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Heather

Vessel Number: HV000188
Date: 1949
Designer: Ernie Munns
Vessel type: The Couta Boat
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 6.6 m x 6.4 m x 2.6 m x 0.8 m (21.65 ft x 21 ft x 8.53 ft x 2.62 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
HEATHER, built in 1949, represents the later stages of development of the couta boat as a fishing craft, and is one of the last couta boats built for the fishing industry in Victoria. At only 6.6 meters (22 ft) it is unusual in that it is smaller than the typical 26 footer (7.92 m) couta boat length and came from the Melbourne yard of the Caporn Bros.
DescriptionHEATHER is a slightly unusual example of a couta boat because it is one of the few not built by the traditional yards associated with the type. It is also probably one of the last to be built, as only a small number were built after World War II. HEATHER was built from a design by Ernie Munns.

The fishing boat was one of two couta boats built by Caporns for the Ferrier Bros of Queenscliff, Victoria, used for fishing in Port Phillip and Bass Strait. The vessel was launched un-named and was named HEATHER later in its life. Ownership records indicate that in about 2003 HEATHER went from Melbourne to Metung on the Gippsland Lakes, Victoria.

The hull is planked in New Zealand kauri which remains in good condition after almost 60 years. The typical couta boat was a 26 footer (7.92 metres). HEATHER was just 6.6 metres (22 feet). It shares the typical layout with an oval cockpit, simply fitted out with cross thwarts, a chain hoist for the centreplate, wooden eyes for the sheet leads, and other basic, but functional details.

In 2007 Heather was restored to working boat configuration. The owner removed a wheelhouse and small cabin added earlier to create a cruising yacht. The boat has been restored with a typical couta boat rig, gaff main and single headsail. The motor is a single cylinder Yanmar; the original engine make is not recorded.

In 2008 HEATHER was active in regattas and sailing on the Gippsland Lakes.

Vessel Details
Ballast:internal
Ballast:lead
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Deck material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:sloop
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: CF784

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