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Vessel Number: HV000189
Date: 1905
Builder: Fred Moore
Vessel Dimensions: 7.01 m x 6.1 m x 1.83 m x 1.07 m (23 ft x 20 ft x 6 ft x 3.5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
ROONA is a small yacht built in 1905 by well-known boat builder Fred Moore in Launceston, Tasmania. The design is said to have come from a plan published in 'Rudder' magazine, subsequently modified by Walter Reeks, one of Australia's most significant naval architects. A later report only mentions Reeks as the designer.
DescriptionGraeme Broxam has recorded a lot of ROONA's history in his book 'Those that Survive". ROONA was launched in 1905 and rigged as a cutter, then altered by owner E.P. Hart to a yawl rig. The round bilge hull is planked in King Billy pine. Moore was an important builder in Launceston and this is an excellent example of his methods of hull construction. Reeks was the most important naval architect in Australia at that time, and it is interesting to see him attending to a small commission such as this when he was dealing with much larger commercial projects at the same time. In fact Moore was building the steamer TOGO to a Reeks design and launched early in 1906.

The Examiner from Launceston on 23/09/1905 notes this about ROONA:

" Mr E Hart, the newly-appointed treasurer of the LYC has just received plans of a handy 'raceabout', 13 ft on the waterline, and 22 ft overall, with hinged centreboard, and fairly large sail area. By the appearence of the plans, she will be right up to date - overhang fore and aftt, lead keel, not too deep draught, and could be sailed single-handed. A notable feature is the lack of superfluous top hamper. She is to carry no topsail. The draughtsman is W Reeks and the order to build has been placed with Fred Moore. Yachting men will eagerly look forward to the time when this little yacht will make her debut amongst us. It is thought by some that she will talk to some of the larger boats."

Broxam notes an amusing story where the owner followed tradition by placing a coin under the mast as it was stepped, but the coin was supposed to record the date of launch. However later on it was discovered he had placed a Macedonian coin from about 150BC as a prank. Hart raced ROONA on the Tamar River, and often sailed it single handed. He also cruised the local area. In September and October 1906 it was converted to a yawl and the centreboard replaced by a fin and bulb keel.

In 1907 the Examiner noted its sale." Mr L. E. P. Hart's Roona has been sold to a Hobart buyer, and will be shipped to her destination on Tuesday." It was sold to David Barclay Jnr in Hobart. He changed the rig to a sloop sail plan. ROONA then raced on the Derwent River with mixed results.

At an unknown date ROONA was sold to owners in Victoria, and it is understood the topsides were raised by two planks so that it would be a better sea going boat for the passage north across Bass Strait. It moved around Victoria under different owners and was based on the Gippsland Lakes, Williamstown on Port Phillip, then Port Fairy. Eventually it was sold from there to owners in the Goolwa SA, where it remains in good condition and cruises the local waterways.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:operational
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:fin keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Related materials:references
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Hull shape:other
Additional Titles

Previous title:

Primary title: Roona

Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 13

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