1969 Ted Hood Little Harbor Custom 50 centreboard ketch.

Fibreglass moulding under Lloyd's supervision by Tyler Boats, UK.

Interior fit out by Frans Maas, Holland.

Rigged and launched by Hood Yacht Systems Marblehead, USA.

Launched early 1969, and originally owned by Mr Frederick E. ("Ted") Hood as "Robin". Later "Vivace", "No Way", "Bonnie Jai" and since 1980 "Concerto".

We became her proud owners in February, 2002 in 1770, Queensland and sailed her to her new home in Sydney at that time.

She was on the marina at The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport for the first seven or eight years but has most recently been on a mooring at Clareville, near our home, and is used most weekends and holidays as a wonderful family cruiser. We have taken her to Port Stephens twice and Sydney Harbour numerous times as well as spending many many weeks aboard throughout Pittwater and the Kuringai Chase National Park.

In late 2008 we took her north for 9 weeks to Lady Musgrave Island at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef to see the sea turtles nesting, then home via the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, and the beautiful NSW North Coast.

Daughter Jessi offshore off Port Stephens aged 4. February 2003.

"Concerto" Specifications

LOA 48. 11"
LWL 37. 6"
Beam 13. 1"
Draft 5. 3" board up
11. 6" board down
Displacement 42000 lbs (20 tonnes)
Ballast 12000 lbs (5.5 tonnes)

Selden Furlex headsail furler. Lazyjacks and separate boom cover on mainsail.
Hood Sails Melbourne 1989: Mainsail, No. 2 genoa, Mizzen.
Also older  .5 oz. Spinnaker, no. 3 genoa, mizzen staysail,
storm jib and trysail.

Yanmar 110hp 4 cyl. Turbo Diesel.fitted Nov. 2011
1.5 inch stainless shaft.
3 blade Maxprop feathering propellor.
Fuel capacity: 500 litres.

Water capacity: 1000 litres.

Keefe electric anchor winch with chain counter, 60kg Bruce anchor, 60 metres of 10mm chain.

Single spreader Hood mast with fore and aft lowers, baby stay and hydraulic backstay. Single spinnaker pole stored along front edge of mast thereby freeing up entire foredeck. Mizzen mast and boom have currently been removed but will be included with the boat.

8 x Bomar deck hatches + 6 opening chrome side ports into saloon.

4 self tailing cockpit winches . primaries are 3 speed Barient 32's.
1 cabin top mainsheet winch, plus cabin top centreboard cable winch.
2 self tailing halyard winches on mast plus 2 spinnaker halyard and 2 topping lift winches.
1 reefing winch on boom.

Fully plumbed gas barbecue mounted on pushpit.

Cockpit spray dodger and cuddy dodger over fwd hatch.
Bimini and linking sheet between bimini and dodger then side curtains down to lifelines to enclose and weatherproof cockpit.

Teak wheel with large helm compass plus two tactical coaming compasses.

High pressure salt water deckwash.

Forward v-berth double, dressing area aft of that.
Identical double bunk cabins port and starboard adjacent to mast, both lower bunks can open up to form doubles. Currently only starboard cabin has cushion made up to do so. Saloon has pilot berth to port as well as settee berth under that slides out to make a decent width bunk.
Total berths 2 doubles, plus 6 singles, but comfortably 3 cabins - all forward (ie excluding saloon) being either two doubles and a twin, or a double and two matching twins.

Large open saloon, table to starboard seats 8 comfortably. Engine is mounted in the centre and the engine box forms a two person centreline bench at the saloon table.

Open dutch tiled fireplace. We burn a synthetic coke product called Charcoke.

Galley aft to starboard with stainless steel benchtop, fridge, freezer and three burner stainless steel stove and oven. Twin centreline sinks, pressure hot and cold water plus manual cold water pump.

Head and separate shower aft to port. Fireplace chimney goes up through head to deck thereby warming this space and drying towels or wet weather gear.

