FROM THE PAST ... 1977 to 1987 ...The years at Adams Yacht Design

After a stint sailing on the original "HELSAL" - including the 1973 record breaking Sydney / Hobart race - Graham Radford started working with Joe Adams in 1974. Graham basically served an apprenticeship before he became a partner in Adams Yacht Design (A.Y.D.) in 1977 and stayed there until 1987. Here are some of the yachts designed at Adams Yacht Design during those years.

It was a very interesting and productive time at A.Y.D. - which has not been matched since - with many well known one-off and production yachts completed and a string of line honours wins in most of the offshore races on the East Coast.

Other designs completed but not shown in the following pages include the A28, Traditional / A36, A8M, A13M, A&R 10.6M, A&R12.5M, A98 Charter yacht, A54 steel cruising yacht and the Naut 40 (Concept 40) - as well as modifications and new layouts and construction drawings for earlier Adams designs such as the A40, A12M and A45. The designs completed still form a significant part of the plans and production yachts available under the A.Y.D. banner.

Since leaving A.Y.D. and starting his own business in 1987, many of the so called Adams owners and builders have come to Graham Radford for advice, modification to their yachts or for their new designs.

Buttercup A15.2m

"BUTTERCUP" - A15.2m

Designed 1984 for Don McIntyre for the 86/87 BOC Challenge - not ready in time.

Aluminium construction. Originally with stub keel and dagger c' board it was changed to a deep draft bulb keel before launching in 1990 and subsequently competed in the 1990/91 BOC finishing second in Class II.

"Buttercup" sailed twice around the world before making a quick trip to Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica 1992/93. "Buttercup" was sold to the USA for another circumnavigation under her new name "Lightwave". Another A15.2m, "Shuten-Dohji II" - Minoru Saito - completed both the 1990/91 and 1994/95 BOC Races.

Helsal II


Designed & Launched 1979, Helsal II was designed to rate the maximum under the IOR and is known as a Pocket Maxi. It became one of the better known yachts from Adams Yacht Design during the period 1977-87. She has competed in numerous offshore races including fifteen Sydney / Hobart Races, achieving 2nd and 3rd over the line and a recent Division A win on Performance Handicap. Helsal II has taken Line Honours at least four times in the Sydney / Mooloolaba & one handicap win. She has also taken line honours in the Melbourne / Hobart, Adelaide / Port Lincoln, Sydney / Vila, Montague Is ( Race record 1981) and even competed in the Transpac. This is but a brief summary of her racing career! Helsal II is another well used and well travelled yacht.

The Office


A66 Cruiser / racer - designed in 1984 and built by John McConaghy. FRP / foam sandwich hull and deck, stub keel, dagger c'board, rudder and skeg.

"The Office" was subsequently sold and renamed "HELSAL III"

Let's Go


A15.2m - designed in 1984 - originally named "VALKYRIE"

Aluminium construction, ballasted stub keel and dagger c'board, rudder and skeg.

Converted in 1991 to lifting bulb keel and spade rudder. The construction was modified to comply with A.B.S. approved plans. An extensive refit. Much improved performance in club races on Lake Macquarie and in offshore races such as Sydney / Hobart & Sydney / Southport. Line Honours Lord Howe 1995.

A15.2M production yachts have cruised extensively and competed in many long offshore races including :-


"TEVAKE" H 101 - A11.9M

Designed 1979-80 and launched mid 1980's for cruising / racing. FRP / foam sandwich construction. Masthead rig, ballasted stub and keel dagger board.

Converted in 1994 to a lifting bulb keel with a significant reduction in weight and increase in stability making "TEVAKE" a completely different yacht. After the conversion she finished a creditable second over the line in the 1994 Melbourne/Devonport Race.

Other A11.9m's have been converted to fixed bulb keels, lifting keels, hull extensions, new spade rudders and updated rig options

Fractional rig, fin keel A11.9m's took line honours in many races in the 1980's - including :-


"FLASHDANCE" PF57 - A16.4m

Designed 1983/84 - Builder - Hampson Yachts - Also builders of the Radford "Sprint" 1990.

FRP / foam sandwich production yacht for fast cruising, incorporating a stepped sheer;and cuddy cabin. Stub keel, dagger c'board, rudder and skeg. Yachts of this design have completed in numerous offshore races including:-

A.B.S approved plans completed in 1989.

Newcastle Flyer


Designed 1984 - Built by Carina Yachts in FRP / foam sandwich construction.

The owner's two previous yachts had been an A11.9M (Production boat # 1, "Newcastle Flyer") and an A10M (Production boat # 1 - "Spirit" ).

Sister Ship = "THUMBS UP"

Built by Ian Milner, Launceston, Tasmania.

Cedar strip construction.Member of Tasmanian Southern Cross Team.

Zeston 40


Designed 1981 - 40' Production Motor Sailer

FRP single skin laminate hull, shallow fin keel, rudder and skeg.

Zeston 36


Designed 1984 - 36' Production Motor Sailer

FRP single skin laminate hull, shallow fin keel, rudder and skeg.

Pianola III

"PIANOLA III" - A&R 13.2m

Designed 1985 - 13.2m cruiser / racer. Builder Ron Stenner

FRP / foam sandwich hull and plywood deck. Fractional rig, fin keel, transom hung spade rudder. Sailing out of Pittwater.


"ALSTAR" - A15.2m

Designed 1984. Owner Alby Burgin. Aluminium construction. Modified house with cuddy cabin and slightly deeper stub keel and dagger centerboard.

Alby Burgin and "ALSTAR" have successfully competed in numerous long distance short-handed races including :-

Converted in 1996/97 to a lifting bulb keel



Originally the A12M production yacht - Extensively updated 1990.

New centre aft cockpit deck moulds. New accommodation layouts, new rudder and keel. FRP / foam sandwich construction (A.B.S. approved plans.

Carina 44


Designed 1981
Builder Carina Yachts

Popular cruiser / racer with a shallow draft keel and dagger centerboard.

New FRP/foam construction drawings 1988 (A.B.S. approved plans).