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 WENTWORTH in 2013

Rating: 2.0


Vessel Number: HV000602
Date: 1948
Previous Owner: Stannard Bros ,
Vessel Dimensions: 11.58 m x 10.36 m x 3.89 m x 1.37 m, 8.13 tonnes (38 ft x 34 ft x 12.75 ft x 4.5 ft, 8 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
WENTWORTH is a timber workboat built by W Holmes Boat builder in North Sydney, NSW in 1948. It was used extensively on Sydney Harbour by the well-known firm Stannard Bros as a general purpose workboat and ferry or launch. It had a long career on the harbour and was integral to varied activities before it was retired in 1989. It now continues as a passenger vessel and a working museum craft at Port Macquarie NSW as the flagship for the Mid-North Coast Maritime Museum.
DescriptionWENTWORTH is carvel planked in Douglas fir (Oregon) with Australian hardwood used for the frames, keel and other internal structure. It is 11.58m long, and has a large enclosed cabin. The builders W. Holmes Boat Builder were one of the principle firms building craft on Sydney Harbour and most likely designed the vessel themselves. The current engine a 4 cylinder Gardner was installed in 1969. It is under survey to carry 20 passengers and two crew.

The launch worked with Stannard Bros, one of the main firms servicing Sydney and nearby waterways with their extensive fleet of tugs, ferries and workboats. WENTWORTH was a general purpose work launch, ferrying people around the harbour, carrying stores and mail to vessels moored in the harbour, transferring crew, handling ships lines at the wharves, the occasional rescue when bad weather gave problems to small craft, and transferring migrants to quarantine. It also managed some recreational work such as social cruising trips and acting as a starting launch for skiff races. One of its many wharves was the Man ‘o War steps on Bennelong Point, now the site of the Opera House.

Bill Jackson was interviewed by the ABC in 2002 about working on WENTWORTH. He recalled that his first job in 1960 as a skipper with the firm was to take the WENTWORTH out to a ship with its mail. Before leaving he asked, "What do I do about the mail?” and the answer was: “Well, just go close, and hold the mail up, and they’ll lower a bucket.” So he did just that, and held the wheel over to keep WENTWORTH on the ship’s side as they lowered the bucket down.

Dennis Bristow, former manager of at Stannards was also interviewed. He recalled the vessel was vital to their passenger carrying work in Sydney and Botany Bay, noting its long career and that it had “earned a lot of money for us”. They donated the craft for $1.00 to the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum in 1989 when Stannards started replacing their fleet with steel craft. Bristow organised the transport and has since remained in close contact with the museum and enjoys seeing the craft still in operation.

During 2002 WENTWORTH was given and major overhaul under the supervision of local tradesman Reg Bernauer, repairing or restoring various parts of the structure and fit out, and this has extended its working life for many more years.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
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:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
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
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

: 15640

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