Massive storage under cockpit accessible from port and starboard cockpit seat lockers. Access space between these ie under cockpit floor for fresh water pump, salt water deckwash pump, and access to steering gear.

Starboard aft end of cockpit has separate drained gas and outboard fuel locker. 2 x 4.5 kg gas bottles fitted. Similar locker to port accesses exhaust, autopilot hydraulic ram etc.

Magnavox MX400 GPS with Simrad cockpit repeater.
Black and white chartplotter in nav station.
Depth sounder (two transducers with mercury gravity switch) with Simrad cockpit repeater.
Icom VHF with masthead antenna.
Furuno 16 mile radar.
Wood Freeman electric / hydraulic autopilot (old but perfectly functional and quite amazing in action).
240 volt shorepower with two interior outlets, 240 volt hot water and Woods 30 Amp battery charger.
Start battery Aug. 2010 Lifeline 2700T 100ah 900CCA "Heavy Duty Cranking"
House batteries Sept. 2012. 2 x Lifeline GPL4DA 210ah maintenance free Absorbed Glass Mat batteries.

Fenders, dock lines, cockpit cushions, wheel and binnacle cover, all sheets, beautiful dutch teak removable swimming ladder for amidships, folding stainless steel swim ladder permanently mounted on transom. Custom stainless steel davits for a dinghy, also house radar scanner, and offer perfect "roof rack" setup for kayak, standup paddle board etc.

Ted Hood

An eye for sailmaking.

A prolific sailmaker, yacht designer, innovator, and champion sailor Frederick E. "Ted" Hood first became prominent as a sailmaker producing crosscut spinnakers for offshore racers and America's Cup 12-Meter yachts. Then, his mainsails and jibs became the standard. Of his sailmaking ability North Sails President Tom Whidden said, "No one had a better eye for sailmaking than Ted Hood, you could not teach a sailmaker to see what Hood saw". A champion sailor: Hood sailed in several America's Cup boats and won the Cup in 1974 as skipper on "Courageous".

He also won offshore championships, including SORC and Newport Bermuda Races. As a yacht designer Hood produced numerous race winning "Robin"s, the America's Cup yachts "Nefertiti" and "Independence", and 1,600 other designs.

Few know him as the innovator behind the development of the grooved headstay and dip-pole jibes.

Sailing World Magazine    
Hall of Fame April 2002

"Concerto" History

Ted Hood was approached in early 1968 by E. Llwyd Ecclestone, a property developer and very keen and experienced racing yachtsman, for the design and building of a new racing yacht to the then current CCA Rating Rule (see notes below). The resulting 50 footer was "Bikini", "Concerto"s sistership. At Ted's recommendation her hull and deck were built in the UK at Tyler's and a mould was made from which "Concerto" was hull no. 1, of a total of 4 for Ted's Little Harbour Boat Yard Corporation. There were several more boats from the moulds that were later finished by Tyler's but which are not in any sense true Little Harbors.

"Bikini" was launched as a sloop, "Concerto" and her three other sisters as "racing yawls", as the American's used to call them, although technically they were all ketches. Ted tells me that under the CCA rule there was no penalty for the extra sail area in the mizzen, and off-wind the extra horsepower from flying the mizzen and a huge mizzen staysail, was really useful on longer races.

As far as the centreboard, as you will see in the chapter reproduced below from the Cruising Club of America's "Offshore Yachts" book, Ted writes that these boats were designed for "off-shore racing and cruising, as well as for shallow water cruising, therefore she has a 5 foot draft and a centreboard. Three different models were tested at the Davison Institute to get a good all-round boat before hull lines were finalised".

Ted Hood sent me these two great photos of "Bikini". They are from the Southern Ocean Racing Conference (S.O.R.C.) in Florida in 1969. Both boats were brand new then, and Ted was racing his (our) boat, then known as "Robin", in Class A against "Bikini".

In the Miami - Nassau Race "Robin" was 12th, "Bikini" 2nd.
In the Nassau Cup Race "Robin" was 10th and "Bikini" 14th and in the Lipton Cup Race "Robin" was 11th and "Bikini" was 10th.

