The Idle Along Class

The Idle Along was designed by Alf Harvey, who attempted to achieve a hull shape based on his observations and measurements of a dolphin’s underbelly that would cope with Wellington’s windy conditions. He completed his first design in 1930 and the boat became one of the premier yachting classes in New Zealand until the mid-1960s. The national trophy for the class is the Moffat Cup. Keenly-contested regional selection trials produced the top provincial crews and they were often fare welled by large crowds on their departure for the cup venue. It has been won and lost by some of the great names in New Zealand yachting history, the most notable being Peter Mander who went on to win the country’s first Olympic sailing gold in 1956.

The Moffat Cup was last competed for in 1969 at New Plymouth and won by Taranaki. It is currently displayed at the Heretaunga Yacht Club on behalf of the Cups owner, The Wellington Yachting Association.
In the mid-60s a lot of new small boats were designed, which were faster and more easily built than the wooden Idle Along, so few have been built since then. Surviving boats are at least 40 years old, and some owners probably twice that. There was an Idle-Along revival in the 1990s – focussed on the “IA World Champs” at Birkenhead Wharf in 1990 which saw about 25 boats sailing – both restored and newly built boats. These championships continued for some years as a two day event in late summer then were combined with the Auckland Anniversary Regatta each January – still sailing from Birkenhead.

There are a lot of disused Idle Alongs stored in sheds, garages and under trees in the backyards around Auckland. The Idle-Along Association of NZ is keen for these owners to get back on the water.

If you cannot sail yourself, and are thinking of perhaps selling or lending your boat to sailors who wish to compete please get in touch with Jim and/or Keith. For further information see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idle-along
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