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Wyuna

Vessel Number: HV000734
Date: 1953
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 63.58 m × 11.91 m (208.61 ft × 39.08 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
MV WYUNA is a pilot ship built in 1952. It was built at Ferguson Shipbuilders, Glasgow in Scotland for the Port Phillip Sea Pilots. It is a steel vessel and, as an example of a diesel electric propulsion system, MV WYUNA was a highly successful design of the era. It formed a close association with mariners on Port Phillip over nearly 3 decades of service from 1953. It later served as a training vessel at the Launceston Maritime College. WYUNA is currently at a mooring on the Tamar River facing an uncertain future while authorities and its supporting group attempt to resolve how it can be moved and where it can be located for the future, along with securing funding for urgently needed conservation work.
DescriptionMV WYUNA was designed and built in Scotland where many ships for the UK and other Commonwealth countries were built. It is a twin-screw diesel electric ship 63 metres in length. It was launched from the Ferguson Shipbuilders yard on the Clyde River, and then commissioned into service in Victoria in 1953 where it served as a pilot ship until November 1979.

During the years 1953 to 1979 the first sighting for any ship laying off the entrance to Port Phillip Bay was WYUNA approaching with the pilot aboard. The system for pilots to board or disembark from ships at sea was for the ship to stop dead in the water with the wind and sea broad on the beam. The pilot cutter WYUNA would round the ship's stern, manoeuvre into the lee and lower the 18ft. workboat with a crew of two which then transferred the pilots to and from their ships. In the early 1970's with a view to the replacement of WYUNA a study was made to find an improved system for putting pilots aboard ships. A decision was eventually made in favour of the smaller individual fast motor launch system and new 13 metre vessels were ordered to replace WYUNA.

WYUNA then joined the Launceston Maritime College as a training vessel in 1979. Berthed at Beauty Point on the Tamar River it serviced the training of young student sailors in both the Merchant and RAN navies as well as the fishing industry. Eventually, because the propulsion system was no longer relevant to modern shipping, WYUNA was replaced in 2002 by the present day vessel BLUEFIN and put up for sale.

The ship was then sold to Mineralogy Pty Ltd owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer and was intended for possible use for accommodation in the Pilbara but the project did not eventuate. It was later sold to Perth based business woman Gillian Swaby. Her intention was to convert the ship in to one of the finest classic motor vessels but this did not come to fruition either and she donated the craft the Victorian Maritime Centre, then known as the Western Port Oberon Association Inc in 2013.

Initially MV WYUNA was docked at Beauty Point, Tasmania, and after being refurbished for 18 months it was to be moved to Docklands in Melbourne, Victoria, under its own steam. At that point it was operational again and had been steaming on the Tamar River in Launceston Tasmania. The Docklands berth became unavailable so the vessel remained docked at Inspection Head Wharf in Beauty Point before it was towed into Bell Bay in January 2016 where it lays at a mooring.
When funding becomes available the Victorian Maritime Centre has plans to display the vessel in a wet berth alongside the former Royal Australian Navy Oberon-class submarine HMAS OTAMA, and continue with much needed conservation works to secure its condition.

Vessel Details
Current status:floating
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:steel
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:electric
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Propeller:other
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:docking keel

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