Australian square metre association

For Australian square metre yacht enthusiasts

Pastime II


Launch Date: 1953


Pastime II was Designed and built by Stanley McDonald.

The design was based on the Swedish 30 square metre rule of 1925 and modified with deeper sections to suit the short chop in Port Phillip Bay.

Built upside down in a factory at 52 Thompson Street Williamstown, her keel was laid in 1948 and she was launched 1953. 

She was planked with quarter sawn silver spruce, her keel in ironbark, ribs with blue gum and the deck was planked from the walls of the internals of the building during modifications and covered in tempered Masonite.

The 3-ton lead keel was poured in Stan’s front garden using 44 gallon drums and a couple of cast iron baths with a wood fire.

All fittings were manufactured by Stan, including the original winches. Half pennies were used as washers because they were cheaper than copper washers. Stan made the spars mast boom and spinnaker pole from spruce and Oregon.

Stan used a second hand industrial sewing machine to make his cotton sails and he hand stitched the boltrope.

The current owner Peter McDonald, who is also Stan's nephew, had this to say...


When she was ready to exit the building she was lifted onto a club cradle and rolled along on planks to the street, no lead keel fitted at this stage but she would have still weighed close to three ton.

Pastime was towed by my father in his Vanguard down Thompson street left into Nelson Place then round the round about at the bottom of Ferguson street through the gates of Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club, the lines in the bitumen from the steel wheels were still there 15 years later!

The lead keel was already placed on the cradle so the hull could be lowered on top of it and bolted through the floor timbers much more work was carried out with the antifoul paint applied and the mast stepped. Pastime11 was launched at HBYC in 1953.

Stan sailed Pastime for three seasons and unfortunately died in 1957 at the age of 42 due to asthma complications.

My father, Parer, Stans brother had the job of putting Pastime on the market for Stan’s wife and three young children.

Pastime was sold to a Mr Donald in Geelong.

Over the years Pastime has had approximately five owners I always kept track of her and always intended to bring her back home, in 1978 I had the opportunity to purchase Pastime from a Geelong member John Ryan, we negotiated a price of $7,000 John owned Pastime for a couple of seasons and was going over seas for a holiday.

We sailed Pastime back to Williamstown and slipped her and did some band aide maintenance put her back in the water and we sailed for a couple of seasons.

It was clear that she required a complete restoration the ribs were cracked and she would open up when healed the seams were only straining the seaweed out.

It was decided to take Pastime to our home in Park Crescent Williamstown. This was done with the help of Terry O’Hare who had access to prime movers, with his help we turned Pastimes steel cradle into a float with turn table and articulated rear wheels for manoeuvring, this was pulled by a prime mover, as far as I know pastime is the only yacht transported in this manner.

Pastime was positioned in our back yard and leveled and secured.

All the deck and cabin and interior was removed including all deck beams etc the hull was re lofted and supported, new ribs installed floor timbers and keel bolts replaced the planks were routed out and splined. The hull thickness was less than 16mm thick due to sanding over the years.

So I decided if Pastime was to last I would have to diagonally plank over the original planking then Dynel sheath. This has paid off and after 25years the hull is still perfectly sound. The cabin and cockpit was built the interior completed and the new plywood deck was covered in teak planking, in 1983 Pastime was  taken back to Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club where her new mast was installed and on Stanley McDonald's birthday, she was relaunched.


Pastime still sails in Hobson Bay and she provides the whole Macdonald family with good sailing experiences. She really is their favourite Pastime.


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