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747

Vessel Number: HV000664
Date: 1980
Previous Owner:
Vessel type: Gladstone skiff
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 6.17 m × 0.72 m (20.24 ft × 2.36 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
747 is a wooden Gladstone skiff built in 1980 by Sargent and Burton in Mortlake NSW. It is understood to be one of the last two of this Australian class of rowing sculls to have been built, bring to a close an evolution in design and construction that began in the late 1880s.
DescriptionThe cold moulded hull is 6.17m long and 720mm wide. It is built in marine plywood and the rounded hull is finished with a separate plywood sheer strake. The whole structure is supported by widely spaced frames, two beams at either end, or a series of beams in way of the sliding seat and stretcher. All beams are bracketed to the topsides strake. The only longitudinals are at the keel and topside strake joint to the moulded hull. It is a light but robust method of construction and the skiff has a varnished finish throughout.

747 has only had one owner, who rowed for The Brisbane Boys' College. He was Captain of Boats and was stroke on their coxed four which was undefeated in all regattas during 1953, up until an unfortunate "clash of oars" with a rival school at the start of the annual Head of the River event. This resulted in a third place to the victorious Southport School.

After leaving school he became a pilot but kept rowing as a means of recreation. In 1980 he went to Sargent and Burton's workshop in Mortlake Sydney with a request for a boat which would handle the choppy conditions of Pittwater where he lived. It was a timely request, S & B had recently completed a Gladstone Skiff which they were prepared to sell. It had been built by Kelvin Sargent who at the end of his apprentceship became the builder of Gladstones and maintained Sargent and Burton's tradition of building fine wooden boats.

Research into this class indicates that 747 would be one of the last Gladstone skiffs to have been built. The only other more recent example known is also an S&B craft from the mid-1980s, however it was built with an extra 600mm in length to accommodate a seat for a coach in the stern, and as such is a variant on the true nature of this single seat class.

The owner has kept the original invoice, and maintained the boat in as new condition throughout. The name is of course derived from his flying career as a pilot with QANTAS, flying Boeing 747s.

Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom

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