The Wooden Boat Association of NSW is pleased to announce the donation of 2 classic winches to the Mistral II Restoration Project in Hobart, Tasmania.

The provenance of the winches is not known. They were donated to the WBA by a member who wished to see them go to a ‘good project’. The winches measure 200mm in drum diameter and weigh in at 30kg each. With their bottom action mechanism and long bronze handles, the winches deserved an installation to match their size.

Mistral II certainly fits the bill for the donation. The 64ft schooner was built in Sydney in 1922 to a design by the legendary John Alden (US). The schooner is famous for being a participant in the first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1945, as well as a number of other Sydney to Hobart races and is currently one of only two competitors in that race to be afloat. The other is Wayfarer, owned and restored by WBA members, Peter and Gayle Smith.

Mistral II is an important piece of Australia’s maritime history, having competed in the first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1945.

She was donated to the Windeward Bound Foundation Ltd by the family of the late Ron Burton to be used as a training tool for young Australians.

Thanks to the support of the State Government of Tasmania and other donors,  Mistral II is currently being restored by an energetic group of young people who are learning skills and receiving training to help them enter the workforce.