RL 24 History
Around 40 years ago, a keen yachtsman and professional boat builder
named Rob Legg began toying with the notion of a new concept in sailing
craft. Rob wanted a boat which had sleeping accommodation for at least
4 people, was fast, safe and exciting to sail, was simple to rig and handle
and yet could be trailed easily behind the average family car thus giving
access to sailing waters all over the country.
The idea wouldn't go away and finally Rob drew out the lines of a boat
he called "Tiki". He built her in ply in the late 1960's and "Tiki" thus
became the prototype and forerunner of what has become arguably one of
the world's most versatile trailable yachts, the RL24. After some years
of sailing and refining "Tiki" on most of the waterways of the eastern
seaboard of Australia, including the Gippsland Lakes, Rob was persuaded
to begin manufacturing the RL24 and in 1973 or thereabouts, the first fibreglass
examples of the class emerged from the Sharkcat factory on the Gold Coast
They were an instant hit with the sailing community and numbers quickly
multiplied particularly in Queensland and Victoria. Always on the look-out
for opportunies to improve the boat, Rob introduced what has become known
as the RL24 Mk.2 in early 1976.
This version of the boat had the cabin moulding modified to lift the
cockpit floor thus giving much more space in the quarterberths. Equally
as important was the widening of the cockpit coamings which, by eliminating
the dreaded "gunwhale bum" was an improvement appauded heartily by all
In 1977, Rob set up his own boat building operation named, not surprisingly,
Rob. Legg Yachts Pty Ltd. To celebrate, this courageous move, the company
released a new model of the RL24, (the Mk.3) which had 100mm added to the
hull freeboard and a new interior furniture moulding.
The result was a huge improvement in the boat's accommodation while
retaining its exceptional sailing and handling characteristics. The first
RL24 Mk. 3 appeared at the RL24 National Championships held at Barmera
on Lake Bonney in South Australia's Riverland district in January 1978.
Since the introduction of the Mk.3, there have been no further modifications
to the hull design. However, the cockpit moulding was changed in the late
1980's to allow the outboard motor to be retracted into the hull more readily
and an alternative "sports" interior moulding without icebox or stove bench
was introduced to cater for the club racer with no cruising ambitions.
At about this time a drop keel configuration was also offered, the instant
improvement in overall performance being such as to make this a very popular
and widely accepted option.
Towards the end of the 1980's, Rob retired from his business. Unfortunately,
without his eye for innovation, a succession of subsequent owners saw the
business decline to the point where production ceased altogether in 1991.