Australian square metre association

For Australian square metre yacht enthusiasts

Caress III

She was built in 1952 at Lake Macquaire by the boat builder Les Steel.

Les Steel built three yachts called Caress the first was a 16ft skiff. The second was yacht that resembles a 22sqm yacht called Caress II and this yacht a 30sqm yacht design Caress III. She is 45ft long and was built to slightly modified design without a cabin and a bigger cockpit area.

Currently located in Lake Macquarie she is owned by a shipwright who has plans to restore her.

We were contacted by a crew member of the square metre yacht Caress III. His story he told us is well worth sharing and I think the photo is a story in itself when you look at it closely.

The day of the squall a number of yachts ran aground, (it wasn't only us) . 

We had a small radio and heard that a 50 knot southerly had hit Sydney and we reckoned that we had about 30 minutes before it hit us.

However caught unawares it hit almost immediately and with the spinnaker full Caress leaned over and having no decking she began to fill with water. 

We couldn't release the spinnaker as the sheets were jammed in the wooden jury cleats, so as she went down we all jumped off. I was floating in the water when a large cruiser ran me down, luckily I caught hold of the dinghy they were towing and pulled myself to the back of the cruiser to climb aboard for a nice therapeutic rum.

While not onboard, Les Steel owned and built Caress. His son was the only one on board who could not swim. He hung on to the tip of the mast until he was rescued by an old couple in a small runabout. 

Les who was(shaking his head) made the remark  "I made the bloody mast 2ft too long"

This is a photo of the lifting of Caress the morning after her sinking. I'm standing in the rear of the outboard while Barry steel is on the tug boat standing in a white shirt.

The first thing the divers did was to bring up our Esky and happily drink the beer. 

Gil Race...