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Port Fairy Lifeboat

Vessel Number: HV000045
Date: 1857
Designer: James Peake
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 9.22 m x 2.36 m x 0.46 m, 3.94 tonnes (30.25 ft x 7.75 ft x 1.5 ft, 4 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
PORT FAIRY is a wooden lifeboat built in 1857 in Victoria . PORT FAIRY is an example of one of the very early land based lifeboats that operated on the rough coastline of South West Victoria. They were a vital part of local communities around the coast and a focal point of community service as the local fishermen also manned the craft as volunteers. It is an Australian adaptation of an English design.
DescriptionPORT FAIRY is a 9.2 metre long open boat that was manned by ten oarsmen, steered by rudder and tiller and also controlled with two sweep oars. There was a dipping-lug rig for sailing. It was built in Williamstown and uses the double diagonal planked method common to English lifeboat construction. This keeps the hull watertight despite it being out of the water for long periods.

The design came from the builder, William White who built the craft with improvements over the standard design it was based on. These plans were prepared by James Peake, and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The improvements such as more sheer, a slight rocker to the keel profile and more robust construction made PORT FAIRY a better hull to survive in the Southern Ocean and Bass Strait waters off the Victorian coastline. The craft was self righting and self draining.

PORT FAIRY remained in service for a long period, from 1857 until 1941. From 1956 until 1975 it served as a dredge for the Moyne River in Port Fairy. It was restored to operating condition in 1996, and in 2006 it remains housed in its original shed and slipway. These structures are heritage listed in Victoria.
Vessel Details
Ballast:cast iron
Ballast:external
Current status:floating
Current status:inside building
Current status:on public display
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:sweep oar
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:film
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:models
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:plans
Related materials:references
Rig type:lug
Spar material:timber
Sail cloth:other

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