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Vessel Number: HV000378
Date: 1922
Previous Owner: Inspector J Milne ,
Vessel Dimensions: 4.27 m x 1.52 m x 0.49 m (14 ft x 5 ft x 1.6 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
NELL is a rowing skiff built in 1922 by renowned boat builder Billy Fisher. It was built as a retirement gift for police officer James Milne. It remained in the family until the late 1980s. It is a typical skiff from the post World War I period, once common on Sydney region waterways and appears quite similar to the skiffs once used by water police on Sydney Harbour.
DescriptionNELL is 4.27 metres long and lapstrake planked in Queensland maple. Billy Fisher, one of Sydney's finest small craft builders, worked at La Perouse in Botany Bay. NELL was presented to Inspector 1st Class James Milne by his Police Force colleagues when he retired in 1922. The name was chosen in honour of the inspector's daughter.

NELL was kept at the family boatshed on the George's River at Blakehurst, and passed to subsequent generations. In 1988 the family donated NELL to the Sydney Heritage Fleet and the skiff was restored at Cockatoo Island Dockyard. The keel, stem and other parts of the structure were replaced, it was completely refastened and then returned to a painted interior and clear finished exterior.

The original 1922 presentation plaque remains in place on the interior toward the stem, and a new plaque from the Shipwright Apprentices at Cockatoo Dockyard has been mounted on the inside of the transom.
Vessel Details
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:open
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom

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