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Vessel Number: HV000512
Date: c 1943
Previous Owner: Royal Australian Navy ,
Vessel Dimensions: 12.19 m x 11.89 m x 3.96 m x 1.22 m (40 ft x 39 ft x 13 ft x 4 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
STAN is one of the 40 foot workboats built around Australia in large numbers for military operation during the Second World War. It is understood to have been built at Botterill and Frazer's yard in Williamstown, Victoria, the exact date is not known, but unlikely to be earlier than 1943. STAN most probably served with the Army in World War II as a workboat, and then became part of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of AWBs (meaning either Australian Work Boat or Army Work Boat) and commissioned with the number AWB 441. It was paid off in 1992. In 2012 it has been restored to an original condition and features its RAN colour scheme. It is now used as a pleasure craft on Sydney Harbour.
DescriptionSTAN is planked in Oregon on spotted gum frames, copper and bronze fastened. It has a forward cabin, wheelhouse and large, open aft cockpit, covered with a canvas awning on an aluminium frame. This was standard layout for the majority of the craft. They were initially powered by Cadillac or Chrysler 175hp petrol engines while later craft were built with Gray Marine 64HN9 diesel engines. Eventually most vessels were converted to these engines, which gave them a speed of about 9 knots. STAN has its original Gray marine diesel, shaft and propeller, all carefully restored to excellent condition. Its RAN service number AWB 441 was its only identification while in service with them. The workboats were almost all commissioned between 1943 and 1946, and allocated duties around Australia and New Guinea. They were employed in numerous ways including carrying supplies, personnel transport, ambulance work, refrigerated goods transport and patrol duties

The origins of the design are attributed to builder Botterill and Fraser in Victoria, but it has also been noted that the design is almost identical to a 50 foot workboat in North America. It may be that a North American design was adapted to suit mass production construction in Australian factories. These yards included Botterill & Fraser in Melbourne, AT Brine from WA, along with the vehicle builders General Motors at their Victorian and South Australian plants, and the Ford Motor Company in Victoria. The 40 foot workboats were often built by tradesmen and factory workers, with a skilled foreman overseeing the production. The builder's name was usally cast into the steering wheel, and STAN's wheel carries the Botterill and Fraser name.

Most of the 40-foot workboats were constructed for the Australian Army and given AM prefix numbers, but some were also built for the Royal Australian Navy and the RAAF. Records show a large list of allocated numbers, and it is known that some of these were probably never built.

The 40-foot AM or AWB’s strong and robust construction made them durable and a number were converted to other workboat roles or became pleasure craft after they were decommissioned. STAN has been very carefully restored by its current owner, with matching materials used for repairs, and identical copper and bronze fastenings employed throughout. There is considerable attention to detail in regards to the mechanical fittings which have been sourced from other craft or outside of Australia. The only significant modification is an improvement to the level of fit out for the berths and galley space in the forward cabin, and the installation of an enclosed head.

Prepared with assistance from The Register of Australian and New Zealand Boats, which carries a page on the 40 Ft Workboats -
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:floating
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Spar material:aluminium
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:docking keel
ships:ship:Byzantine ships:ships:wheelhouse
Alternate Numbers

: AWB 441

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