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Porthole

Vessel Number: HV000655
Date: 1952
Builder: AR Settree
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 8.23 m × 3.66 m (27 ft × 12 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Porthole
Significance
PORTHOLE is a fishing boat built at Huskisson NSW on Jervis Bay in 1952. It was built for local fisherman Rocco Musumeci by the Settree family, the principal boatbuilders in the region. Formerly known as the snapper boat ANTIONETTE, it represents the story of this well-known type used on the NSW coast. The vessel’s canoe stern shows the type’s variation in styles and proportions. In particular PORTHOLE interprets the strong Jervis Bay boatbuilding tradition which reached a peak with the father and son Settrees, both named Alfred. It also captures the changing stories of the local fishing industry before becoming a recreational fishing craft. It is now on display at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and is located very close to where it was built.
DescriptionIn 1952, Rocco Musumeci commissioned Alfred Raymond Settree, whose yard was on the shores of Currumbene Creek, Huskisson NSW, to build him a snapper boat for his growing fleet of fishing vessels operating from Jervis Bay. Alfred Raymond Settree together with his father Alfred William Morrow Settree II constructed PORTHOLE then named ANTOINETTE, sourcing the wood from local forests. It is 8.84m long and was carvel planked with a timber deck and cabin. They built it with an ‘elliptical stern’ or canoe stern, a characteristic which became recognisable on the South Coast as a ‘Settree boat’.

It was built with twin engines (Rustin Hornby petrol motors) because Musumeci once had trouble with a single engine vessel and had run aground when the engine failed. He did not want that to happen again and insisted on a twin engine configuration. However the twin engines and propellers matched with just a single rudder on the centreline made PORTHOLE notoriously difficult to steer and PORTHOLE ran aground on a number of occasions, most notably in 1980 at the entrance to Currumbene Creek fully loaded with salmon. John Settree, along with his father Alfred Raymond assisted in the rescue and repair of the boat, resulting in three generations of the Settree family being associated with the vessel over its lifetime.

After it was sold by Musumeci in 1989 to Wayne Walker, the name was changed to PORTHOLE. Whilst under the ownership of Claudio and Katrina Zarella in the 1990s, PORTHOLE was used by Claudio to catch Pilchards. Kevin Polley bought PORTHOLE on the 5 July 2001 and spent the next 18 months restoring it for recreational fishing expeditions on Jervis Bay.

Kevin Polley was a member of a group of boat enthusiasts known as the ‘Pirates and of the Currumbene’. This group of around 14 local boats would set out on weekends early in the morning and fish around Jervis Bay, before all meeting up at 4pm off Long Beach. The group would gather on PORTHOLE for a BBQ and drinks until 10/11pm before heading home PORTHOLE was considered amongst the group to be the best platform for a party.

In April 2013, Kevin Polley donated PORTHOLE to the Lady Denman Heritage Complex, now the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum. The vessel now has a raised deck and a wheelhouse that were not part of the original construction, but they both reflect the changes made to suit new owners and their varied use for the vessel.

PORTHOLE is currently out of the water in the grounds of museum, near the shores of Currumbene Creek, approximately 300 metres from the old Settree boat building facility where it was constructed. It has been stabilised and restoration work will begin once another Settree vessel KINGFSIHER is restored and re-launched.

PORTHOLE, KINGFSHER, and NINON (CREST) (a Dent built vessel), are all listed on the ARHV and are all in the JBMM collection. They are three of the very few remaining vessels with an original and long term connection to Huskisson. Together they tell a strong story about the region’s boat builders and fishing.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:not on display
Current status:outside
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:clinkerglued lapstrakelapstrake
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:motor vesselMV
Propeller:twindual
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Previous title: Antionette

Primary title: Porthole

Alternate Numbers

: LFB 279

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