Pity I could nae find Yr Email here . But W T F , why hide your lamp under a bush .
    The Carburated Triumph Twins evolved from a quick sketch, and multitudinous Rhetoric delivered to Mr Bloor has had some influance on the marquees subsequent reestablishment.
    John Spencer was well respected by Len Perry , the Coleman Brothers and Bill White .
    Len had built the 50 or 51 quater midget hydroplane N Z chapion engine , ( and retained it still in 1981 ) and the Burns and Wright World Speed Record VINCENT / H.R.D. 1000.
    Personally having crucial componentry built by the various English Companies equipment hand built by their senior specialists , returning with these in his personal suitcase
    Post I.o.M. / Great Britain expititions . America was also intinary .
    Maurice Lowe's T 100 R , perhaps the most highly developed T 100 Race engine , had componenty & specifications originateing there .Briefly raced in the 81 season in a custom period tecnology chassis
    The T 100 some regard as the Ultimate triumph .
    So perhaps fitting that the advice came from that source .

    You can try Geoff Stagg, as the closed source to the horses mouth at that period , his recolection of the mechanations would be likely unbettered .

    He was much engrosed in the mathematics of the ratings , his pantograph had done all the N Z education boards projected sites finished levels,
    post his R N Z A F National Service , running the Whenuapai Yacht Squadron . Which involved building the boats , with Seafire 15 aluminum conduit Tillers !

    So Any student in N Z is likely to have walked / stood , on His Levels . if not all have met them .
  10. Boatguy30
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    Location: St Augustine, FL

    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    I have recently purchased the 1985 Spencer 35 named Sagitta that was built I believe by Simon Willis in KeriKeri. I’m told the original hull design was 1959 and the prototype for Infidel. Simon did quite a bit of offshore racing with this boat including the 50th anniversary Sydney-Hobart.

    Any info and recollections appreciated.

  11. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    I assume you've contacted Willis Sails?

    Is the boat in Florida? I've never seen the boat but had a chat or two with Simon about it eons ago, since we both have updated Spencers. She is a pretty fabulous little machine. I've got a sketch plan for the Scimitar, photocopied from an article in the Amateur Yacht Research Society in the mid '60s. I think all their mags of that vintage are on their site, so check it out.

    The original Scimitars, like most Spencers, were not good upwind. Interviews with John indicate that while he became famous for fast boats, his real interest was in getting people afloat in cheap boats. With rig and foil modifications, the Spencers go very well, as Sagitta shows. I assume you've read the info from former Scimitar owner Martin on earlier pages of this thread?

    Also if you're a Spencer fan, check this out; a documentary of a race on Staggy's Spencer 45 Whispers II.
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