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GORDON in 2010, waiting on restoration by the Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania.


Vessel Number: HV000434
Previous Owner: Laurie Harris ,
Vessel Dimensions: 4.6 m x 4.42 m x 1.44 m (15.09 ft x 14.5 ft x 4.72 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
GORDON is an example of the piners' punt dinghies that are unique to the south western region of Tasmania. It shows the typical shape and construction arrangement used by these craft that were used as a transport for the men who logged Huon pine along the rivers in the rugged south west of the state. The rough and uneven planking lineout is a clear indication of the 'no frills’ approach often taken in their construction, which was done as cheaply and expeditiously as possible.
DescriptionIt is not known exactly when GORDON was built, but the assumption is that it was built around the 1920s or 1930s. GORDON is 4.6m long and 1.44m wide, with seven planks per side. From what is currently known of the type this is relatively long, but it retains a standard beam dimension. It is planked in King Billy pine and framed up with celery top pine, a typical combination for timbers for the punts. A close view of the stem shows an uneven layout to the planking, which suggests it was built out of whatever was available with no time wasted toward trying to give it the appearance of a tradesman's job.

GORDON is understood to have been used by Forestry Department of Tasmania staff as means of transport on the Gordon River in south west Tasmania, and it was fitted with an outboard at that time. It is also thought to have been salvaged as an abandoned boat beside the Gordon River prior to 1980 when it was acquired by Laurie Harris. He kept the boat until 2010 when it was given to the Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania, who plan to restore it so that it can be rowed again in company with the few other remaining piners’ punts.

The west coast piners' punt has a shape ideally suited to its purpose. The dinghy transported Huon pine workers with their supplies and tools from their camps on the shoreline. They are thought to have originated in Port Davey where the Huon pine industry was well established by the late 1800s. They had a snub or transom bow and the square ends were often referred to as forward and aft tucks. They were built with a lot of rocker or spring to the keel line and no skeg so they could turn quickly. They also had to negotiate rapids. Although they had a slack turn of the bilge, their width made them reasonably stable. The shape had an easy run to the strakes, which allowed quick planking of the hull. Two or even three people could row them at a good speed. GORDON's shape reflects all of these traditional qualities.

Vessel Details
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom

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