What is the UYA ?
The Ultimate Yacht Association is a well organised, friendly Association that aims to promote and support owners of Ultimate trailable yachts.
The Ultimate Yacht Association was formed in 1974, and is based in Melbourne with a current membership of over 80 boats. Regular meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Albert Park headquarters of Sailing Victoria, and all members are encouraged to attend.
Ultimates Take Shape ...
In the early 1970's, when retractable keel yacht design was in its infancy, Gerry Fletcher, a designer with 33 years experience, designed and built a small wooden family yacht to specific criteria:
"A safe, seaworthy boat, roomy enough for comfortable overnight stops and with the potential for class racing"
The hot moulded ply hull produced by his company Mouldcraft Yachts, was then used as the plug for a fibreglass mould for the first Ultimate 18. Peter Green was engaged as the sailmaker. In order to market the fibreglass yacht, the company changed its name to Ultimate Yachts Pty Ltd.
More Varieties ...
After the first Ultimate was built and sold, the business was bought by John and Harry Twikler, with a complete set of patterns for hull and deck, and patterns for interior plywood furniture. In 1977 Harry asked Gerry to design the Ultimate 16 and a swing-keel Ultimate 18. Around the same time, Harry Twikler designed the Ultimate 23. During the late 1970's and early 1980's, Ultimate Yachts were kept busy producing all four classes of Ultimate boats.
New Builders ...
After Harry Twikler sold the business, various boatbuilders continued to build Ultimate 18 & 23's, until in the 1990's John & Betty Erickson of Churchill Fibreglass and Marine secured all three moulds and are the current boatbuilders. To date, 66 Ultimate 18 drop keels, and 60 Ultimate 18 swing-keels, 53 Ultimate 16's and 41 Ultimate 32's - a total of 220 Ultimates - were build and recorded in the yacht register (sail number 13 was not allocated in any class).