Westward started off as a new build for a Sydney owner that fell through, and she was purchased by the late George Gibson, former main sheet hand on Kittiwake from the cadet –dinghy days.
Westward was entered in the 1947 Sydney to Hobart yacht race. She was rigged as a cutter, had the propeller removed and raced with the fishing well sealed over.
Designed and built by Jock Muir, Westward was launched in 1947 with an overall length of 42 feet, a beam of 12 feet and draft of 6 feet 6 inches. She was heavily constructed of one-eighth inch celery pine planking on laminated blue gum timbers, with eight inch centres and heavy blue gum stringers and deck beams.
Westward had a roomy deck house which almost covered the self draining cockpit, and the deck was raised for the length of the cabin allowing more head room below.
She had a fairly long keel and a stern-hung rudder. This proved a boon when hard running under spinnaker across Bass Strait in a strong north-easter, gusting to 40 knots, while other competitors were dragging sea anchors and warps astern. She rated low under the RORC offshore rating and revelled in gale conditions – as indeed Jock did.
Jock liked to remember Westward as the only yacht with a fish well to win a Sydney to Hobart race. Her building virtually marked the start of Muir's Boatyard and her first race and handicap win kicked off Jock Muir's illustrious career as a blue water ocean racer.
Jock classes Westward's 1947 and 1948 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race wins as two of the three greatest thrills of his sailing life.