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Vessel Number: HV000340
Date: 1922
Vessel Dimensions: 13.67 m x 3.35 m x 1.09 m, 10 tonnes (44.85 ft x 10.99 ft x 3.58 ft, 10.16 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
CURLEW is a small timber ferry built about 1922. It operated services on the NSW Central Coast, in the Hawkesbury River, Cowan Creek and most recently in the Pittwater area, north of Sydney. It has operated continuously for almost 90 years and in 2010 was retired from its final service from Church Point on Pittwater.
DescriptionIt is understood CURLEW was built by Percy Duncan of Long Jetty at Tuggerah lakes NSW. It is timber carvel construction, 13.67 metres long and in 2011 was powered by a Perkins diesel engine. The vessel has been lengthened and had its superstructure altered. It was what is known as a well decked ferry, but now also features a wheelhouse at the forward end of the lower saloon cabin.

The earliest record of the ferry is in 1922 when CURLEW was operated by William Colmer from Long Jetty to Wyong and Killarney Vale. It was his second ferry. The service ended around 1928 and the ferry was sold to Lewis and Fisher who took it to Woy Woy on Brisbane Waters, New South Wales, where it operated until they sold their business in 1936.

Eric Standen Foster of Brooklyn Ferries was the next recorded owner, on the Hawkesbury River, where it was renamed BEROONA. Windybanks from Cowan Creek later bought the ferry and renamed it GLORIA. When they sold it to the newly established Church Point service run by Keith Egan in the 1950s it was once again renamed CURLEW. It was given the raised wheel house as well at this time.

One of the long standing skippers was Mick Miller. On one run CURLEW sprung a bad leak and he had to beach the craft, fortunately for some it was on Scotland Island. Once he had all the passengers off he gave the daytripping visitors directions for their day, and then considered his problem.

It is believed that a larger propeller was added in the 1960s which necessitated adding a longer stern so that CURLEW could compete in the local 'Ferry Wars'. The story goes that the residents of the area set up another ferry service in competition, and whichever ferry got to the wharf first got the fares.

CURLEW was retired from service and sold in 2012. It had been in survey to carry 58 passengers and proved highly reliable and efficient. It was enjoyed by the locals of Scotland Island, Elvina Bay and Lovett Bay, who sat out on the open deck and socialised on their way home in the summer evenings.

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:wood/fibreglass
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Motor propulsion:4-stroke4 cycle
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
ship:ships:Byzantine ships:ships:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Previous title: Beroona

Previous title: Gloria

Primary title: Curlew

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: NSW

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