The 10 Footers evolved from the workboats of Sydney Harbour and were a class that first appeared in the 1880’s on the Harbour and Parramatta River. They had their heyday in the first fifteen years of the 20th century. and were revived after the First World War, but did not survive the Second World War.
They were smaller versions of the more famous 18-footers and similarly were unrestricted in crew numbers, beam and sail area. Like the Eighteens they had small side decks, foredecks and used lee cloths to keep the water out. They carried all of the sails that the Eighteen Footers carried, including ringtails, ballooners, and early on even topsails.In 1990 a small group of ex-skiff sailors formed the Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association and selected the 10 Footers as a good-sized boat to revive, starting with Rob Tearne’s “Janis” and eventually growing into a fleet in Sydney and Brisbane.The Australian Titles are held on a rotating basis each year, between the Drummoyne Sailing Club, South Lakes Amateur Sailing Club (Lake Macquarie) and the Brisbane Sailing Squadron which always assembles most of the fleet, and carries on the tradition of New South Wales versus Queensland competition in open boat sailing.