Sierra is a Halvorsen 36 sedan and was built at Lars Halvorsen’s operation at West Ryde on the Parramatta River, Sydney in 1954.
The original owner was a Mr. Hassell who was known to be a keen fisherman and used the boat primarily in Pittwater and surrounds.
In 1962 Sierra was purchased by Mr. Llewellyn Thomas who had moved to Sydney from Perth as a senior corporate executive with Australian Consolidated Industries (subsequently ACI Limited).
With his son Kim Thomas they used the boat in Pittwater, Lovett Bay, Cowan Creek, Broken Bay, Jerusalem Bay and Refuge Bay in and around the Hawkesbury River.
In January 1968 Mr. Thomas senior retired from ACI and moved back to Perth and Sierra was brought over on a ship, craned straight into the water at Fremantle and proceeded immediately to Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club where Mr. Thomas senior and Mr. Thomas junior were both members.
In the grip of a resources boom in WA at the time, a pen at Royal Freshwater Bay was unavailable and so subsequently she was moved to South of Perth Yacht Club where she stayed for many decades.
Despite not getting a pen Mr. Thomas senior and junior stayed members of Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and Kim Thomas is a member to this day.
The Thomases used the boat in around Perth and with Rottnest as a favored destination, with frequent stayovers in Thompson’s Bay, Narrowneck, Longreach and Parker Point.
One particularly memorable crossing to the Island was around Easter in 1968 just a few months after she had been brought to Perth and there was a violent storm with the loss of one yacht and a sailor at the time.
In 2010 Sierra was moved to Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, she was towed across as the Fiat engines were not functioning at the time and she underwent a major restoration under the ownership of Warwick Hemsley with his good friend Kevin Pilkington; new engines were installed, and she was given lots of attention.
Warwick and Kevin [SK1] primarily use Sierra on the Swan River with occasional trips to Mandurah, the Murray River, Garden Island, Carnac Island and Rottnest Island. She is a regular competitor in time trialing events on the Swan River and a frequent participant in Classic Boat Club events.
Sierra was originally powered by Chrysler Crown Marine motors being 6 cylinder and side valve. These were replaced in the early 1980s by two 100 horsepower Fiat diesel engines and they gave 30 years of service before being replaced in 2010 by two 110 horsepower Yamaha turbo diesels. These quiet and efficient units use as little as a few liters per hour each and can push her to 15 knots with her semi displacement hull.
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