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Arcadia II

Vessel Number: HV000256
Date: 1939
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 15.85 m x 15.15 m x 4.32 m x 1.68 m, 28.54 tonnes (52 ft x 49.71 ft x 14.16 ft x 5.5 ft, 29 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
ARCADIA II is a large motor launch purpose-built in 1939 in Tasmania as an excursion vessel for the Derwent River. In 2008 it was one of last remaining wooden river cruisers still in service.
DescriptionARCADIA II was built in Hobart by shipbuilder Harold McKay. The 15 metre (52 ft) long vessel was planked in Huon pine and originally fitted with an Atlantic diesel engine. It is now powered by a Gardner 6LX diesel motor.

The motor launch was built for Hobart hotel proprietor and coach operator George Romantech as an excursion vessel intended to expand his tourist activities on the Derwent River. Romantech was host of the Arcadia Hotel in Hobart, and had a previous vessel called ARCADIA I.

The vessel was built by Harold McKay at his New Town yard, and he was assisted by Tasman Mackey who was to be the skipper of the new vessel. ARCADIA II was launched around May in 1939, and a report in the June issue of the International PowerBoat and Aquatic Monthly carried a glowing description:

"With her flared bow and graceful lines she will, on completeion, be as beautiful a vessel as ever graced Tasmanian waters, and should give a decided impetus to the motor yachting in Southern Tasmania. ...... ARCADIA II is expected to be the fastest vessel for her size ever seen on the Derwent"

ARCADIA II probably only saw a short period of operation on the Derwent under Romatech's ownership. With the outbreak of war ARCADIA II was eventually requisitioned to serve as an inspection vessel on the Derwent. Later in the war it was fitted with a Vickers machine gun.

After the war it is known that it was bought by the Navy's sea cadets and used by them from 1953 to 1956. In 1956 it became a charter vessel again, and in 1961 it was bought by Jack Legard. Eventually it moved to Macquarie Harbour on the west coast. For a short period it was used as a fishing craft, along with other general duties such as towing exploration gear and Huon pine log rafts. ARCADIA II was returned to its original use as an excursion vessel remaining at Macquarie Harbour until 1970. It was sold and moved to Corinna in the Tarkine wilderness on the Pieman River, north-west Tasmania, where it operates as a tourist vessel.
Vessel Details
Ballast:concrete
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Propeller:single
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 0030

Official Number: 153906

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