Australian square metre association

For Australian square metre yacht enthusiasts


Launch Date: 1962



JOYOUS was built by Arthur Orlando Darnell, in the yard of his home in Como, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, with help from his friends, from plans dated 1958 by her designer, Knud H Reimers of Stockholm, Sweden. She was launched in 1962 at the Royal Perth Yacht Club from which she still sails with the original sail number R8. Arthur sailed her in at least two ocean races to Cape Naturaliste in the state’s south, and survived some very rough conditions, proving that the class is not suited only to calmer waters. She was sold, in 1992, to her second owner, Bill Robertson. Arthur Darnell had discovered that fiberglass hulls were much easier to maintain and purchased another 30 m2, Madam Flame – renamed Lady in Red.


Her length overall is 12.54 m and width is 2.16 m. The hull is Oregon (from the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains) above the water-line and jarrah below, with a painted dynel skin. The cabin sides, cockpit combing, king plank and deck edges are jarrah; and the deck is of planked Queensland beech. At some time, probably when the rig was changed to masthead (see below), the original rudder from the trailing edge of the keel was replaced with a spade rudder mounted further aft.


As early photographs show, she had wooden mast and spars, and a fractional rig (about 3/4). That mast was lost in a sailing mishap and replaced with a shorter, aluminium mast and masthead rig. Under her second owner, the steel ribs were replaced, and in the process, the internal lining of light timber was stripped out and not replaced. The beech and jarrah decking has been replaced to the original design. In about 2003, when there was need for a complete new set of sails, the mast-head rig was scrapped in favor of a fractional rig (about 7/8), mast height slightly taller than the original specifications, and a longer boom. As a result, she is now probably closer to 35 m2 than 30, and a bit like the proverbial axe.


Joyous still competes against the modern designs in Division A on Wednesdays, occasionally in Division 1 on Saturdays, and finishes in the back half of the fleet, looking as pretty as a picture.

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