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Boyong

Vessel Number: HV000128
Date: 1937
Previous Owner: Stan Potter ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 3.96 m (13 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
BOYONG is a small clinker canoe built by George Towns and Sons, well known builders of rowing sculls, and is an example of a different type of small craft built by their firm.
DescriptionBOYONG's clinker planking is Australian red cedar and it is roved to Canadian spruce frames, giving a wonderful contrast between the red planking and lighter yellow framing.

'Hec' Towns from George Towns and Sons built this delightful craft at the Towns’ Gladesville boatshed, which is now the site of the Sydney Grammar School rowing shed. Towns built some of the country's finest rowing sculls over many years, and it is interesting to have this example of another small craft built to their same high standards for comparison.

BOYONG has only ever had two owners, and has recently been restored to an excellent condition and remains in use on enclosed waters. It is rigged with a small square sail for running downwind.

BOYONG's first owner was Stan Potter. Stan had his introduction to canoeing and outdoor experiences with friend Ted Riley, when Ted invited Stan to accompany him on a canoe trip down the Georges River NSW in October 1936. It was an exciting experience but they found that Ted's canoe and paddles were rather heavy. In a report on the trip that Stan was encouraged to write many years later (unfortunately it was just before he died) he described progress as 'rather fatiguing’. He goes on to say that they learnt from the experience and commissioned 'Hec' Towns to build them two identical cedar canoes with spruce paddles, and BOYONG was Stan's boat. They joined the recently formed River Canoe Club at this time, and later took part in one of their popular trips down through the river system that leads to the Nepean River west of Sydney, NSW.

The trip started at Goodman's Ford on the Wollindilly River near Mittagong. The canoes were trucked to the starting point the day before. The 20 or so paddlers then headed down through the Burrawang Valley and along the Warragamba River to meet the Nepean River and then finish at Penrith. In 1939 an emergency weir was built across the Warragamba River, and then in the 1960s the large Warragamba Dam was completed, finally ending such trips.

BOYONG still has one cracked plank on the hull, which is a reminder of an early misadventure when it took part in one of the last of these journeys down the Warragamba River in the late 1930s.

Prepared with reference to 'Canoe Trip Georges River-October 1936', Stan Potter, copyright River Canoe Club.
Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:paddle
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Related materials:photos
Rig type:square
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber

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