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Vessel Number: HV000540
Date: 1952
Vessel Dimensions: 15.85 m x 4.5 m x 1.2 m, 20 tonnes (52 ft x 14.76 ft x 3.94 ft, 19.68 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
BAYBIRD is a motor launch built in Brisbane Queensland in 1952 for use on Moreton Bay and coastal Queensland. It represents a Moreton Bay crusier of the 1950s, and shows a more modern development for a higher speed displacement craft, with a chine hull form which was tank tested by its designer. This would have been a rare design practice in this period for a privately commissioned craft. BAYBIRD's styling is quite typical for a Queensland cruiser featuring an enclosed wheelhouse forward and lower saloon cabin aft.
DescriptionBAYBIRD's designer remains enigmatic, the person is only known to be a German aeronautical engineer who had also designed vessels, with no name recorded. The hull shape was tank tested, and this is presumed to have taken place at a tank managed by the Engineering Department of the University of Queensland, where there was a degree course in Naval Architecture. The hull is vee sectioned, with a chine running the length of the hull, and the sections reduce in deadrise toward the transom. There is also a typical motor launch tumblehome curve to the topsides at the transom.

It was designed for FL Hudson who owned a brass hardware manufacturing business. He commissioned Harold Spring to build the vessel, and his firm Spring and Dinard operated from Breakfast Creek off the Brisbane River. During the war they had built similar double planked hulls for high speed craft such as 02-014 ACTION (HV000453). The internal planking was marine plywood, externally the topsides were finished in Pacific maple and the bottom was planked with flooded gum. The chine logs are yellowwood. The joint between the planking layers was treated with copper napthalate, coated with red lead, and then a mixture of red lead and whiting used as a sealant and glue between the skins.

It was fitted with twin, World War II vintage, Dorman V8 diesel engines that would have been intended for air sea rescue craft that were ordered but not built by the time the war ended. The engines were moved forward during construction, and when the craft was launched and trialled it had a nose or bow down trim. Hudson contracted another builder to lengthen the bow, and 1.83 metres was added bringing the craft from 14.02 metres to 15.85 metres length. The trim was corrected with this revision.

BAYBIRD was launched in 1952 and was one of the largest pleasure craft on Moreton Bay at this time. Its subsequent history is not well documented; it has had at least two owners between Mr Hudson and the current owners, and was re-engined with new diesels at an unknown date. The original superstructure and arrangement remain in place, and there are also some of the original bronze fittings including the stanchions that were cast in Hudson's foundry in 1952. In 2012 BAYBIRD remains in very good condition cruising the Queensland coast.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

: MU617

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