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Vessel Number: HV000217
Date: 1941
Designer: Len Rawson
Builder: Len Rawson
Vessel Dimensions: 12.2 m x 11.5 m x 3.55 m x 0.8 m, 9 tonnes (40.03 ft x 37.73 ft x 11.65 ft x 2.62 ft, 9.14 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
SHALIMAR is an amateur built motor launch from 1941 with strong social connections to Launceston in Tasmania where it was built and used as a recreational craft, as well as being used for war service from 1942 to 1945.
DescriptionSHALIMAR was built over a five year period by amateur builder Len Rawson in the backyard of his home in Launceston. Rawson was a cabinet maker, and SHALIMAR appears to be the only craft he built.

In 1936 Len Rawson built a half model of an English style displacement cruiser and took it to the local yacht club for scrutiny. Members including Cecil Cartledge and Alf Hewitt offered advice and after a few modifications, Len borrowed the candle lantern from his local church in order to project the cut-out sections onto the dining room wall. He then traced around the shadows onto timber to create the templates for the mould stations. Construction began soon after, and in 2008 Len's son David still remembers the smell of the Huon pine as he helped unload the truck, stacking the freshly milled timber against the family home in White Street.

It is understood part of the house had to be demolished so the boat could be removed by truck and taken down to the Tamar River where it was launched by crane and slings. This took place early in the World War II, when the launch of a private vessel would have been a rare spectacle.

The 12.2 m long vessel was solidly built using the best timbers available. It is carvel planked in Huon pine and blue gum is used for the frames and other structural members. The superstructure was built of teak, blackwood and myrtle. The plywood deck dates from a reconstruction in the late 1980s. Aspects of the styling are very typical of a late 1930s motor launch. The boat was originally powered by a V8 Cadillac petrol engine, but this was replaced with a Perkins diesel engine at an unknown date.

SHALIMAR was originally named POLLYANNA and when it was launched it was the largest vessel cruising on the Tamar River. Reporting on the vesse in late 1940 prior to launching the Hobart Mercury described the vessel as "one of the most comfortable and serviceable motor-launches that imagination could contrive."

A year later, it was commandeered for the Auxiliary Naval Patrol and then later transferred to the Army for the duration of World War II. During the war years SHALIMAR had a gas producer fitted over the aft cabin, which was a common feature on private cars during that period when fuel was scarce.

Rawson and his family enjoyed the post-war years aboard SHALIMAR before selling the vessel to Ralph Young late in the 1940s. Young lived aboard SHALIMAR before selling it to road contractor Frederick Bowen in the 1950s. Bowen used SHALIMAR as a recreational craft around Launceston for more than 20 years. It was purchased by new owners Alan and Mary Hardman in the late 1980s and they undertook considerable restoration work to bring the craft back to good condition. They also changed the name from POLLYANNA to SHALIMAR and took the craft to Hobart. In the 1990s it was sold to Murray Cook, who used SHALIMAR as a floating office at Constitution Dock, Hobart.

In 2008 SHALIMAR was operating once again as a pleasure cruiser and retained its original hull and superstructure configuration. One of the few visible changes was the larger guardrails around the deck over the aft cabin.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Current status:operational
Current status:outside
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:bilge keels
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
ships:ships:ship:Byzantine ships:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Primary title: Shalimar

Previous title: Pollyanna

Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: JT451

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