Ted sold "our" Robin shortly after that SORC series in 1969 and ordered another sistership from Tyler and Maas. Boat 2 sold before Ted could get his hands on her and he eventually finished up with hull no. 3 as his next "Robin". So in effect our boat like all of Ted's many "Robin"s was largely built as a demonstrator for him and his "Little Harbor Boat Yard Corporation".

The next owner, a New York advertising executive and close friend of Ted Hood's by the name of Ed Ricotta re-named her "Vivace" and contested the 1969 and 1971 Marblehead-Halifax Races. She came in 8th in class A in 1969 (against that third sistership, James Wickersham's "Gannet's" 9th), and 17th in Class B in 1971 against two sisterships: "Adele" was 3rd (ex Ted's other "Robin" ie hull no. 4), and "Gannet" was 14th. After only three summers with the boat Ed retired both from business and sailing and she was passed on again into new hands.

This time to a Mr Ronald L. Donley who renamed her "No Way" because as he tells it there was no way he could afford either the boat or to go ocean racing. There was no way he should have bought her in the first place and no way he should have been spending so much on her, so his wife told him to call her "No Way". Ron did in fact do a great deal of ocean racing during his 7 years of ownership, including two Newport-Bermuda Races, two Annapolis-Newport Races, two Block Island Race Weeks, and the 1976 Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC) in Florida.

Ron then sold her to a gentleman called Ralph Mueller in Minnesota and he re-named "Bonnie Jai". I have been unable to find out much about Ralph except that her next owner assures me that right through till the point he purchased her from Ralph she had always had a full-time captain aboard her and was always immaculate in every way with all exterior teak gloss varnished.

In 1980 a young Texan by the name of Bil Colthurst spied the boat for sale in Salem, Massachusetts and fell instantly in love with her. He was planning a singlehanded circumnavigation and wanted "the biggest boat I could comfortably sail on my own". He had calculated what he believed was the maximum size of yacht that he could hoist, drop, flake and stow the no. 1 genoa on, and had been looking for either a Sparkman and Stephens design or a Swan but was utterly captivated with "Bonnie Jai" and immediately purchased her instead. Bil then undertook a thorough re-fit before spending a summer offering "Concerto", as he had then re-named her, for skippered charter throughout the 1980 America's Cup in Newport Rhode Island. He then spent a couple of years chartering her out of Grenada in the Carribean before starting his solo cruising through Central America, Panama, The Galapagos Islands and on toTahiti. There he met Yuko, a Japanese university student celebrating her graduation with a brief holiday before returning to start her career in Tokyo. She instead sailed to Australia with Bil  arriving in Bundaberg on Christmas Day in 1984.

They cruised south to Tasmania, buying land and settling ashore there for a while before setting off around the top of Australia to Fremantle and again chartering during the 1987 America's Cup there. Returning to Tasmania and thereby completing their circumnavigation of Australia, they decided to sell "Concerto", to start a family, and to spend time with Yuko's family in Japan.

Bil and Yuko were fastidious with their care and maintenance of the boat and kept her full varnish up throughout their ownership. It seems Bil still has a real soft spot for his old boat and he and I keep in touch. In fact he keeps a couple of pages on his family website devoted to "Concerto" and has uploaded around 50 photographs from their travels together throughout the Pacific.


She was next purchased by a Melbourne yachtsman John McQuay who employed a skipper to keep her in the same immaculate condition. He replaced her working sails through Hood's Melbourne loft and had planned on racing "Concerto" in the longer distance passage events on the East Coast such as the Sydney-Suva, and Sydney-Noumea Races, but finding it difficult for his friends to take the required time off to join him he placed her on the market again within a short time.

Experienced Melbourne couple Don and Rosie Pedder were her next owners and they along with their daughter Adele sailed her north to Queensland and lived aboard her for the next 11 years. They decided to move ashore in 2002 and it became our turn to take over custodianship of this fabulous yacht.

