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Vessel Number: HV000046
Date: c 1937
Previous Owner: Francis Pursell ,
Vessel Dimensions: 4.3 m x 0.84 m (14.11 ft x 2.75 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
POD is a canvas covered canoe built by a family in NSW in 1937. POD is an excellent example of home made ingenuity, creating a vessel as seen in magazines but using and adapting available materials, and built in the Depression era.
DescriptionArchibald Pursell and his sons built POD at their Mosman (Sydney) home, basing the design on the similar craft that they had seen. The structure is a great example of making do with simple available materials. The painted canvas covering is shaped by oregon stringers and keel, with split cane frames set inside these longitudinal members. This gives it a multi-chine shaped section. The internal beams and plywood foredeck add additional strength to the structure. A rig was trialed in the early days, but proved unsuccessful. The family made their own double bladed paddles, and up to three people could sit inside POD, paddling it kayak style rather then in the conventional canoe manner with a single bladed paddle.

POD was used extensively by the family on camping trips away from Sydney. The canoe was car-topped on the family station wagon, and a second smaller canoe called PEA was also fabricated. It was meant to fit inside POD for transport, hence the name, but in practice it proved too big.

During the war the family suffered the tragic loss of one son in a drowning accident on the harbour aboard a yacht, and after the war the two canoes were seldom used. POD remained in storage and moved house with the family when they relocated to French's Forest. Despite its fragile nature, POD has survived in remarkably good condition. In 2006 POD is on display in the Watermarks Gallery at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour.
Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-floating
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:paddle
Hull material and construction:fabric/framescanvas skin
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:photos
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:other
Rig type:other

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