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SY Preana

Vessel Number: HV000440
Date: 1896
Vessel Dimensions: 16.61 m x 2.84 m x 1.6 m, 12 tonnes (54.5 ft x 9.32 ft x 5.25 ft, 11.81 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
PREANA is a steam yacht that was built in Hobart Tasmania in 1896. It was designed in England as a private launch for Hobart flour miller WG Gibson. It is understood to be the only Hobart built steam yacht still surviving from the small number built around that period. In 2010 it has been restored to its original configuration but now has a different steam engine installation.
DescriptionPREANA was built for William Gibson, a Hobart flour-miller. It was built by Robert Inches, well-known for constructing many yachts and other craft for local owners and considered the premier builder in Hobart for his era. The 16.61 metre long hull is carvel planked in Huon pine. It was designed by the British firm Simpson, Strickland & Co who also supplied the steam engine, a 65 IHP triple expansion model. Gibson used the vessel regularly on the Derwent where it became very well known. After he died in 1905 his son continued to steam PREANA on the river for private outings, but the steam yacht was also generously offered for use to yacht club officials during races, as an umpire’s boat for rowing regattas and for excursions with visiting sporting teams and dignitaries.

A number of contemporary newspaper references note that " Mr. WG Gibson placed his steam launch PREANA at the disposal of the Commodore”, and one from the Mercury 28 October 1901 notes how it attended when a craft became swamped.

“Fortunately the PREANA was close up. Young Mr. Gibson lowered his dinghy in a jiffy - it was very smartly done- and rowed to the rescue of the crew struggling in the water, whilst the PREANA neared up, and threw out her lifelines to them. ..... In a few minutes more all were snugly ensconced in the saloon of PREANA where creature comforts were abundant."

PREANA was sold in June 1912 to Harold Gray, and it remained as a steam yacht for many years until an oil engine was fitted in the early 1930s by the Watt family, who used it as a fishing boat. In the mid 1930s it was sold to shipwright Charles Lucas who converted it to a motor yacht. In the late 1930s it was sold to WJ Clark, who renamed it WJ CLARK, before selling it in the 1940s to P Ketchell. He sold it to the current owner in 1992, at which time it had unfortunately sunk at its moorings. The vessel was raised causing some damage, but has since been restored to its former high class condition as steam yacht. In 2010 it is now back to its original configuration and fitout, but has an American built steam engine in place of the earlier power plants.

Vessel Details
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:double plankeddouble-planked
Hull material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:screw steamerSSsteam launchsteam shipsteam yachtsteamersteamshipSY
Motor propulsion:steam reciprocating
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:other
ships:Byzantine ships:ship:ships:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Primary title: SY Preana

Previous title: WJ Clark

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 1896

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