The profiles listed in this Register have been documented from the stories and photos contributed by custodians and others who willingly shared information. Readers who have additional information about the history of any Couta Boat are invited to forward it to so that it can be added to the Register.

Gemfish C266

Boat Details

Sail Number:
Boat Location:
Sorrento and Rosebud, Victoria
Current Custodian:
Phil Edwards
Year Built:
Designer & Builder:

Phil Edwards and John Savage

Tim Helliwell and Tim Phillips, Wooden Boat Shop, Sorrento, Vic.

Timbers Used:

Hull and Deck: Huon Pine
Spars: Sitka Spruce
Ballast: 1,716.4kg

Length: 26 ft. 7 ½ in.
Beam: 9 ft. 3 in.
Draft: 2 ft. 11 in.


Custodian: Phil Edwards; 2001 – Present
Gemfish was commissioned by Phil Edwards to a design by John Savage as a medium wind-strength Couta Boat, inspired by the hull lines of Surprise C14 and C97.

Built by Tim Helliwell under the guidance of Tim Phillips at the Wooden Boat Shop, Sorrento, spars of Sitka Spruce and the rudder were constructed by David Golding.

Notably in design, Gemfish displays reduced wetted surface and is quick in wind strength below 16 knots.

Early sailing trials found a difficult sailing balance. This issue was subsequently addressed by shortening and reducing the area and wetted surface of the centre-board and shifting it aft to the original design position.

Although not heavily campaigned over her early years, Gemfish has performed well in a number of events in the Division 1 fleet at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC), particularly when helmed by Nigel Abbott, former custodian of Whisper and Romy.

Gemfish has received podium results in SSCBC and other races on Port Phillip including: 3rd Handicap in the 2005 Portsea Cup, and 3rd Line Honours and 2nd Handicap in the 2015 Winter Series.

Gemfish gained Line Honours to secure the Couta Boat Association (CBA) win of the Guineas Cup in the 2013 three race non-handicap event, held the evening prior to The Cup regatta run by the Classic Yacht Association of Australia (CYAA), hosted by Royal Yacht Club of Victoria on Hobson’s Bay, Melbourne. The format was based on two Classic (CYAA) boats racing two (CBA) Couta Boats over three windward/leeward races.

Race Record

2005: 3rd Handicap, Portsea Cup, Couta Boat Association, Portsea, Vic.
2015: 3rd Line Honours, Winter Series, Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Vic.
2015: 2nd Handicap, Winter Series, Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Vic.
2013: Line Honours, Guineas Cup, Classic Yacht Association of Australia, Royal Victorian Yacht Club, Hobsons Bay, Vic.

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