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Spray

Vessel Number: HV000483
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 2.44 m x 2.44 m x 0.71 m (8 ft x 8 ft x 2.33 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
SPRAY is a small child's canoe probably built in the late 1930s by an unknown builder for family use in Sydney. It has stayed in the Hall family for three generations. This remarkable little craft is built as an almost miniature representation of a much larger craft. It features the necessary structure of hull and deck planking, keel, stem and stern timbers, chines and frames, a mast and lug rigged sail along with small cast fittings, all very accurately put together. SPRAY is a fine example of craftsmanship that represents a boating equivalent of a high-class toy pedal car or other similar item, and was gifted by a grandparent to her grandchildren, a typical act of generosity then and now. The canoe and its fitout remain complete with few repairs evident, and although in fair condition at present, and sporting a 'tatty' sail, it is complete and shows exactly the intentions of the builder to make a first class little boat, with pretensions to be a bigger boat one day. In this manner it would satisfy a grandmother's likely wish for the perfect gift to give to her new family for their own imaginative childhood adventures.
DescriptionSPRAY is 2.44m long (8 feet) by 710mm wide (28 inches), single chine, and planked up in Australian cedar. It has a true double-ended hull shape about its midsection, and is varnished with a green bottom and the name at the stem. The topsides and vee bottom panels are a single plank each, but the deck is in four planks at each end. The small frames are very accurately spaced along the hull and every second frame supports the topsides, joined to its bottom section with a metal bracket acting as a knee. Five planks over the frames form a floorboard or seat throughout the cockpit bottom. It is a very strong structure for such a small craft. The foredeck and aft deck have a coaming or splashboard, and the ends are made into buoyant compartments with bulkheads just under the coamings. The mast has a set of partners with a post and tenon mast step at the keel. It supports a small lug-rigged loose-foot cotton mainsail. There is a bollard cleat on the foredeck and two open cleats aft for sheeting the main, each one delicately cast in brass. A double bladed paddle just over the length of the hull completes the whole arrangement. It is not known if it was made as a single commission, or whether the little canoe was part of a small production run retailed in a more exclusive shop in Sydney or perhaps the eastern suburbs.

The canoe has stayed in the same family all its life and now lives with the daughter of its first paddler who was Coleen Hall (1935 -2004). It was given to her and her elder brother John probably in the late 1930s by their grandmother "Granny Waley" who was Lady Waley, wife of businessman and strong charity supporter Sir Frederick Waley. The Halls lived in Ithaca Road, Elizabeth Bay in Sydney, and they launched the craft from their neighbour's waterfront.

Sadly her brother John died quite young, aged only 10, but SPRAY stayed with Coleen as she grew up and then married. When she had a family, SPRAY was still there waiting to be used by the next generation and it went from Sydney on the family holidays to Mt Martha in Victoria. Tied to the family car's roof racks SPRAY was offloaded when they got to the beach and paddled in the shallows.

In the late 1990s Coleen's husband did some work on SPRAY so it could be re-launched for his granddaughter Harriet in Rose Bay - the third generation to begin their boating adventures in SPRAY. Grandfather passed away in 2010, and soon after SPRAY left his Darling Point garage to go and live north of the harbour with his children's family.
Vessel Details
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:paddle
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Rig type:cat rigcat boatunauna rig
Rig type:lug
Sail cloth:cotton
Spar material:timber

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