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Matoma

Vessel Number: HV000704
Date: 1929
Builder: Ivan Jones
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 13.56 m × 3.81 m × 2.06 m (44.5 ft × 12.5 ft × 6.75 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
MATOMA is a wooden yacht built in Queensland in the late-1920s. It was built at Bundaberg by its owner Ivan Jones and called AMALIA. The schooner’s design is understood to have come from the well-known naval architect John G Alden in the USA. It has had a varied life, including war service on the NSW coast in World War II and then becoming the family home for about five years in the early 1950s. Later it was sailed extensively in New Guinea. It is now in need of an overhaul and restoration, but much of the yacht’s structure contains its original integrity. It is a good example of regional and amateur boat building that includes a period of war service.
DescriptionThe 15 metre long schooner MATOMA is carvel planked, and was built by its first owner Bundaberg dentist Ivan Jones who was an amateur builder. The design is credited to John Alden and is likely to be one of the many Malabar Schooners built world-wide and in different ways more or less to the design and its variations put out by Alden. The yacht was named AMALIA after his wife’s grandmother whose family arrived from Sweden in 1885. The boat was built on the veranda of the house and then progressed to a shed. Jones was assisted by helpers, and at least some of these may have been patients providing help as a payment for their treatment. At completion it was towed to the water by a big steam traction engine much to the delight of the local children. Ivan Jones’ granddaughter Libby Jones tells the story from her father’s recollections.

“My Grandfather, Ivan Humphreys Jones was a dentist living at Bundaberg who decided to build his own yacht. The story goes that he went out into the rainforest with the saw miller and selected which trees were to be cut and milled for the build. I can't say how he gained the skills to build the boat, his own father was a Wesleyan Methodist Minister, who doesn't appear to have had much in the way of practical skills. But the photos I have, indicate he had help from several friends. I have not had any success in tracing the helpers as yet. Maybe some were local boat builders. The boat must have been launched in the late 1920's as my father, who was born in 1924 is in photographs at around 6 years old. His sister Glyn was born in 1927 and appears in photos with her father as a baby, certainly no older than 18 months. (My father refers to 1928 for the launching in his letter to my mother).

Ivan was forced to sell the boat in the mid 1930's, possibly partly due to the effects of the Great Depression and never got over the loss. My father, (Ivan) Raoul Jones, as a young lad loved his days sailing in AMALIA along the Barrier Reef with his father and these experiences were what made him decide to join the Navy at the age of 13. Dad knew AMALIA/MATOMA had been requisitioned by the Navy during the war and was then offered back to the second owner after the war. J C Jones (the second owner) decided not to take up the offer. My father lost track of the boat after that, but he repeatedly expressed the desire to track her down. He always believed she was still alive. Dad suddenly died 3 years ago”

At this time Libby Jones began looking to see herself if the family’s yacht was still in existence, and chanced upon Robin Stone who was also associated with the yacht from another family background. Robin Stone lived aboard MATOMA for five years. Her parents George and Iris Mott bought MATOMA in the early 1950s and sold it in 1955. The story is taken up by Robin, who reconnected with MATOMA while working at the Naval Historical Society at Garden Island, Sydney.

“Some time ago the Naval Historical Society had an e-mail request for information on a vessel by the name of AMALIA as it was thought to have been part of the Naval Auxiliary Patrol during World War II. With very little information to go on apart from the name, we replied that we could find no trace of the boat in our records.
In July 2013 we had another e-mail from the same person this time including a copy of a notice for the sale of small craft for the Commonwealth Disposals Commission Auction to be held at Pyrmont with the description of the so called AMALIA. The lady concerned who lives in Victoria, was trying to tie up a few loose ends after the death of her father who incidentally had been a Commodore in the RAN and always wondered what had become of the boat that he had helped his father build in the late 1920's in Bundaberg.

Upon reading the auction notice I felt that the wording seemed familiar and that it fitted the description of another boat that I was familiar with. I contacted the sender and asked if she could send a photograph of said vessel and to my absolute amazement it was the same boat that my parents had owned in the 1950's and that I had spent almost five years of my life from the age of 10, living aboard. Up until that moment we had only known her as MATOMA Since then Libby Jones and I have been in contact with one another on a regular basis exchanging stories and photos and we finally met recently and visited AMALIA/MATOMA where she now resides "on the hard" at Oyster Cove, Port Stephens.“
In the preceding years much had happened to the yacht. In 1938 when Ivan Jones had to sell AMALIA it was purchased by another Mr Jones from Bayview in Sydney. He added another foot (300mm) of draft added to the shallow keel which had been designed for sailing on the reef and made major alterations to the cockpit area. This was carried out at Solomon’s Boatshed at Newport on Pittwater and the hull was painted black. It is understood that the name was changed to MATOMA by Mr Jones
.
It was purchased by the RAN in 1942 for service in the Naval Auxiliary Patrol and the masts and bowsprit removed. The superstructure was fitted with a wheel-house and the whole craft painted grey, a Vickers machine gun was mounted on the bow and it was equipped with depth charges. It was given number 588 and used mainly along the coast on submarine watch. It was no longer a yacht as it had a 100hp Pontiac diesel fitted making it a motor launch.
MATOMA was offered back to Mr JC Jones in 1947 but he declined to purchase the yacht and the yacht broker Mr F Vaughn Jones bought it at a Commonwealth Disposals Auction. The next change recorded is when the Motts bought MATOMA, but they bought it from Lars Halvorsen, and it was back to its schooner auxiliary yacht configuration.

1955 MATOMA was sold by Iris Mott to John Devereaux who owned the yacht for 10 years. In 1966 it was sold to Allan and Mattie Jenkins from New Guinea where it was sailed extensively.

MATOMA was back in Australia in 1973 when Leon Grant became the owner, and then in 1977 it was purchased by Lee Clough Marine. They had bought the yacht from a couple who were restoring it after damage by vandals. Lee Clough Marine then on-sold the yacht to Geoff Hussey It was for sale again in 1983 and appeared in Queensland in 1985 at a gaffer’s regatta. The next recorded owners were Mona Vale fruit shop proprietors in the early 1990s, then it moved to Coffs Harbour and was owned by Andrew Anderton but by 2000 it was up for auction by receivers and bought by its current owner. He plans to restore it to better sailing condition.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:non-operational
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
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:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:petrol
Propeller:single
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:schooner
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Primary title: Matoma

Previous title: Amalia

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