Boat Building - Gannett, An Old Crayfish Boat And Ivy Safe At Anchor

View Our Video

Stay At Our Home

Stay At Our Home In Tasmania

Back To Our
Tasmanian Stories

Find All Our
Sailing Adventure

    Boat Building - Gannett And Ivy

The Gannett And Ivy, Boat Building
By Mike
    The Gannett II is a 28ft solid huon pine gaff cutter built by Ned Jack in Launceston, Tasmania around 1933.
    Ned was a very well regarded boatbuilder of the time for both his quality of workmanship and his technique (bruised seam carvel ie: no caulking in the seams between the planks) and for the fact that he was so prolific at turning out fine vessels, most of these being fishing boats, but he also built some larger traders.

I bought her from Murray Griffiths, a fine old gentleman who ran a slipway in Muddy Creek, Port Sorell, Tasmania.

He was responsible for keeping many of the old wooden boats alive in this area through a time when they were being burnt on the beach elsewhere due to the introduction of modern materials for Boat Building.

    I restored her with Murray’s help then went on to work on many other old timber boats. Over the following years Murray, and many other old timers, passed on their secrets of the traditional methods in which these boats were originally fashioned.

    Restoration on the Gannett began in 1987 but due to other commitments ie: family and work, was not completed until the late 90’s. I then set sail on her to half circumnavigate Tasmania and took her to the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival.

    Along this journey I called in to her old fishing port of St Helens where she received a rousing reception from many of the elderly fisherman who remembered the Gannett in her hayday as a crayfishing boat. They furnished me with some wonderful old photos of when she was an open working vessel.
    The Ivy, Old Couta Boat

    The Ivy was restored at Gai’s place just prior to leaving Tasmania to commence work on Whimoway, she is a classic 18 ft Couta boat built of Oregon in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria and was sold in Kettering where hopefully we will see her sailing on our return.

This trade is in my blood, so to speak, as many of my forebears, right up to my Grandfather were boat builders and herring fisherman from Tynemouth, England.

Many people at the time could not understand my passion for what they believed to be an obsolete and dying trade.
I have no regrets of my time spent with these artisans and wish that more young people would avail themselves to the countless old tradesmen who are eager to pass on their invaluable knowledge.

This trade has led me to some wonderful jobs including the Boat Building job I am currently involved with, the restoration of Cariad.