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ISE PEARL on the Great Barrier Reef.

Ise Pearl

Vessel Number: HV000720
Date: 1956
Builder: CE Crowley
Vessel type: Pearling Luggers
Vessel Dimensions: 16.15 m × 14.32 m × 4.57 m × 2.13 m (53 ft × 47 ft × 15 ft × 7 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
ISE PEARL is a pearling lugger built in Queensland in 1956. The builder Charlie Crowley was well known and the design came from the nearby yard Norman Wright and Sons. This collaboration of builders was not uncommon along the Brisbane River where their yards were located, and is a good example of the shared relationship many of the trades maintained. ISE PEARL was owned and operated by Japanese pearling interests for 38 years, and has since found a new career and become a charter boat on the Great Barrier Reef, maintaining much of its original configuration. It has also featured in a number of film and TV productions. It is one of a small number of surviving post World War II Torres Strait pearling luggers.
DescriptionISE PEARL is a carvel built lugger 16.15m long and 4.57m wide. It has an auxiliary motor and is now fitted out with a living arrangement through the hull in place of stowage space. It is gaff ketch rigged and has a cabin on deck. Its original name was ENVY ( when registered as No 7 in 1956) and it was built for and operated by Japanese pearlers for 38 years It was later renamed ISE PEARL, after the famous shrine town in Japan called Ise, a coastal city in the central Mie Prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu. The original rig did not have topsails, but the current owner has added the additional sail area to improve its speed and add another dimension to the experience for the passengers. It handles the extra sail area well, a tribute to its good proportions.

Charlie Crowley’s yard was in Bulimba on the Brisbane River, more or less adjacent to Norman Wright and Sons. The yards all shared a heritage through the Whereat yard where many fine shipwrights started their apprenticeship, in turn creating their yards and handing on the skills to the next generations. The Wright’s boats were designed by Ron Wright and their 1950s hulls had taken on a wide transom stern and full sections aft to accommodate the motor. They were the last evolution of the yacht like Torres Strait and Thursday Island luggers that began back in the early 1890s. Ron Wright’s designs for luggers ANNIKI and ANTONIA were also built by another builder in this instance Colless in Cairns.

After 38 years working in the northern pearling field in Torres Strait the vessel was retired, and sold. It was in poor condition when purchased by the current owner who had fallen in love with its elegant beautiful lines. The lugger became a recreational yacht and charter vessel, and was fully restored and overhauled by 2005.

ISE PEARL is now a fulltime charter boat, operating regularly in the Whitsundays. It features simple open accommodation and offers an experience of what it was like to live and sail aboard these classic Australian working craft, with a few modern amenities added. From 2003 to 2007 ISE PEARL participated in the gaffer fleet regatta held at Airlie beach Qld, including the feature race, a run to Langford Reef and return.

ISE PEARL has been involved with film work, with its major film role being in the Warner Bros production “Tales of the South Seas” which was filmed in the Whitsunday Islands. It was also well known on TV, having a role in many episodes of "Flipper", a USA series that was largely filmed on the Gold coats Queensland. The vessel has also appeared in several commercial and promotional films including Tourism Australia’s Official Campaign in 2012.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:ketch
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Previous title: Envy

Primary title: Ise Pearl

Previous title: Ise

Alternate Numbers

registration number: 12340QD

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