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ALFRED NOBLE in 2008 with a Darwin sunset as background

Alfred Nobel

Vessel Number: HV000286
Date: 1951
Vessel Dimensions: 25 m x 6.17 m x 2.2 m, 120 tonnes (82.03 ft x 20.24 ft x 7.22 ft, 121.92 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
ALFRED NOBEL was built in 1951 as a 25 metre (82 feet) unpowered munitions lighter for the New South Wales Government. It has since had a varied career, being converted to a fishing boat, and then remodeled as a passenger charter craft. In 2009 it remained in commercial survey, operating in Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, carrying passengers.
DescriptionALFRED NOBEL was built 1951 for the NSW Department of Mines ( Explosives Dept.) to carry munitions from the store at Bantry Bay, Middle Harbour Sydney. The Department required two barges to be constructed. It is known that the sister barge called BANTRY BAY was built by Wynne S Breden at Newcastle, but it remains unclear if ALFRED NOBEL was built by the Maritime Services Board at Goat Island, or at Silverwater under contract. The wooden hull is built from spotted gum, a robust material long associated with wooden boat construction on the east coast of Australia. It is thought that the original fastenings are all non-ferrous as a safety factor to avoid sparks which could be calamitous in its role carrying volatile explosives.

By the mid 1970s it was no longer required for service on the Harbour, and the Tucker family in Tasmania bought the hull with grand plans to turn it into floating cabaret. It was towed to Tasmania for the work to take place, but the plans changed significantly and instead, the hull was successfully converted to a powered shark and salmon fishing vessel. With a crew of seven ALFRED NOBEL had a successful professional fishing career before moving onto new owners. It then became a trading vessel working around Flinders Island in Bass Strait.

What happened after that is fueled by rumours, which include gun-running in Indonesia, and squid fishing off Victoria. The record is clearer from 2004 when ALFRED NOBEL is known to have been in Mooloolaba, Queensland, fishing again, this time as a tuna long-liner. Sold again in Queensland to the current owners, ALFRED NOBEL went to Darwin for a further conversion to a harbour-based charter vessel, able to accommodate up to 100 passengers for corporate and private functions. As well as diesel engine power, ALFRED NOBEL also has a three-masted staysail schooner rig, but no sails are set. It is understood that two other lighter hull that were converted to other purposes and rigs were installed have been lost in accidents.

Throughout all these conversions and evolutions, ALFRED NOBEL's original spotted gum munitions lighter hull has remained reasonably intact, and the foundation for the many 'costume changes' over almost 60 years. The name it carries is a play on its original role; Alfred Nobel was the inventor of TNT.

Prepared with assistance from the Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats compiled by Mori Flapan;
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:schooner
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:docking keel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: NT Darwin On 850336

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