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RAN 27 Ft Motor Whaler 2717

Vessel Number: HV000213
Date: 1964
Previous Owner: Royal Australian Navy ,
Vessel Dimensions: 9.03 m x 8.99 m x 2.19 m (29.62 ft x 29.5 ft x 7.2 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The Royal Australian Navy 27 foot motor whaler number 2717 built in 1964 is a typical naval small craft carried aboard a ship and called a seaboat. Seaboats served a variety of purposes at sea and in harbour in support of the ship they were attached to. These craft were carried aboard most RAN warships for many decades. This example, number 2717, is the last clinker construction whaler built at Garden Island Dockyard, Sydney.
DescriptionThe motor whaler hull is just over 9.0 metres long and about 2.20 metres wide. It is clinker or lapstrake construction, and has three rubbing strips around the gunwales. It was built at the Navy's Garden Island Dockyard where the RAN apprentices learnt their trade. It was a typical project for the apprentices, working with an experienced shipwright. The apprentices learnt practical skills and teamwork by building the vessel. This hull is fitted with thwarts for rowing and a small 10 kW diesel engine. The number 2717 is engraved on the stem, along with the year it was built, 1964.

The RAN motor whalers were the same design as the Royal Navy craft. In 1956 the RN had decided to modernise its seaboats with a motorised craft, and redesigned their sailing and rowing version to include a motor. It was officially designated a 27 foot Motor Whaler and unofficially known as a three-in-one whaler. They did not sail or pull very well as they were too heavy, and the RN then changed them to a version designated a 27 foot Motor Whaler Mod 1, which abandoned the sailing rig. The RAN built 13 three-in-ones, numbered 2701 - 2713 from 1961 to 63, and then four Mod 1's numbered 2714 - 2717 from 1963 to 64. This example 2717 was allocated to HMAS MORESBY.

The duties of these seaboats were quite varied. At sea they performed man overboard rescues, transfer of stores and personnel between ships, transferring an armed boarding party, recovering practice torpedoes and passing towing lines. In harbour they would assist in securing a ship to a mooring buoy or laying out a kedge anchor, transferring mail, stores and personnel, or laying buoys for survey or salvage operations. They also had a recreational purpose as a pulling boat for naval regattas and if fitted with sail, for sailing races.

This whaler has been restored at the Queensland Maritime Museum where it is on display aboard HMAS DIAMANTINA. Before 1961 HMAS DIAMANTINA carried two clinker whalers.

Prepared from research provided by the Naval Historical Society of Australia and the Queensland Maritime Museum
Vessel Details
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Rig type:gunter
Rig type:yawl
Sail cloth:cotton
Spar material:timber
Alternate Numbers

: 2717

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