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Myra Burgess Dinghy

Vessel Number: HV000238
Date: 1914
Previous Owner: Myra Burgess ,
Vessel Dimensions: 3.43 m x 1.4 m (11.25 ft x 4.6 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The Myra Burgess dinghy is a small 3.4 metre dinghy from Tasmania, built as a wedding present for Huon Valley orchardist Myra Burgess in 1914. The dinghy was often the Burgess family's primary means of transport and should have been burnt following Myra's dying wish. Her wish was not carried out and the dinghy remains an excellent example of small craft construction from the early 1900s with strong local associations on the Huon River.

DescriptionThe 3.43 metre craft was built by Tucker Able at Battery Point in Hobart, around 1914. It was built 'by eye' with the following in mind; good rowing - dry in a short chop - able to carry a fair load. It is planked in Huon pine, with frames on about 175 mm spacings, and two thwarts. The floor of the dinghy has a series of longitudinal battens over the frames.

It is the only recorded dinghy built by Tucker Able a well-known launch builder and operator in Hobart. The dinghy was commissioned by orchard owner Harold Burgess as a wedding present when he married Myra Pillings.

The dinghy was always in use on the Huon River, and Myra regularly rowed 3 km each way for her groceries from the family orchard on the waterfront at Pillings Bay, across to Shipwrights Point at the mouth of Hospital Bay in Port Huon. Perhaps the battens on the floor of the boat kept the stores clear of any water in the bilge. The dinghy was often the primary means of transport, used for social outings, attending church and picking up visitors.

Myra was known as a practical person, 'not one to tolerate fools', who very much loved her boat and her dying wish to friend Roger Harwood was for him to take the dinghy out 'and burn it on a bonfire'.

Fortunately he recognised the heritage value of the vessel to the Port Huon community, as well as being attracted to its shape and craftsmanship. Roger could not bring himself to set it on fire, and ensured it was passed on to another friend in Geeveston on the Huon River. In the early 2005 it was used by a class at Tasmania's Wooden Boat School for an exercise in lifting the lines off a small craft.

Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Current status:not on display
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel

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