"The big difference is that they had a lot of sail and a lot of lead - up to 5O pounds of lead and a mast up to nine feet tall. If you applied those measurements to a yacht she'd have a spar twice as high as her length and 2O tonnes of lead under her. "And we proved with those models that the optimum relationship of waterline length to beam was two and a half to one; thus we had 5O inch model yachts with 20 inch beam. That is of course overall length and the models had no overhang at all." Jock said a great many of the more successful yachts today remain in that ratio. "Over the years I've watched them come out in the beam whereas when I started building, a beamy boat was unheard of. They were narrow and deep and designers put the emphasis on going to windward. But they were out of their depth when it came to running them hard. Mind you, in those days, they used to run them hard anyway."
Muirs Have Always Gone To Sea
Jock Muir was born in Hobart and educated at what was known as the Modern School in Battery Point and later the Hobart High School. His family homes were in Queen Street, Sandy Bay and Colville Street, Battery Point. Almost from the time he could walk he gravitated to the waterfront and the busy slipyards. Jock said his father, Ernie, did not have a lot of time for the "sport" of sailing, but he loved the sea and worked as a seaman. Ernie worked on coastal sailers plying interstate runs for several years. In his late teens he was a deckhand on the three-masted schooner, Handa Isle, under the command of Captain "Jackie" Shimmins, known as a very hard but very skilled seaman from whom he gained the basics of navigation and seamanship. After a few Tasman Sea crossings he signed on for the South Australian timber and general cargo run. Those days of trading by sail from Hobart to the mainland were a demanding occupation and often ended in disaster. Ernie was on board the three masted barque Natal Queen when she was wrecked at Adventure Bay on Bruny Island in 1909 after the wind had come in hard from the east while she was loading timber.