Battery Point ship builder, Jock Muir, designed the cutter Westward as a recreational fishing yacht but the order fell through.

Westward under construction at Battery Point

When George Gibson purchased the almost finished vessel, he and Muir removed her propeller to convert her to a racing yacht. In November 1947 Westward won the inaugural Maria Island Race. She followed this with handicap victories in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races of both 1947 and 1948 – creating a Tasmanian record that still stands. She also holds the record as the only vessel with a fishing well to win a Sydney-Hobart!


Crowds admire Westward in Constitution Dock, Hobart
after the 1948 Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race

After a long career cruising in the Pacific Westward’s Queensland owner, Stan Field, donated the historic yacht to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania.


At rest while cruising between Bali and Thursday Island
early 1970s.   Photo Ian Brett

Members of the Museum picked her up from the Mary River and sailed her down to Hobart in June 2010.

 

Another crowd greets Westward in Constitution Dock after her arrival from Queensland in 2010.
The average age of the crew was 'somewhere around 70'!

 

Back in her home state Westward is now being restored and maintained as a floating exhibit at her berth in Constitution Dock,
diagonally opposite the Museum. Photo Barry Champion