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Vessel Number: HV000089
Date: 1958
Previous Owner: Jack Zafer , Peter Ahloy ,
Vessel type: Pearling Luggers
Vessel Dimensions: 17.37 m x 3.9 m x 2.21 m, 30 tonnes (57 ft x 12.8 ft x 7.25 ft, 30.48 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
ANNIKI is wooden pearling lugger built in Queensland in 1958. ANNIKI represents the last stage of the evolution of the pearling lugger as a working sail-rigged craft, and in particular the final evolution of the Thursday Island type or variant.
DescriptionBuilt as a pearling lugger in 1958 by Harold Collis in Smith's Creek, Cairns, ANNIKI became the second lugger for Jack Zafer in unusual circumstances. Zafer had commissioned Ron Wright to design his first lugger ANTONIA, which was then built by Norman R. Wright where Ron worked. A Gardner diesel engine had been ordered for ANTONIA but was presumed lost in a ship wreck enroute from England, so ANTONIA was fitted with a second-hand Gardner sourced in Australia. Meanwhile the lost Gardner was somehow salvaged and sent on to Australia. When it turned up unexpectedly Zafer decided to build ANNIKI as a second lugger, to be fitted with this spare engine. The engine showed signs of its ordeal, the packing case and engine were coated in fine sand, but once the engine was stripped down, cleaned and reassembled it was in perfect working order.

Harold Collis was employed by Zafer to maintain his craft because of Collis's skill with small boats. Collis had doubts about his ability to undertake the construction of a 60 foot long craft, but the project was completed successfully with Ron Wright’s assistance. Ron sent up the plans and helped solve any building problems along the way.

ANNIKI and ANTONIA are sister ships, carvel planked on hardwood frames, with the typical sparse fitout of a lugger. Holds and cargo space used up the main compartment amidships, and the basic accommodation was located aft with a low cabin house. Instead of a long counter ending in a fine point, the craft had a shorter overhang that finished with a small transom board, which was easier to build and provided better ventilation to the aft area. Otherwise they had the elegant sheerline, slightly rounded stem profile and deep keel that was typical of a Thursday Island pearling lugger. The sturdy gaff ketch rig is also another standard feature of the type.

While ANTONIA had been named after Zafer's father in law, ANNIKI was a combination of Anne and Nick, the names of his two elder children. Both craft worked the pearl fields under Zafer's ownership. They were often seen over the 'Darnley Deeps', with the divers down to a 40 metre (almost 20 fathoms) depth. The area was commonly called a diver's graveyard. They also held the record for the greatest amount of pearl shell collected.

Jack Zafer sold the craft in the 1970s, and the boats went away from the declining pearl industry to become cray boats. They were then mother ships to another generation of divers.

ANNIKI has now become a charter vessel in Darwin, cruising on Darwin Harbour, but still retains its pearl shell license. The craft also retains its original rig and the character of its former pearling days. In 2000 ANNIKI was chosen to carry the Olympic flame from Horn Island to Thursday Island, recognising the importance of the craft and the industry and their place in Australia’s maritime heritage.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:film
Related materials:photos
Related materials:plans
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:ketch
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 850047

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