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Vessel Number: HV000616
Date: 1924
Builder: Bill Lang
Vessel Dimensions: 8.74 m x 2.94 m x 0.62 m (28.68 ft x 9.65 ft x 2.03 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
DORIA is a fishing boat built in 1924 in Fremantle Western Australia. It was built for Italian born Raffaele Minervini for commercial line fishing and then adapted for lobster fishing. When Minervini retired it was used by him for recreational fishing. DORIA was built as a sailing boat and in the late 1930s an auxiliary engine was installed. DORIA has only ever had one owner and was donated by Minervini’s family to Western Australian Maritime Museum in 1985, still in its original configuration as used by Minervini.
DescriptionBill Lang built DORIA in 1924 at his Riverside Drive, East Fremantle boat shed for Raffaele Minervini who had come to Fremantle from the Italian Molfetta fishing community. DORIA is a double-ended, carvel planked, gaff-rigged fishing boat, fitted with a centreboard, and is 8.74 m long, 2.94 m wide and 0.62 m deep. The planking is New Zealand kauri, the frames are WA karri while the keel and deadwood are WA jarrah. The deck planking is nyatoh, on Oregon beams and Oregon sheer clamp. It was ballasted with cast iron ingots. DORIA was fitted with a Volvo Penta petrol engine after 1937, the only substantial change to the craft other than repairs needed during its lifetime. Before it went on display at WA Maritime Museum it was fitted with a new stern post, deck, cockpit sole and coamings and some of the frames were replaced.

DORIA was designed for line fishing, also called wet fishing, and based in Fremantle. They were primarily fishing for dhufish and snapper, along with smaller fish and even shark. DORIA was later adapted to take on rock lobster fishing using ‘bee-hive’ pots.

Raffaele retired from commercial fishing in 1979 but used DORIA for his own family recreational fishing until he died in 1984, aged 92. DORIA was then donated to the WA Museum in 1985 by his family. Master Shipwright and museum volunteer Jeff Beale restored DORIA in 1997 and it is now displayed inside the WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle.

An oral History was conducted with Raffaele’s son John by Sally May from WAMM in 1997, and it provided the following background. Raffaele was born in 1892 in the fishing village of Molfetta, on the east coast of Italy, and migrated to Fremantle in 1912 .Over a period of years his three brothers joined him in Fremantle. After they had decided to settle permanently in Fremantle they brought their wives and families out to join them. Raffaele and Saverio fished from DORIA and DOMENICO and Ignazio fished from BENGHAZI, built along the same lines as DORIA in 1926.

Like most of Fremantle’s fishers (Sicilian, Molfettese and Austro-Hungarian before 1939, or Yugoslavian/Croatian after 1945), Raffaele was active in protesting against the exposed designated mooring area for fishing boats and the inequitable fish market auctioning system that discriminated against the fishers. This led to the formation of the Fremantle Fisherman’s Cooperative in 1947 that bought and sold its members’ catches and the construction of protective moles around the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour in the 1960s. His son John Minervini was the Manager of the Fremantle Fisherman’s Cooperative when it reached its financial peak in the 1980s as Western Australia’s premier rock lobster exporter.

Vessel Details
Ballast:cast iron
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:cotton
Spar material:timber

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