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RIO-RITA is now on permanent display at the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum in South Australia.


Vessel Number: HV000175
Date: 1936
Previous Owner: Axel Stenross ,
Vessel Dimensions: 9.75 m x 9.75 m x 2.7 m x 0.8 m, 6 tonnes (31.99 ft x 31.99 ft x 8.86 ft x 2.62 ft, 6.1 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
RIO-RITA is an example of a craft built by Axel Stenross, an important builder from Port Lincoln in South Australia. This was his personal launch from 1936 until he died in 1980.
DescriptionRIO-RITA is a carvel planked, canoe-sterned launch about 9.75 m long. Axel used it as his own private launch and also made it available for charter at Port Lincoln. It remains in the same configuration as it was when launched, with an open cockpit aft of the low cabin house and saloon. A diesel engine was installed in the late 1960s to replace the original petrol motor. All of the original structure has been retained, and the vessel is on display out of the water and under cover at the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum in Port Lincoln.

Axel Stenross was born in Finland around the turn of the century and left home for a life on the high seas. He sailed on the last of the square-rigged ships, and some of his voyages took him to Boston Bay and Port Lincoln in South Australia, where he eventually settled in 1927.

He and a partner Frank Laakso set up a boatbuilding business in Port Lincoln constructing fishing craft, launches and dinghies. Axel passed away aged 84, still making boats at his yard, and this yard has been kept intact just as it was to form the foundation of the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum. The workshop and slipway are still in use as a maintenance and repair facility for local vessels.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:covered
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Current status:outside
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Rig type:cutter
Sail cloth:cotton
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel

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