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Vessel Number: HV000649
Date: c1911
Previous Owner: Robertson family ,
Vessel Dimensions: 9.14 m × 8.69 m × 2.74 m × 0.61 m (30 ft × 28.5 ft × 9 ft × 2 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
LOTUS is a motor launch built in 1910 in Adelaide. It was built for the Robertson family for use on the Murray River as transport from their station’ Chowilla’ near Renmark. It remained in use at the station and on the Murray for over 100 years, and has been restored by the Armfield Slipway in Goolwa.
DescriptionLOTUS was built by Ben Weir , probably at his yard in Birkenhead, Adelaide in 1911, There are conflicting reports on where it was built, with Goolwa an alternate location suggested. It had been ordered by the Robertson family who owned the station ‘Chowilla’ near Renmark in SA. It was planked in spruce and was transported up to the station either by the paddle steamer GEM (HV000118), or by rail. Station owner Robert Robertson was a skilled wood worker and he fitted the cabin and other fixtures, while his son Douglas installed the 16hp Argyle petrol engine, taken from a car.

Its maiden trip was to the Wentworth Show in 1910 where a party of eight from the family went along and stayed aboard during the show. On the return journey, 144 miles, it took 16 hours to cover the distance.

The family kept LOTUS as their launch over many generations. In 1926 the spruce planking was replaced with Jarrah by two shipwrights who came to the property to do the major repair.

In 1999 the Robertson family gave the LOTUS to Armfield Slipway. With assistance from an ANMM MMAPSS grant the vessel was restored and relaunched in 2004. The vessel now has much of its original enamelware with the name ‘Lotus’ painted on as part of its heritage fit out.

In September 2014 it made the journey from Goolwa to Chowilla and return, motoring there for the 150th anniversary of the station. It took pride of place at the head of a fleet of vessels including GEM and other paddle steamers that did a parade past the station as part of the festivities.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:floating
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:overhanging stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:skeg rudder
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Motor propulsion:petrol
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: RX 116 S

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