My love affair with Ketchup - a Carberneer 46 by Barry Bladon

My love affair with Ketchup started in Melbourne when I bought her from Danny Lasky who was then in his late 60s and had decided to take up bowls. I have now owned her for 20 years, sailed her many thousands of miles, spent twice what I paid in refurbishing and renewing her … and don’t regret a cent. When I step onboard I still get that feeling of pride, knowing her pedigree and agility at sea.
In the late ’70s a Melbourne firm started building the Carberneer 46 as a sloop rig with a small doghouse which was the original Laurent Giles design. In 1978 brothers Danny & Michael Lasky, then on the top 200 wealthiest Australians list, decided they wanted to get back to the sailing that they enjoyed as boys. So what better way ... they liked the boat so much they bought the company, Carberneer Yachts Australia.
They then went back to Laurent Giles and had the Carberneer 46 design altered to a true raised deck saloon. The brief was to provide ease of sailing and operation from both the cockpit and in the main saloon. Designed in such way as to provide 360 degree visibility while seated in the lounge or at the internal wheel and navigation area. This had to be coupled to a ketch rig for ease of handling and the internal comfort to sleep a minimum of six up to nine people in three separate cabins.
Production of the new design commenced in 1979. All Carberneers were hand built to order, with the interiors very much dictated by the owner of the boat being built.
That is why some have two heads, others one, some sleep six, some nine, some have internal mast furling, others do not. Some have engine room access only through the main saloon floor, others through a door from the aft cabin and some even have a nav station in the aft cabin while others have it up near the internal wheel position. Some built to survey, others not.
Each Carberneer took about a year to construct. After a couple were built, the eldest brother Danny had his Carberneer Ketchup put into construction with its bold, very untraditional red sheerline stripe and she was launched in 1982. In 1984 the younger brother Michael launched his as Voyager. At the time they were the most expensive yachts being production built in Australia.

Ketchup - A Carberneer 46
In test sail reviews of Voyager in August 1985, and the year before on Ketchup, Vanessa Dudley wrote that Australia had seen nothing like them for comfort, degree of space and equipment … the bold concept of a raised deck saloon, with its all-around visibility which broke away from the traditional concept of going below decks into the dark, airless abyss of what yachts were all about over the decades.
As noted by Dudley, the Carberneer 46 was not built to a price, but built to last. Built with ease of handling in mind, hence the ketch rig. Built with massive fuel and water tanks for extended cruising, built to circumnavigate the world oceans in safety, without fear of your yacht breaking apart beneath you … and delivering in every way a high degree of luxury and comfort.
Ketchup - A Carberneer 46Equipped with all the very latest technology of the day, to be able to completely sail and control your yacht from the comfort of your lounge, out of the sun and the elements, was a totally new concept for Australia’s sailing community, where wind in your hair and salt water lashing your face was the norm.
Both Ketchup and Voyager, along with the brothers Lasky, became very well known up and down the east coast of Australia.
By the end of the ’80s, after 16 Carberneer 46s were built, production ceased. As, by then, the world had changed. We had entered the era of the Banana Republic, interest rates were as high as 20% and hand-building costs had put the Carberneer at over a A$1,000,000 per boat to deliver and Australia was in the midst of a severe recession, in Melbourne some described it as a depression.
Ketchup - A Carberneer 46All of those Carberneers built during the ’80s are still sailing today. Many have spent years circumnavigating the world. A few have been restored to their former glory, others wait for their time to come. Today the Carberneer 46, most over 25 years old, are becoming true classics.
Only now, well after the turn of the century have yacht designers started to appreciate the sailing advantages, and the marketing advantages to today’s sailors, of the raised deck saloon concept. Yet it is still mostly built only into yachts over 60ft costing many, many millions to build. While the raised deck saloon has been embraced by the mass yacht producers, few if any deliver on the concept as the Carberneer, which in retrospect was way ahead of its time.
Ketchup is a magnificent sea boat, sails superbly, is easily handled and driven. We have survived 70 knot winds and massive seas and she still pushes on. I am told today you could not build her for under $2 million; with her hand built quality, hand lay-up and strength, finish and fitment.

*Barry Bladon owner of Ketchup is establishing a register of Carberneer owners. You can contact him at P O Box 2050, Noosa Heads, Qld 4567.