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Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club Surf Ski

Vessel Number: HV000185
Date: 1950s
Previous Owner: Robin Vaisey ,
Vessel type: The Surf Ski
Vessel Dimensions: 5 m x 0.56 m (16.41 ft x 1.84 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club surf ski was built by Rimmer Boatbuilders in Western Australia. It is an example of a wooden surf ski from the 1950s era, when they were still a relatively simply fitted out, almost flat bottomed craft, and had not developed the strong racing characteristics of modern skis.
DescriptionThe ski was built by Rimmer Boatbuilders in Rivervale, and has a builder's plate with their name on the stern. Other details about this wooden surf ski that belongs to Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club in Perth WA remain unclear. In the 1950s it did belong to Robin Vaisey who was a well known club member. He thought Bill Ninham may have built the craft. Ninham is known as a builder of rowing shells, but if he was involved in the construction of this ski, then it seems probably he was working for Rimmer at the time.

Vaisey had success in the double skis during this period of the club. The ski has remained with the club and is now the Champion Ski Trophy. It was also selected to go on display in the National Museum of Australia's traveling exhibition “Between the Flags".

The hull is about 5 metres long by 560 mm wide and is single chine plywood construction, with slight round to the bottom and almost vertical sides. The deck has a concave foredeck which then changes gradually to a convex seating area and aft deck without a bulkhead or partition forming a distinct change in shape. This transition between the convex and concave decks is an interesting feature and different from other craft recorded, where there is break in the deck and a shallow bulkhead or frame at the change in deck line.

The sides are almost parallel for at least half of its length through the middle. It tapers aft to a fine stern, and rounds off forward to a slightly snubbed stem. There is one set of foot pedals and a simple trailing rudder for steering. These features are generally typical of a post World War II ski and it is thought likely the surf craft was built in the 1950s in WA for local use.

The ski developed an important association with the club when it eventually became the prize for the annual Champion Ski Trophy at the club. In the 1980s club member Tim Leaversuch won this on a number of occasions, and decided to tidy up the ski as the actual trophy. He organised for appropriate lettering to be applied and the club logo was added to the foredeck as a wood inlay.
Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:paddle
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Related materials:photos
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:other

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