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Provincial Cowboy - Ross 40


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Provincial Cowboy is a well known Ross 40 design yacht based in Auckland, New Zealand. The 'Mk 1' Ross 40 is a design that's part of the folklore of the NZ sailing scene of the 80's and 90's.  We have lost count of the number of people who stopped by to reminisce about racing they did on PC or her sisterships.
 
The hull and decks were built by Nautec Yachts for first owner Geoff Bagge and the two other initial owners.  Her decks were the first from the mould (taken from Not Guilty) and Geoff had to wait some time after receiving the hull.  Geoff fitted a typical kiwi cruiser/racer layout with the engine and batteries placed centrally in the galley/settee area for better weight distribution.  No vee berth, just empty space but we now have a removeable set up for one of the kids to escape to.
 
PC was launched on December 28th 1985 and the rig went in in January 1986.  Under Geoff's ownership the boat was the line-honours winner of the inaugural SSANZ Two-Handed Round NZ Race (1990).  See youtube; https://youtu.be/IVapHR7CuAM.  She also raced offshore including to Australia and Fiji and was active in Auckland and Tauranga.
 
After several new keels over the years she now has a deep "T" keel and a rig modified with swept-back spreaders.
 
2017-RNI-SUELLENDAVIES-DSC_0219.thumb.jpg.fe3dfd22bf002a98733a741d55235529.jpg
[Leg 1, 2017 SSANZ RNI]
 
Richard and Liz, the previous owners, bought PC from Geoff in Tauranga and motored her back to Auckland. She was taken apart and repainted, the spreaders were altered and a lot of other work was done.  Once relaunched at HMB Marina in Auckland in approx 2010 she was mostly cruised with a few rum races thrown in. 
 
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[Coastal Classic]
 
We purchased PC in October 2013, with an eye on the SSANZ two-handed scene and the SSANZ RNI race (bucket list item for me since age 9) and since then have made constant upgrades, mostly racing related but also a lot of cruising improvements and interior upgrades.  The deck gear has been almost completely replaced (thanks largely to Ebay and a high NZ dollar), as have the boom, sails and electronics.   
 
SSANZ Triple Series
[SSANZ Triple Series]

In the build up to the 2017 two-handed SSANZ Round North Island Race the upgrade path accelerated to make her an even better 2-handed boat, and Cat 2.  Improved autopilot setup.  Emergency rudder setup.  The rig came out and was overhauled, with an additional MH halyard and fractional choker fitted.   The 2017 RNI was a great race for us, with three R40's competing and rum on the line every leg.  The boat finished 1st in Division 2 and was the Overall Winner PHRF in the RNI on leg points.  Amongst many highlights was a visit from Geoff Bagge in Napier (see picture below).  Another  highlight was a morning sail under mast head kite down the tricky passage between the Cavalli Islands and Matauri Bay on leg 1 - a move which we still get reminded of from time to time.  Overall it was proof of the suitability of the design to these races - easily managed and able to keep a decent average pace.  And so my bucket list item was very satisfyingly ticked off.
 
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[First owner Geoff Bagge inspects PC in Napier, 2017 SSANZ RNI]
 
We sail PC regularly in the SSANZ races, taking out the double in the no-extras division of the Triple Series last year.  She has also been a regular at Bay Week, Coastal, Gold Cup and other passage racing.  Summers are used for family cruising including trips to the Mercs and, last summer, we headed north with a few days in Whangaroa Harbour.
 
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[Whangaroa Harbour, January 2021]
 
We upgraded to PC from a Young 88 and she is a fantastic all rounder, we are increasingly using her for cruising these days with the interior refurbishment continuing.  PC resides at HMB Marina in Auckland and we are are proud custodians.  We have a FB page where many of Geoff's old crew and family are amongst the followers - that's pretty cool https://www.facebook.com/provincialcowboy.
 
RNI2017 - Mangonui
[Leg 1 stopover, Mangonui, 2017 SSANZ RNI]

Thanks to various for the photos including Lissa and Suellen at Live Sail Die.  If you have any history or old photos we would appreciate them.
 
Heading for Gt Barrier past Maori Rock
[Heading past Maori Rock for a quick downwind sail to Gt Barrier]
 
As an aside, there are quite a few of these boats around including:
 
Urban Cowboy - actively racing around the Auckland area
Marshall Law - recently headed south to Lyttleton
Satellite Spy - racing out of Waikawa Bay Picton
Not Guilty - slowly being refurbished in Wellington
Jesse James (also Sparta) - actively racing in Wellington
Paddy Wagon - USA69348 based on the east coast of USA and very similar to PC aside from keel
Te Rauparaha - on a mooring in Russell
At least one hull in Australia with a quite different deck and cockpit layout.
Karn Evil sail number K 5582 - location unknown since 1997 HIRW (probably Australia or PNG)
Avenger - based in Westhaven, cruising only
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On a recent ferry trip Pahia to Russell I saw Te Rauparaha sitting on a swing mooring in Russell. Even though she's currently mast-less and in a very sad state she still has the beautiful sweet lines of the Ross 40 and is just screaming out for someone to give her a little TLC. 

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I owned karnevil and had it sail to portmoreby png owned for 4 years  sold and i believe  now in sydney 

Other boats I also had in portmoreby was the Elliot 10.6 excess  which is still there in a sorry state 

Which I renamed more bartalk  and the davidson boat midnight 

Ross 40 one of the best boats I have owned 

 

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15 minutes ago, waikiore said:

My recollection was that the mold was taken off Jack Murrays Marshall Law.

Thanks, that may well be correct for the hulls.  Geoff only told me about the deck/cabin mould coming from Not Guilty as above - the PC and ML cabins are quite different.

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