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.

Margarita C97

Boat Details

Sail Number:
Previous Names of Boat:
Boat Location:
Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Vic.
Current Custodian:
James Mighell
Year Built:
Designer & Builder:

Designed by Tim Phillips

Timbers Used:

Planking: King Billy Pine
Ribs: Celery Top
Decking: Queensland Beech


Custodian: Jeffrey Richardson; 1997 – 2015
Margarita was built in 1997 at the Wooden Boat Shop (WBS) in Sorrento, Victoria. She was commissioned by Jeffrey Richardson and was originally named C97. Her build mirrors Wagtail lines, with a maximum beam and minimum draft.

She was constructed by the WBS with Jeffrey and friends, including the late David Bishop, assisting. Their work included the clenching of all nails, fastening of planks, sanding, epoxy filling and painting of the entire boat. They manufactured the centre-plate and cast all the ballast from second-hand roofing lead in a foundry that was owned by the late Alan Luxmore. Vale David. Vale Alan.

She is planked with King Billy Pine, Celery Top ribs and has a Queensland Beech deck.

Jeffrey campaigned C97 in the Division 1 Couta Boat fleet in the Couta Boat fleet, initially at Sorrento Sailing Club, then Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. Race Records show her success in many races, including: Line Honours in the premier Portsea Cup in 1998 and 1999, and 1st Handicap in the CBA Victorian State Titles in 2008.

After 18 years of successful sailing, Jeffrey was looking for another challenge and decided to commission a new boat, so C97 was sold.

Custodian: James Mighell; 2015 – Present
James Mighell purchased C97 in 2015 and renamed her Margarita, Latin for ‘Pearl’, the name of James’ previous boat Pearl C12.

C97 had a proven race record, particularly in the late 1990s. After being purchased, work was undertaken on the centre-plate, the rigging, and new sails were acquired. Margarita continues to be regularly campaigned in Division 1 out of SSCBC and has remained competitive at the front of the fleet.

In 2017, Margarita was transported to Sydney to compete in the Australian National Couta Boat Championship, with an impressive performance of 3rd place on Handicap for the series. Her racing performance in the 2020 season was commendable. Podium places included: 2nd Line Honours in the Portsea Cup, 1st Line Honours in the South Channel Passage Race, and 1st Line Honours and 1st Handicap in the Australia Day 3 Piers Passage Race.

According to some observant competitors, Margarita’s true potential seems to be on show when she is steered by James’ son, Harry….

Race Record

1998: Line Honours (which race?)
1998: Portsea Cup (what position?)
1998: Mud Island Race (what position?)
1998: Queenscliff Regatta HT (what position?)
1998: 4 Port Phillip Regatta HT (what position?)
1998: 2 State Titles Twilight Race (what position?)
1998 – 1999: Line Honours (what race?)
1999: Twilight Race (what position?)
1999: Mud Island Race (what position?)
1999: Port Arlington to Geelong regatta (what position?)
1998: 1st Line Honours, Portsea Cup, Couta Boat Club, Portsea, Vic.
1999: 1st Line Honours, Portsea Cup, Couta Boat Club, Portsea, Vic.
2008: 1st Handicap Division 1, Couta Boat Association State Titles, Sorrento, Vic.

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