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Propeller

Vessel Number: HV000044
Date: 1959
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 2.43 m x 1.19 m (8 ft. x 3.9ft.)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
PROPELLER is a plywood sailing dinghy built in 1959. It was built by 'Wee Georgie' Robinson, designer and builder of the famous 18-foot skiff BRITANNIA. PROPELLOR features details that are likely to be specific to his methods and approach, including the mast tabernacle, rather than following precisely the class plans for their construction.
DescriptionPROPELLER is a Sabot class sailing dinghy and is an early example of this design which comes from Europe. These 2.4m (8 ft) craft were a popular training class that was adopted by a number of clubs in Sydney. They were simple to build with a single chine plywood hull, and had a single mast with a cat rig.

PROPELLER's builder, 'Wee Georgie' Robinson, was a shipwright and the construction features a number of tradesman's details such as the bottom stringers, knees, with relatively large sections in general used for items of the structure. It also has a mast tabernacle and considering the vessel and it rig's rather small size, the tabernacle could be quite a unique feature. These details also contrast well with a typical amateur built boat which would feature simpler construction techniques. The tabernacle could well have been deliberatly placed in the boat by Robinson as means of training the young sailors in rigging methods they would meet as they moved into larger craft suchas 18'foot skiffs, which employed a tabernacle to raise and support their heavy spars.. Robinson made the 18-foot skiff BRITANNIA ( HV000003).

PROPELLER was donated to the club by Messers E. Nicholson and G. Carlson Eric Nicholsen was one of the two Nicholson Bros, who had a fleet of ferries and workboats on Sydney Harbour. Their craft all had names beginning with 'Pro' including the ferry PROTEX (HV000080), hence the name PROPLELLER.

The Snails Bay Sabot Club held its first race on February 4, 1962, and eight craft sailed on that day.The local newspaper, the Link showed how much progress had been made by April that year, and noted PROPELLER joining the fleet:

The Link, April 18, 1962 p.1
"Last Sunday, another new boat, Propellor, donated by Messers E. Nicholson and G. Carlson was christened by Mrs G. Johnson. In addition, the Karina and Niord joined the fleet.
This now makes 16 boats sailing with the club."

Stan Nicholson named the 5 other boats he donated after wildflowers: BORONIA ,WATTLE, ROCK LILY, WARATAH and NATIVE ROSE.They all had N on the sails. PROPELLER sailed with a propeller symbol on its sail, made by Miller and Whitworth.

Asa Wahlquist recalls sailing on these boats and knows that her brother sailed in PROPELLER at one time. Rob Brown, a crew from the America's Cup winning AUSTRALIA II (HV000074) also reaclled sailing in the fleet as a youngster, his father Norm Brown was one the club members and a local of the area.

In 1997, a private owner who had restored the dinghy donated it to the Sydney Heritage Fleet. In 2013 PROPELLER was on display at Wharf 7 Heritage Centre Darling Harbour.

Text prepared with assistance from Asa Wahlquist.


Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:dagger boarddrop board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Related materials:photos
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:cat rigcat boatunauna rig
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: Blue Propellor

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