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Vessel Number: HV000563
Date: 1949
Vessel Dimensions: 9.14 m x 2.74 m x 0.91 m (30 ft x 9 ft x 3 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
BJ is a 9.14m long wooden tug built in 1949 in Forster NSW by shipwright Alf Jahnsen. It was launched as MONTEREY for C.A Blows & Sons who had won the NSW government tender in June that year for the existing punt and launch service connecting the two towns Forster and Tuncurry, a service begun by Charlie Blows over 25 years earlier. MONTEREY worked in this dual vessel operation for a decade, and provided an essential service for the residents and tourists in the area until the bridge was opened in 1959.
DescriptionAlf Jahnsen worked with colleague Leo Ryan to design and build MONTEREY. The vessel pushed a barge or punt that ferried passengers and vehicles between the two towns for a further ten years from 1949, offering a day and night service at times.

The first two-car vehicular ferry service was begun by Charlie Blows in 1922 using a barge with fence like sides and gates at either end. A launch was used to push the punt across the channel. Ladies with prams were often forced to cross perched on the back flap of the barge and pedestrians could choose to sit in the launch or if there was no room to stand on the punt. MONTEREY was able to take up to 20 passengers and the final barge used on the service in the 1950s was able to take six vehicles at a time.

The bridge was opened in 1959, and MONTEREY assisted in the work to build the bridge, but once the bridge was completed the ferry service became redundant. The Forster ferry landing was a little to the south of the current bridge approach and can be seen today.

In 1961 MONTEREY was taken by road to Sydney, and modified for use as a general purpose tug for Balmain operators Bailey and Jorgensen. They built a forward wheelhouse onto the superstructure. Renamed BJ in honour of the company, it was operated by them for 13 years. BJ’s modest size made it very useful as it could be deployed in shallower water where the larger tugs were unable to go.

In 1974 it was sold to Harbour Lighterage Pty Ltd and continued to work for them for nine years before it was retired from their service. In 1983 it was sold into private ownership. In 2013 BJ will leave Sydney Harbour following restorative works and undertake a coastal voyage back to the place of its launching.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:wood/fibreglass
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:docking keel
ships:ship:Byzantine ships:ships:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Primary title: BJ

Previous title: Monterey

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: BJ40N

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