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Vessel Number: HV000380
Date: 1964
Previous Owner: R McKenzie , N Ralph ,
Vessel Dimensions: 4.47 m x 4.06 m x 1.7 m x 0.48 m (14.67 ft x 13.32 ft x 5.58 ft x 1.57 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
CONFUSION is an early plywood recreational ski boat, locally designed, built and powered in Victoria by Seacraft Manufacturing Pty Ltd in 1964. It is a single chine craft that was inexpensive and robust, allowing many people with limited means to own a good performance recreational powerboat. It is a uniquely Australian story of ingenuity. CONFUSION is thought to be one of the few surviving examples of a Seacraft ski boat from this period, which saw high-volume fibreglass mass production gradually supercede the low volume, wooden boat assembly method using pre-cut parts that was used for CONFUSION's construction.
DescriptionSeacraft Manufacturing was based in Mordialloc, Victoria. The principal of the firm was builder Charles W Tull, originally known for his sailing boats on Port Phillip. In the mid 1950s he saw a need for simple and affordable recreational ski boat in contrast to the more expensive clinker or lapstrake style of hull available from his own firm and a number of other builders. By 1964 he had designed and built a sturdy plywood ski boat. His hullshape was similar in concept to the planked craft. The veed bow gradually flattened out to the stern so it had almost the same characteristics as the round bilge clinker hulls. However the simple panel construction was cheaper to build and well suited to a limited assembly line procedure using precut panels around wooden moulds. The boat caught on, despite being in competition with the increasingly popular fibreglass hulls.

In line with his ideas of simplicity, Tull also installed petrol motor car engines in the craft, and the fitout was basic. This produced a simple, robust craft with adequate performance, at a price that many could afford. Tull offered the boats in various stages of construction and fitout, with different engines and even a trailer. In 1966 DADDY O, a similar craft to CONFUSION was selling for $2013, complete with the ubiquitous Holden 186 straight 6 cylinder motor, while a deluxe version with more detailing and a Holden X2 motor sold for $2611. The concept remained viable up to the late 1960s when fibreglass hulls took over domination of the market.

CONFUSION is 4.47 m long, built from Ocean Proof marine grade plywood and in 2009 was still powered by its original Holden 6 cylinder engine, a 138 cu. in. Grey motor.

It was originally named WONDER and owned by R McKenzie for nearly 30 years, until 1992. It has remained in Victoria and in 2009 was being restored.

Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:petrol
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Primary title: Confusion

Previous title: Wonder

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: XN79

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