I can clearly recall my first sight of one of Bil Colthurst's or perhaps John McQuay's ads for the boat in Trade-A-Boat magazine 12 or 13 years earlier and when Don began advertising her again in 2001 in the magazine she immediately caught my eye all over again. My wife and I flew to Queensland to see her up the tiny creek in 1770 and we too fell under her spell and took possession of her in Bundaberg on Valentine's Day in 2002.

Coincidentally "Concerto"s youngest sister, the dark blue hulled no. 4 boat from the moulds, "Cornelia Maria" was cruised to Australia by her retired American owners before also being sold here in 2003, and she now lives in Brisbane.

"Concerto" Design

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) Rule:
"By 1969 ocean racing had worked itself up to a fever pitch in the United States as hundreds of new sportsmen entered the fray, mostly in the new glass boats being turned out by a score of boat companies across the United States.
(The 1969 S.O.R.C.) series marked a turning point in American ocean racing.First there was a quantum jump in the number of entries. In the Miami-Nassau Race, the most popular event on the calendar, 100 boats participated.

The year 1970 marked the last time the S.O.R.C. was sailed under the C.C.A. rule, a fact that Florida yachtsmen especially, and others from all over the US have been mourning ever since".

From: Ocean Racing Around the World" Geoffrey Hammond

"On the one hand were the Americans with their Cruising Club of America or CCA rating, while on the other were the Europeans with the Royal Ocean Racing Club or RORC system. The American formula did favour broad, heavy hulls and the mainsail carried relatively little weighting and was therefore large, while the opposite could be said of the British system...

The International Offshore Rule or IOR became official on the 1st of January, 1970 and was to govern ocean racing throughout the world from that date onwards... It is a complex formula that includes parts of both the RORC and the CCA systems."

"Carina. was fitted with a centerboard, a single blade for sailing to windward, stability being guaranteed by her beam and the fact that no less than 45% of her displacement was accounted for by ballast. She would appear to be a boat designed for following winds but won the 1955 edition of the Fastnet in testing conditions to windward. The fact is that ballast that is not set too low makes for a sweeter yacht when breasting waves and pitching and a well designed centerboard can have a greater effect than a long keel integrated with the hull. The result is a yacht that is faster to leeward and beats better".

The following pages are taken from a hardcover book called "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts" published by The TechnicalCommittee of the Cruising Club of America in 1987.

"Concerto" Recent maintenance history.

Previous to our ownership

"Rig removed, re-painted and re-rigged February 95
Osmosis was treated once roughly 30 years ago and again roughly 20 years ago and we are still getting the occasional blister but with the hull being as thick as it is I have never considered them any cause for concern".


Bought in 1770 Queensland - Feb 2002

Arrived Pittwater Easter 2002

LP Gas sniffer and solenoid fitted, and complete gas system check 10/02. Gas barbecue plumbed and fitted.

5 new seacocks for: engine inlet, toilet in & out, sinks x 3 to one outlet, 2 cockpit drains, removed rudder and replaced bearing, also prop shaft bearing, 1" gaslocker drain fitted,

Removed forward head and shower,


Removed all cockpit winches for full o'haul , service and re-chrome

7/03 Removed, reconditioned and replaced centreboard, black hard racing antifoul and new s/s/ cable.

8/03 Removed mizzen (and radar scanner)

Drained and scrubbed all three fuel tanks. Forward tank no longer in use .refilled port and starboard tanks. total 272 litres. Currently we only use the starboard tank ie 136 litres.

11/03 Steering compass removed, serviced (bubble repaired), adjusted for southern hemisphere etc


4/04 Replaced Main and Genoa halyard winches on mast with self tailers.

Replaced all 48 bolts on Port and Starboard cap shrouds, fore and aft lowers (involved complete removal and re-fitting of port and starboard twin cabin bunks). Strengthened and glassed up under supervision of surveyor Doug Brooker. Major undertaking but should be good for another 35 years now.

Cockpit instruments: purchased Simrad GPS repeater.

