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Le Cygne

Vessel Number: HV000537
Date: 1922
Builder: Fred Moore
Vessel Dimensions: 9 m x 2.7 m (29.53 ft x 8.86 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
LE CYGNE is a motor launch built in 1922 by Fred Moore and his son Tasman in Launceston Tasmania. Fred Moore was a well-respected Tasmanian builder during that period, and one of two in northern Tasmania, the other was EA 'Ned' Jack. LE CYGNE represents a typical stylish motor launch, a type that was once popular on the Tamar River. Its light displacement and narrow beam were well suited to the river's protected waters. It is one of a few of the Tamar River craft built by Moore to remain extant. During World War II it is understood to have served as an Auxiliary Patrol Boat and was operated out of Devonport. It had just over seven decades operating from Launceston or Devonport where it was very well known.
DescriptionLE CYGNE was built by Fred Moore for Mick Anderson of Devonport. It is 9.0 metres long, and carvel planked in 7/8in (22 mm) Huon pine over steam bent blackwood frames. Tasmanian oak was used for most of the longitudinal structure. It was launched with a raised deck extending almost 2/3rds the length of the hull, and cabin top over the aft cockpit. It was later modified by Tasman Moore to include saloon cabin over the raised deck area and a flying bridge steering position, but the date for this work is unknown.

Anderson used LE CYGNE on the Tamar River until 1940 when ownership passed to Basil Willis at Devonport. During the Second World War it was understood to be on the register of volunteer boats for the Naval Auxiliary Patrol and painted grey. One surviving record from the war notes a vessel CYGNET, with very similar dimensions to LE CYGNE, so its most likely it did serve in some capacity. Le Cygne stayed at Devonport for three decades then returned in 1970 to the Tamar River owned by Alan Bell. Bruce Talbot bought LE CYGNE in 1976, and in 1981 it was sold again and returned to Devonport with the new owner Len King. It came back to Launceston for a third time with Brian Lehner in 1983, and in 1985 went to Robin Yates. The current owner bought LE CYGNE in 1993 and shipped the launch over to Port Phillip.

LE CYGNE remains in excellent condition, with a BMW marinised Hatz industrial diesel engine replacing the original motor. The original interior and superstructure as built by both Fred and Tasman Moore remains complete and LE CYGNE serves as an excellent example of their craftsmanship.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
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:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Previous title: Cygnet

Primary title: Le Cygne

Alternate Numbers

: DS-128

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