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Vessel Number: HV000254
Date: 1947
Designer: David Philp
Vessel Dimensions: 17.25 m x 16 m x 6.16 m x 1.83 m, 65 tonnes (56.6 ft x 52.5 ft x 20.21 ft x 6 ft, 66.04 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
RADAR is a small Sydney Harbour ferry built in 1947 for the well known and long-standing Sydney Harbour ferry operator Charles Rosman. It has remained in continuous service with C & J Rosman for over 60 years and has strong social associations with Sydney Harbour through its work on some of the inner-harbour routes and many charter operations. In 1972 it became the first ferry to have a liquor licence on Sydney Harbour. It is understood to be one of about 10 small inner-harbour ferries remaining from the many more that once plied the Harbour.
DescriptionCharles Rosman commissioned the design of RADAR around September 1945. It was designed by naval architect David Philp of Lombard Chambers, Pitt Street, Sydney and was design number 51 from his office. RADAR has a traditional hull shape but the superstructure and funnel are a more modern style.

RADAR was built in 1946/47 by Reg Adams at Berrys Bay, Sydney, who was then trading as Australian Fishing Industries. Material shortages caused delays and one significant problem was Rosman's demand for teak decking; he would not accept anything else. At this time imported teak was only available to Government wartime projects, so Rosman had to source used teak from the decking of HMAS ADELAIDE, then being broken up in Sydney. The ferry's decking shows evidence of its origins with graving pieces (timber inlays) in some of the planks where fastenings or equipment had been located on HMAS ADELAIDE's deck.

RADAR was launched in 1947, however because another vessel was registered with the same name, Rosman had to change the name and it was initially registered as LA RADAR. When the other RADAR's register was closed Charles Rosman immediately re-registered LA RADAR as RADAR.

The ferry was originally fitted with a Canadian-built six cylinder Vivian diesel which developed 90 kw (120 hp). Rosman found the Vivian had oil leaks and reliability problems. In 1959 he ordered an eight cylinder Gardner engine model 8L3 that gave 115kw (154 hp) power. After more than 50 years continuous service, and numerous overhauls, the Gardner engine remained in RADAR in 2009.

Not long after RADAR began operating, the original open top deck was recognised as limiting the numbers of passengers the vessel could carry in inclement weather. Most of the upper deck was then enclosed, however the workmanship was not of the standard of the original vessel and the upper deck, bulwarks and windows were completely replaced in recent years.

On 1 July 1972 a bar was opened on board RADAR and it became the first charter ferry on Sydney Harbour to be issued with a liquor licence.

RADAR remained operating in 2009 as part of the Rosman ferry fleet, now owned by Noakes Boat and Shipyards Pty Ltd.

Prepared with information provided by Mori Flapan at and Rosman Ferries

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:wood/dynel
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Byzantine ships:ships:ship:ships:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Primary title: Radar

Previous title: La Radar

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 179712

Related Sites Berrys Bay NSW

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