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GARGALE in 2009 near the Balmain shoreline


Vessel Number: HV000372
Date: 1950
Vessel Dimensions: 10.97 m x 2.74 m x 0.64 m (36 ft x 9 ft x 2.1 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
GARGARLE is a Sydney Harbour ‘G’ class workboat built by the Maritime Services Board of New South Wales (MSB) during the 1950s for their own use. These craft were the workhorses of the harbour supporting the MSB tradesmen and carrying out general duties every day. GARGARLE and other craft from the 'G' class were built at Goat Island in the shipyard run by the MSB. The 'G' stood for Goat Island and the names of all the workboats also began with 'G'. Around ten or so of this design were built and many still survive. In 2009, however, GARGARLE was the only ‘G’ class still operating as a workboat; for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services. In 2009 it remained moored at Goat Island in Sydney Harbour, its base throughout its life.
DescriptionDifferent designs for the ‘G’ class workboats were used depending upon the requirements of the MSB, and it is thought at least ten sister boats, about 11 metres long, were built to the same design as GARGARLE. They were heavily constructed to suit a potentially tough working life, coming alongside wharves and vessels many times each day, in all weathers. The craft carried passengers, supplies or small cargo items, did the pay run, pushed and pulled small barges and handled lines from ships when required. They were versatile and unpretentious, simply doing their work on a daily basis. One specific task was acting as a ferry between Circular Quay and Goat Island for the people who lived and worked on the island.

GARGARLE was retired from the MSB in 1993 when they moved their base onto the mainland. GARGARLE remained at Goat Island which became part of Sydney Harbour National Park when it was taken over by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services. Once again it was used to carry people between Goat Island and the Quay as well as around the various foreshore and island areas in the Sydney Harbour National Park.

In 2009 GARGARLE was in good condition and powered by a Thorneycroft diesel engine installed in the mid 1990s. This replaced a 40 kw Clae Bedford, which had in turn replaced what was probably a Ruston 4 cylinder diesel, the type of motor typically installed on the 'G' class launches.

Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
ship:ships:Byzantine ships:ships:wheelhouse
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 16157

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