Peter Robyn - jeffmurray

Our adventures with Peter Robyn a 1950 wooden sloop

Newer posts are at the top.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

There is more on our adventures on Peter Robyn on other pages ordered by year.  Please use the menu at the top of the page to navigate these.

Before and After photos

History (from the Stebbings Archive)

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. 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 W-S’s brother Rodney Warington Smyth), and nowadays is based on the Tamar. Peter Robyn, by contrast, was built in Sydney, Australia in 1950, without the blessing of the designer, and currently sails from Kettering, Tasmania. 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. For some time based on the Helford river, and alongside his brother and father, Lieutenant-Commander Nigel Warington Smyth was involved with the operation of clandestine contacts with France, by sea. Among the activities of the Helford unit, 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. The surf-boats were also deployed further afield to support the work of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and its agents. The clinker-built, double-ended SN1 was 14-foot, and could be carried on a motor gun boat (MGB). The 25-foot SN2 was designed for HMS Minna and was very similar to the 25-foot SN6 surf boat. Many, perhaps all, of the SN surf-boats were built by Camper and Nicholson. Nigel Warington Smyth was made a Commander of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in March 1945, for “gallantry and great devotion to duty in hazardous operations” (London Gazette Issue 37002).

Restive was last seen in Vancouver having her mast stepped three and a half years ago by the owner Chris Van Der Schyf.  There is a good write up at the link including some photos which I have placed in the gallery.  I am doing some investigations to try and get in touch with the owner and will report back if I hear back from Chris.  He has another beautiful photo of his boat here:

Port Moody (sunset)  Captioned "Restive with sunrise over Port Moody BC"

From Peter Atkins (the previous owner's site) :

Peter Robyn was built in Sydney by McNalley who I understand had a furniture business.The quality of the builder's craftsmanship is quite evident. It is named after his two children, Peter and Robyn. After I purchased her in 1996, I saw no reason to change the name as after all, my name is Peter Ronald: that is fairly close. The launching took place in 1950. In 1949, an article appeared in Yachting Monthly that I believe provided the inspiration for her building.(see below) Hiscock, in his 2nd edition of the Cruising Under Sail, makes possible reference to this fact. When I was looking to buy a yacht, after searching for a year, I saw an advertisement for this one advertised as "sister-ship to Restive", featured in Cruising Under Sail by Eric Hiscock. I had long before decided that Hiscock's description of Restive fitted my expectations of what I would like in a cruising yacht. It goes into considerable detail and is worth reading.Peter Robyn is spotted gum framed with full length oregon planking.  A Yanma diesel 2QM20H pusher her along through a 3 bladed prop.  There are three berths (two in the saloon plus a quarter) and a Lavac head.  


Restive (more documents)

Black Cygnet

Other blogs on wooden boats

Folk boat Lorema - crossed the Atlantic!

The Yacht Vanity, her restoration and return to Hobart

Island Swift

Petronella's Voyages

Smythy's Boatshed, Sydney

Hurrica V