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Storm Bay

Vessel Number: HV000129
Date: 1925
Vessel Dimensions: 16.46 m x 12.19 m x 3.96 m x 1.98 m, 24.61 tonnes (54 ft x 40 ft x 13 ft x 6.5 ft, 25 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
STORM BAY is a mid-1920s Tasmanian fishing craft that is an outstanding example of Alf Blore's abilities as a designer, and also a fine example of Percy Coverdale's craftsmanship as a builder.
DescriptionSTORM BAY was built in 1925 for fisherman George Bridge who lived in Nubeena. The name comes from Storm Bay where the Derwent River opens to the sea in South East Tasmania. This was a significant fishing ground with large schools of barracouta. Percy Coverdale built STORM BAY at his at Battery Point boatyard in Hobart. The 16.46 m (54 ft) long boat has blue gum frames, with hull and decks planked in Tasmania's well known timber Huon pine. Some of the hull planks are full length from stem to counter.

STORM BAY is a jackyard topsail cutter, and is an excellent sailing craft. The moderate draft hull has more deadrise than other fishing boats of the period, and with its long keel and centreboard has all the qualities of a fine yacht. There is the suggestion that it was built with the object of winning regatta races as well as for fishing.

Fishing for barracouta took place while the boat drifted under a double-reefed mainsail. The 'couta jig or lure was a piece of white Huon pine about 150mm (6 in) long, tapered with two big barbless hooks, attached to a linked wire chain, fastened to a 4. 5m (15 ft) long sassafras sapling. With no refrigeration, STORM BAY had a wet well made of 100mm (4 in) thick Huon pine.

In 1928 George Bridge took a party from Tasmania north to Sydney aboard STORM BAY for the interstate series called The Forster Cup, which was dominated by Tasmania's two boats TASSIE TOO and TASSIE, winner and runner up respectively. The invitation race for the Albert Cup went to TASSIE. During the event, while STORM BAy was on moorings at the Royal Sydney yacht squdron the Bridges welcomed a new boy to their family, and he was called North Shore Sydney Bridge, inspired by the location in Kirribilli on the North Shore and adjacent ot the famous Harbour Bridge, then under construction.

The Bridge family owned STORM BAY from 1925 until 1963, and throughout their ownership it was looked after like a yacht. George died in 1954, but his four sons carried on the business until 1964. George’s grandson Jim Bridge of Lutana followed in the family business and fished for 14 years aboard STORM BAY during the 1940s and 50s.

Jim recalls that it was built as a couta boat with a secondary usage as a live scale fishing boat, and was callled a 'smack', a term common in English working sailing craft. It was built to replace FRIENDSHIP, a single masted barge type of vessel that George had used for couta fishing. Jim noted ' It was not an easy job using such a lovely boat as a working fishing boat but George insisted that she be well cared for during this period of her life especially with her yachting lines when speed did not help a well full of fish or heavy wash across her decks would quickly remove dinghy,nets,and sundry fishing gear quite quickly!!'

After being sold by the Bridge family STORM BAY became a crayboat operating out of St. Helens, acquiring a wheel house for shelter on the open seas off the rugged Tasmanian coast.

STORM BAY has been restored to its original configuration, complete with wet well and gaff rig by The Wooden Boatshop in Sorrento Victoria, and was one of the outstanding craft at the 2007 Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

Prepared from material on the Wooden Boat Shop website and the book 'Boats, Nets, Pots and Hooks' by Jim Bridge, 2007, and a letter from Jim Bridge 2010.
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
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
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:dagger boarddrop board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:film
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:models
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:plans
Rig type:cutter
Rig type:gaff
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber

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