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FV Dolphin

Vessel Number: HV000663
Date: 1939
Vessel Dimensions: 21.64 m × 3.81 m × 1.52 m (71 ft × 12.5 ft × 5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
FV DOLPHIN is a cray fishing boat built at Port Fairy in 1941. It was built by the Haldane Bros and represents their strong commitment to fishing in the region and an important stage in their career that culminated in the building of the large fishing vessel TACOMA HV000151 and their move to Port Lincoln. The Haldane’s became the founders of the tuna fishing industry of that region, but this legacy was built on a tradition of family self-sufficiency, and DOLPHIN is a major step in the early stages of that story. In later years DOLPHIN was sold to new owners in Beachport SA, to the west of Port Fairy, and is understood to have caught more rock lobsters in that region of SA than any other vessel due to its long career in the industry. DOLPHIN has a very strong connection to the region having fished there up until 2014 when it was retired and acquired by the Tacoma Preservation Society to work alongside TACOMA and tell the story of fishing by the Haldane’s and fishing in general.
DescriptionThe Haldane brothers William, Alan and Hugh had built the fishing boat AMARYLLIS in 1933 and used it for shark fishing and some crayfishing It was taken over by the Air Force early in the Second World War so they built DOLPHIN during 1941 at their property on the Moyne River in Port Fairy, Victoria. The carvel planked hull was built in Huon pine. It is 11.88m long and currently powered by a 453 G.M. Detroit diesel.

The Haldanes designed DOLPHIN themselves and installed the same engine as AMARYLLIS, a National 37 HP diesel. They considered it to be a better work boat all round. AMARYLLIS was a canoe stern or double-ender hull, but they changed to a transom stern for DOLPHIN to give them a large cockpit at the stern for working area and for setting long lines. It also made the boat much more stable by carrying the beam right aft. With DOLPHIN the propeller was situated well under the boat, stopping cavitation which had been a problem in the double ender.

The Haldane’s are quoted as saying: “AMARYLLIS was a poorly designed double ender and would dip her stern under when punching into a heavy sea. This made us go to a transom stem which gave us more buoyancy aft, and was a much better sea boat. The DOLPHIN was a much faster and easier driven hull than the AMARYLLIS, with the same horse power.”

Maurice Cogliano from Beachport on the SW cost of SA was one its two later owners, he took over DOLPHIN in 1949 when he returned from sailing to Europe on the grain ship PASSAT. He noted in 2014 that DOLPHIN was one of the state’s few remaining timber vessels still fishing.

“She is a beautiful model and sea vessel and at the time she was built well superior to any other shark/cray vessel. You may not remember that she had a self-draining cockpit aft, which was great for couta fishing. It is a pity it was decked over. I believe, without doubt, that she would have caught more crays over the years than any other vessel. We (Brother Frank and I; me 19 and he 14 years of age) caught large quantities because much of the grounds we fished had never been fished before. We were not satisfied with 12 x lOO lb bags a day off Beachport and used to fish previously unfished grounds off Cape Douglas and catch 30 bags. We were also the first in the South East to rock-hop for crays, i.e., in among the shallow reefs where we took large catches. Vaughan Chambers who purchased the Dolphin from me was a top fisherman and caught large quantities of both shark and crayfish as well.”

DOLPHIN was still fishing out of Beachport and Southend in 2014 and owned by the Chambers family when it was finally retired. It has since been purchased by the Tacoma Preservation Society in Port Lincoln to join TACOMA and tell the Haldane’s fishing story.

Vessel Details
Ballast:cast iron
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Rig type:sloop
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:docking keel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 5139

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