Akarana is a racing yacht designed and built by Robert Logan in New Zealand in 1888. It has close connections to Australian yacht racing and recreational sailing from 1888 until the 1960s and is representative of the close ties between Australian and New Zealand yachting. Akarana shows Logan’s unique method of triple-skinned yacht construction. It is the oldest vessel in the National Maritime Collection at the Australian National Maritime Museum and one of the oldest racing yachts in Australia.
Akarana, the Maori word for Auckland was shipped to Melbourne for the November Centennial International Regatta. Logan’s intention was to use the yacht to demonstrate his expertise as a designer and builder and attract orders for yachts for export to Australia. In light conditions Akarana convincingly won two races but was beaten in two others. Logan then brought Akarana to Sydney to compete in the Anniversary Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour on January 26, 1889. It won the second class yacht race with first prize ₤20 and three cases of Moet and Chandon champagne.
Logan did not receive any orders for yachts from Australia, but a decade later his sons Logan Bros were able to capitalise on their own success and exported a small number of yachts.
Akarana was sold and the passed through a succession of owners. It was raced and cruised in and around Sydney for decades, undergoing many changes during this time.
In 1987, after extensive restoration in New Zealand by Salthouse Boatbuilders at Greenhithe, Auckland, Akarana was presented to the ANMM as a bicentennial gift from the New Zealand Government and people in 1988.
In 1997/98 further work was undertaken by the museum to revise a number of details that subsequent research had shown were incorrect. AKARANA was relaunched later in 1998 and has proven to be an excellent performing yacht in a wide range of conditions, showing how well a gaff rigged yacht can sail.