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Boarding Boat No 3

Vessel Number: HV000581
Vessel Dimensions: 5.85 m x 1.92 m (19.19 ft x 6.3 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Boarding Boat Number 3 is a ship-based pilot's tender used aboard the Pilot Steamer BIRUBI from the second quarter of the 20th century, servicing the port of Newcastle, NSW. Although its age and builder are unknown, the tender's hull structure features the original clinker construction and open layout used when it was a tender.
DescriptionBoarding Boat Number 3 is 5.85m long, clinker built, painted white throughout, and fitted with four thwarts supported by double knees. There are chaffing battens fitted through the middle of the hull to protect the edge of the topside strakes where the hull wears against the side of the ship or pilot vessel while the crew and pilot are boarding the tender. It has lifting eyes forward and aft. Life lines are fitted forward each side and it has a rope fender on stem. Chiselled into the starboard stringer near the stem is the inscription “No 3”.

The pilot steamer BIRUBI was built at the Walsh Island Government Dockyard in Newcastle and was launched on 19 August 1927. It carried boarding boats including this craft No 3, and therefore BIRUBI may have been built at the same dockyard at the same time. However it si also possible the construction is more recent as the craft were operated in a rough environment, and rotated for use with reserve tenders stored ashore. They were occasionally replaced during the pilot vessel’s lifetime, and this vessel may have been built at Garden Island later than 1927.

The boarding boats were used to transfer pilots to waiting vessels at sea. The open boats were lowered over the side and a crew of two or three rowed the pilot to or from the waiting vessel.

BIRUBI was based in Newcastle but was also used as the relieving pilot steamer on Sydney Harbour whenever the Pilot Boat CAPTAIN COOK III was having a refit. BIRUBI was broken up at Sydney in 1965. Boarding Boat Number 3 was saved from the vessel possibly by the Maritime Services Board of NSW, and its subsequent use or disposal is not recorded. The boat was donated by the Scout Movement of Australia to the Newcastle Maritime Museum in 1973. It is understood to have come from around Kempsey. It was accessioned in 1975 and given the number 1975/121.

Vessel Details
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:open
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:sweep oar
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom

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