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Vessel Number: HV000501
Date: 1925
Vessel Dimensions: 11.58 m x 2.74 m x 0.81 m (38 ft x 9 ft x 2.66 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
MOANI is a motor launch built in 1925 at the highly regarded Tasmanian boat builder Charles Lucas’ yard to a design by Ivor "Chips' Gronfors. It was also built at the yard by Gronfors and made for John Reid of Lake Macquarie NSW, a well-known businessman in the region and former mayor of Newcastle. MOANI became the flagship of the Lake Macquarie branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club when that was established in 1927 and Reid was the first commodore.
DescriptionMOANI's designer Ivar 'Chips' Gronfors was a shipwright who had settled in the Newcastle area before going to Hobart Tasmania to work at the Lucas boatyard in Battery Point. He was commissioned by John Reid to design him a luxurious motor cruiser suitable for cruising and fishing on Lake Macquarie. While Gronfors had worked at Charles Lucas' yard he become well-known through his work building the 21 Ft Restricted Class yacht TASSIE, and was clearly impressed by the Tasmanian timbers, choosing to have the boat built entirely of Tasmanian wood.

Lucas operated one of the principal yards in Tasmania at this time, and the craft was noted in contemporary reports of boat building activity: “... This boat will be a fine addition to the cruiser fleet of Lake Macquarie, and as the owner is sparing no expense, she should be a great advertisement of the skill of our local artisans." Another report noted that whilst the Lucas yard had built other craft for NSW owners, this was the first one 'constructed solely of Tasmanian wood'.

It was built in about three months, planked in Huon pine, with Tasmanian oak used for the keel, stem and stern frames, while the transverse frames were Tasmanian blackwood. It was fitted with twin 20 hp Buffalo engines supplied by W Holmes of Sydney. It was launched with much fanfare and the owner’s representative Mr LF Piese paid great tribute to all involved in its construction. The finished vessel was then shipped to Sydney and trialled there before cruising the short distance north to Lake Macquarie.

MOANI means' fast kangaroo' in the local Indigenous language of the Lake Macquarie region. It joined a small but increasing number of private launches in the region, and soon after on November 1 1927 a branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club was established on the lake, a move keenly supported by John Reid who became the first commodore. As flagship for the club, MOANI had the honour of hosting the Governor-General Lord Stonehaven on a visit he made to the region in 20th February 1929. He was taken fishing, and reports note that it rained throughout the morning and nothing was caught, but in the afternoon the Governor General landed two fine fish.

In 1930 the craft was lengthened to 11.6 m (38 feet) with an addition of about 1 metre at the stern, which improved its appearance and speed. Reid passed away in 1932 and MOANI was transferred to his brother Mark Reid. In 1935 it went to a new owner Carl Perry, who took the cruiser down to Sydney Harbour and kept it at the Spit. It was used for family holidays and fishing off Sydney heads.

In World War II it served with the Naval Auxiliary patrol from 1942, under the command of Howard Beale, later Sir Howard and a minister in the Menzies Government, and was attached to the Broken Bay division, No 11 patrol. Depth charges were carried on the aft deck, and it carried out many night patrols outside of the Barrenjoey.

After the war it returned to recreational cruising with the Perry family, but was based up at Broken Bay and Pittwater. Once again the family used MOANI, with newly married sons and families having their turn for outings on Pittwater and up the Hawkesbury River. MOANI was also a ferry for the local scouts, taking them to The Basin and back for their weekend camping trips.

In 2012 MOANI remains at Broken Bay in excellent condition.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
ships:ship:Byzantine ships:ships:wheelhouse

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