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Vessel Number: HV000415
Vessel Dimensions: 18.36 m x 3.1 m (60.24 ft x 10.17 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
DEERUBBIN is an ex-Royal Australian Navy Torpedo Recovery Vessel built by the Halvorsen firm during World War II which has since played an important role as a VIP vessel and workboat for the Snowy Mountains Scheme. From 1984 it has developed a strong Indigenous connection. Over its lifespan of more than 65 years it has seen the extremes of working life from military vessel to passenger vessel. Its principal role was its period as a VIP boat when it was sold in the early 1960s to the Snowy Mountains Authority and used on the then newly created dam Lake Eucumbene. This dam was part of the huge engineering feat that was a significant national achievement from the late 1940s until finished in the mid 1970s. The superstructure was modified extensively for its work on the lake. As an example of the support craft built by the Halvorsen firm during the war period it is understood to be the only surviving TRV. It is also an example of a military craft that has survived because it has evolved its arrangement to suit civilian use, in this case to become a work boat and then excursion boat. In 2010 it shows the three stages of its use with the retention of its original TRV hull construction, the additional superstructure added while on Lake Eucumbene and then further superstructure additions for its use as an Indigenous excursion craft. DEERUBBIN now operates in 2010 on Sydney Harbour as charter and cruise vessel for the Indigenous Tribal Warrior Association.
DescriptionDEERUBBIN was built at the Halvorsen's Ryde shipyard and was one of three similar craft built at that time. AS TRV 2 it served with the RAN during World War II supporting ships and RAAF aircraft flying out of Nowra when they undertook torpedo training exercises off the Sydney coastline. As part of their work they retrieved the torpedoes after test firing. It is 18.36 m long and planked in mahogany, with two diagonal layers and an outer carvel planked layer.

The Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme was one of the most important engineering projects undertaken after the Second World War.. Many large lakes were created when rivers flowing from the Snowy Mountains highlands were dammed, and TRV 2 was first loaned in the 1960s and then sold in 1971 to the Snowy Mountains Authority to work on the scheme. It was renamed WANDELLA, an Indigenous word for 'bark stripped from a tree'. As WANDELLA it carried men and equipment to building sites around the shoreline and VIPs touring the Scheme. After 1972 it stayed on as a pleasure boat on Lake Eucumbene. During these period images of it on the lake show that it had a new superstructure added at an unknown date. This included a large saloon cabin forward incorporating extensive windows all around, and high guardrails.

In 1984 it was purchased for charter work on the Hawkesbury River, and given the name DEERUBBIN which is the local Darug people's name for the Hawkesbury River. The superstructure is understood to have been further changed around this time to include the wheelhouse and open deck seating on the aft cabin top. In 2001 the Tribal Warrior Association acquired DEERUBBIN and after an extensive overhaul they have operated it for their maritime training programme and Aboriginal Cultural Cruises on Sydney Harbour. It was fitted with three Perkins diesel engines and was in survey as a passenger vessel.

The interior featured many carvings and other artworks by Indigenous people. They depicted various scenes and stories including references to the lugger TRIBAL WARRIOR's voyage around Australia.

In 2011 DEERUBIN has been taken out of survey and sold by the Association after they bought a larger charter vessel. Currently the vessel shows the three stages of its working life: the original raised-deck hull complete with the double, wide rubbing strakes along the topsides, the additional superstructure added while working on Lake Eucumbene, and finally the wheelhouse and seating that has been added over the top of this after it came to Sydney. It is one of a small number of vessels which show the interesting (and once widely practiced) series of adaptations of small naval vessels.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:double plankeddouble-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:spade rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Byzantine ships:ships:ship:ships:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Previous title: Wandella

Previous title: TRV 2

Primary title: Deerubbin

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 17456

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