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Sandridge Flattie

Vessel Number: HV000535
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The Sandridge Flattie is a wooden fishing boat built by Harvey Maumill in Victoria in the 1950s. It was used for off the beach fishing at Seaford on the eastern shoreline of Port Phillip. The origins of the type relate to Sandridge Beach at the head of Hobsons Bay, on the northern or city part of Port Phillip, near the mouth of the Yarra and its mud flats. They were rowed, and used a seine-fishing net. It is understood to be the last example of this type which shared the region with the sail-rigged couta boats and net boats.
Description‘Dugga’ Beazley who is well-known for his knowledge of the working craft on Port Phillip has collected some of the history and knows this Sandridge Flattie was built by Harvey Maumill in the 1950s. Apparently Maumill had polio as a child and was confined to a wheel chair but this did not stop him being a prolific boat builder. It is considered likely that he was a son or grandson of another H Maumill, who built the racing hydroplane NAUTILUS II (HV000078) in 1912.

Beazely recalls the flatties had three oars and could row and set up to 250 fathoms (457 metres) of seine net which was then hand-winched back on board the boat. The boats were called a flattie as they originally worked around the mud flats at Fishermans Bend and an 1890 survey map of the Yarra River shows where these mud flats once were. One common feature to many of the early craft was that the straight keel profile was formed with three 100mm (4 inch) wide planks tapering to both ends. This gave a flat bottom which they sat on out of the water. This craft is more modern in construction, it has a small section-sized exterior keel which also runs straight and parallel to the waterline throughout. At the aft end over the last 750 mm, the clinker hull planking rises about 75mm on the centreline to give a higher tuck at the transom and a small deadwood or skeg effect. The garboard planks have a slight deadrise to them, a development from the original flat planking at the centreline.

The flattie originally belonged to Harley Klauer and his family who were well-known fishermen in Seaford on Port Phillip. They were known for their hauls of large snapper, with some of the fish up to 5kg in weight. Beazley says he saw the family once bring a tip truck load of snapper into the fish market with no ice and it was all rotten. Their trade was eventually stopped due to perceptions of serious overfishing by recreational fishing people.

The family considered restoring the boat before Beazley persuaded them to give him the boat to restore. For a period it used as a floating store for Beazley’s own nets, then he and his son David restored the boat. They decided to put a deck on it to help it hold its shape, originally it would have been an open boat, but it is now more versatile and safer to use in open water and rough conditions. The original thwarts remain in place

Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom

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