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Fury

Vessel Number: HV000203
Date: 1939
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 4.88 m x 4.88 m x 1.68 m (16 ft x 16 ft x 5.5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
FURY is an example of a Queensland built 16-Foot skiff from the late 1930s, and one of the few that have survived from that period. It is also an example of a skiff-class dinghy built at Norman R Wright's boatyard in Bulimba, Queensland and demonstrates the diversity of craft from this important Queensland boat building family.
DescriptionFURY was built at Norman R Wright's yard in 1939. It was built for Norman's brother-in-law Vic Dixson. The 16-Foot skiff class raced on the Brisbane River. Race records indicate that FURY performed well and won the Wide Bay Championship in 1939-40.

FURY's 4.88 m (16 ft) long hull is batten-seam construction, the normal method used for the class in this period, and rigged with a high peaked gunter mainsail.

American servicemen stationed in Brisbane during World War II took a liking to these distinctive and fast Australian boats. An unknown number of skiffs including FURY were bought by 'GIs' and shipped back to the United States at the end of the war. One story is that FURY went as deck cargo on a returning 'LIBERTY' ship in late 1945 or early 1946.

FURY was sailing in San Francisco waters in 1949. In about 1960 it was bought by Californian Elmer Lowry in a derelict state, with evidence that someone had tried to convert it to a power boat. Elmer restored FURY to sailing condition (without plans or even knowing what it was) and sailed it on Newport Harbour, California. An Australian named Richard Tucker met Elmer and identified the boat as an Australian skiff. Elmer named his boat YOTTING, a play on the Australian pronunciation of yacht.

Elmer took YOTTING with him when he retired to Oregon in the north west of the United States. However it was not suited to sailing conditions in Oregon and was stored in a shed for about 20 years. In 1990 Elmer gave YOTTING to Annie Kolls from San Diego, California. She was a keen wooden boat restorer and sailor and continued sailing YOTTING in San Diego. A story on the boat was published in an Australian boating magazine in 1992 at the time of the America's Cup races. The story included a plea from Annie for information about the skiff, which resulted in a number of "old skiffies" contacting her. After a couple of years of correspondence, the identity and history of the boat was revealed. One of the correspondents, Brisbane sailmaker Jack Hamilton, remembered that his father had said "FURY is going to America" when Jack was about 12.

Annie Kolls decided to visit Australia and meet the people who had helped identify her boat. The visit, the interest in the boat and the friendships she made convinced Annie that FURY had to return to Australia. Columbus Shipping Lines brought the skiff to Australia. In November 1996 FURY left California after some 50 years and Annie flew to Sydney to meet the skiff on arrival in December.

In 1997 Annie formally passed FURY to the Queensland Maritime Museum and into the care of Jack Hamilton, who was also a volunteer there. By 2002 Jack and his fellow Wooden Boat Association members had restored FURY to its original condition. In 2008 FURY sailed at occasional regattas, an ambassador for the museum and a testament to the generations of "skiffies" who built and raced these unique Australian boats in the early days.

Prepared from research material supplied by Queensland Maritime Museum
Vessel Details
Deck layout:open
Hull material and construction:batten seam
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:dagger boarddrop board
Rig type:gunter
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Current status:museum vessel
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: Black U

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