Replaced both "plumber's block" bearings on intermediate section of propshaft.

Serviced autopilot hydraulics: new pressure gauge, overhauled ram, pressure test etc

Replaced depth sounder with Cruzpro printed circuit board to convert 120kHz signal from two existing transducers to NMEA and added 2nd Simrad Multi display head in cockpit

Removed much old and unnecessary wiring and plumbing


Put full overhaul kit into fresh water pump

Rebuilt companionway garage - incl. new laid teak decking


Built new battery boxes and re-secured to bilge.

Had all battery cables checked and refitted by electrician.

Installed Xantrex Battery Monitor for house bank.

Changed centreboard cable arrangement to be 2:1 again but with purchase accessible and above cabin top.

Re-sealed and re-secured all staunchions, as well as handrail on starboard cabin top thereby stopping the one persistent deck leak we had been chasing.

Removed and replaced aft section of prop shaft. Replaced skeg bearing. Re-packed stern gland. Old shaft had been shimmed to accept Maxprop, new shaft machined correctly. 


Replaced spray dodger. Also bimini, linking sheet and side curtains.

Replaced pram dodger over forward hatch.

Replaced all lifeline wires and mid-ships boarding gates.

Strengthened and re-fitted davits, as well as having mount welded on port davit for radar scanner.

Re-fitted radar scanner.


Mast removed, all rigging stripped and completely refurbished. All new standing rigging, and spectra halyards.

A removable second forestay was also fitted just aft of the main forestay onto which a new working jib was hanked for any windward work on our Queensland trip while the larger headsail on the furler was used more as a reacher offshore. For inshore sailing we remove the second forestay and simply use the larger headsail. 

At the same time the bow roller was removed for re-welding and strengthening as well as replacement of all mounting bolts.

Centreboard removed, faired, epoxied and treated with Coppercoat epoxy antifouling. In theory this will last ten years and will only require occasional scrubbing whilst in the water.

New Jabsco toilet fitted, as well we have bought a small Porta Potti.

New 406 EPIRB.



New GPS antenna.

Replaced start battery Lifeline 2700T 100ah 900CCA "Heavy Duty Cranking"


Brand new Yanmar 110hp 4 cyl. Turbo Diesel fitted Nov 2011, including new 180 Amp. Electromaax alternator fitted by Yanmar with suitable serpentine belt etc. Replaced large battery cables through to battery switch. Incl. new forward section of prop shaft.

Replaced fresh water pump and pressure diaphragm. Jabsco quad 16 litres per minute. 


Replaced boom cover. 

Replaced house batteries. 2 x 210 Amp Lifeline GPL4DA AGM's.


Category 7 inspection. Two new 10BA fire extinguishers.

All sails professionally Vacuwashed and Teflon coated with Sailkote.


Fitted removable 90W flexible solar panel to top of spray dodger to top up the house battery bank back on the mooring after each time we are on board. 


March - antifoul, new prop anode, and topsides polished.

May - replaced faulty solar panel with new 100W one.

As our children grow older and their range of other sports and interests grows as well we plan to look for something a little smaller for pottering and day sailing around our beloved Pittwater and have regretfully decided to put our "Concerto" up for sale. 

Our asking price has been reduced to $125,000 and for any further information or to arrange an inspection in Sydney please contact Tim Stranack at MDBS Broken Bay on 0418 619 700.

Alternatively contact owner John Lamble on
0408 970 087 or email jlamble@bluewaterprod.com.au











Starboard side of saloon

Forward cocktail cabinet

Head from hatch above


Port side of saloon / chart table


Engine box in centre of saloon (note old Volvo engine).

Starboard saloon looking forward - starboard cabin made up as double

Starboard cabin made up as twin bunks


Interior from companionway

V berth double in bow



Cockpit - note centreboard winch on starboard cabin top. Note original mainsheet position to port.

Starboard cockpit winches - genoa sheet and genoa furling line. Note mainsheet currently leads to matching aft winch on port coaming.