Australian Wooden Boat Festival
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Feature Vessels

At each MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival, we are proud to present a brilliant display of special feature vessels including tall ships, historic boats and unique designs.  In 2019, you'll see veteran trading ships like the Olive May, the May Queen and Rhona H to give you a glimpse of the great days of working sail.

Devonport Maritime Museum presents the beautifully restored Julie Burgess, joined by the Danish 22-metre ketch Yukon and Melbourne–based tall ship Enterprize in the traditional Parade of Sail in the Derwent. Local tall ships Lady Nelson, Southern Cross, Rhona H and Windeward Bound will also be with us, offering afternoon and evening sailing for a look at the festival from the water. See the list below for descriptions of some of the feature vessels we welcomed at the 2017 festival.

We'll continue to recruit feature vessels right up until the opening of the festival, so check back regularly to catch the latest news or sign up to our electronic newsletter for regular updates.

Southern Cross London

Launched in 1972 in Buckie, Scotland as a pleasure craft for Major Frederick W. Cunduff, Managing Director of Gardner diesel engines. Being built on the North Sea in the North Sea Buckie, its lines are similar to many of the working boats of that area and era. Southern Cross has circumnavigated the globe at least once, rounded Cape Horn, sailed to the New Zealand Sub Antarctic Islands and cruised the Pacific about 10 times.  We don’t know much of the boat's history in Europe. But it was the fifth Southern Cross that Cunduff owned. This was his downsized version - his previous one was 100’ long and made of steel. It is now on charter in the Med.  Southern Cross London went to New Zealand around the mid-eighties, based in Dunedin and owned by the late Alex Black, a prominent figure within Outward Bound. Alex undertook many voyages to the NZ sub Antarctic Islands, South America and Tasmania.

Martin Beck bought the boat from Alex in NZ and based her in Hobart, sailing many times with his young family to the South Pacific and finally selling it to the current owners two years ago.

The current owner, Braye Sutherland, undertook a year long family cruise of NZ, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and the Australian East Coast in 2014 and have recently put the vessel into Australian 2B Survey to operate multi day cruises in Southern Tasmania under the name Cruise Tasmania. We estimate the boat has travelled something like 150,000 Nautical Miles – about 7 laps of the planet……

For details and more information go to -

James Craig

James Craig , launched as Clan Macleod, was built by Bartram, Haswell & Co. in Sunderland, England in1874. Her name was changed to James Craig in 1905. For 26 years she plied the trade routes of the world carrying general cargoes during which period she rounded Cape Horn23 times. In 1900 she was purchased by Mr J J Craig of Auckland, New Zealand,who used her on trans-Tasman trade routes as a general cargo carrier. In 1911she was laid up because increasing competition from steam ships made sailing vessels uneconomical. She was then stripped and used as a copra hulk in New Guinea. After the First World War there was an acute shortage of cargo ships and she was bought by the well-known Australian jam manufacturer, Henry Jones IXL. This gave James Craig a new lease of life after being towed from New Guinea to Sydney for re-fitting. Her return to service was brief because in 1925 she was reduced to a coal hulk at Recherche Bay, Tasmania. In 1932 she was abandoned and became beached after breaking her moorings in a storm. She remained beached until 1972 when volunteers from the Sydney Heritage Fleet re-floated her. In 1973 she was towed to Hobart where temporary repairs were carried out. She was towed to Sydney in1981 and restoration work commenced. James Craig‘s restored hull was re-launched in February 1997.

For details and more information go to -

Julie Burgess

The whole city of Devonport seems to have been involved in one way or another with the two year restoration of the pretty Bass Strait trader Julie Burgess, a 64’ blue gum ketch built in 1936 for the Burgess family. Five generations of this leading Devonport family have owned and operated fishing vessels in the Bass Strait. The 38-ton vessel has a new life as the feature ship of the redeveloped Devonport Maritime Museum. She made her maiden post-restoration debut at the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in 2013. 
Historic Vessel Number: HV000366

For details and more information go to -


Built of oak in 1930 the privately owned Danish sailing ship Yukon was rescued by Australian shipwright David Nash and his Danish wife Ea Lassen from the bottom of a harbour near Copenhagen. After five years restoration and years of entertaining guests on European waterways, the Nash family with their two sons departed to circumnavigate the globe, bringing their ship to the calm waters of the Huon River in Tasmania. Become a part of the Yukon experience as you hoist sails or simply sit back, enjoy the timeless feeling and learn about this unique heritage ship and its many stories. Yukon facts: Overall length 22.0 m / beam 4.7 m / draft 2.3 m; under Australian survey; capacity: 20 day guests, 8 overnight.

For further details visit

Lady Nelson

Hobart is the home port for the Lady Nelson, a Tasmanian-built replica of the cutter of the same name built for the Royal Navy in 1798. The original ship saw service in New South Wales and in 1803 brought the first settlers to what would become the city of Hobart on in Van Diemen’s Land, now of course Hobart, Tasmania. Our own replica of the Lady Nelson is a 52’ long, 60 ton cutter built in Margate in 1988. The ship is operated by the Tasmanian Sail Training Association for training, adventure cruises and local tours. She is crewed by volunteers. 

For details and more information go to -

Windeward Bound

In the tradition of slightly mad ambitions, Captain Sarah Parry led the team that built one of the most recent additions to Tasmania’s ‘home fleet’. The 108’ topsail schooner Windeward Bound was completed in 1996. Built in the historic Boyer shed on the River Derwent (once listed as the largest wooden building in Australia and now sadly, demolished), the ship conducts a busy program of sail training, adventure programs and local cruising. In 2001, the Windeward Bound completed a 17 month, 36,000 km circumnavigation of Australia, 200 years on from Matthew Flinders’ celebrated feat. 

For details and more information please visit -


It’s not often you see a ship that built a city, but you can do that with a visit to the lovely topsail schooner Enterprize, lying at Elizabeth Street Pier. The ship is a replica of the original Enterprize, built in Hobart in 1829, down to the hand-sewn canvas sails and tarred hemp rigging. She is 88’ long, 72 tonnes displacement and boasts a magnificent 2000 square feet of sail. The original Enterprize was chartered by one John Pascoe Fawkner who sailed her from Tasmania to Port Philip Bay and up the Yarra River in August 1835 to found Melbourne. That Enterprize was wrecked in New South Wales in 1847. The current ship was built with traditional methods and launched in Melbourne in 1997, the first square rigged commercial vessel built there in 120 years.

For more information on the Enterprize visit


Rhona H

This lovely 52ft Huon Pine fishing vessel was built in 1942 by Ned Jack near Cataract Gorge, Launceston, for Frier Youl of Symmons Plains. Max Hardy, a Stanley fisherman kept the Rhona H for the next 26 years, fishing for crayfish, couta and shark in Bass Strait and the wild West Coast waters. After 40 years of fishing, Rhona H was converted in 1989 for Tasmanian charter work. Rigged as an auxiliary gaff ketch with jib-headed topsails, Rhona H was Hobart-based for many years, conducting East Coast charters till the late 1990's. In 1998 she sailed with the Tall Ships fleet. Current owners Charles Burns and Julie Porter have brought the ship back to Hobart and operate a program of adventure sailing and nautical skills classes.
For more information on the Rhona H visit


Tenacious’ is designed by Tony Castro with features not seen on any other boats, including six wheelchair lifts, braille signage, deck ribs and tactile arrows so that the visually impaired can move with confidence, vibrating pads under the bunks as alarms for those that are hearing impaired, even the platforms up the mast are designed to take a wheelchair user to unforseen heights.

On the 6th of April 2000 Tenacious was officially named in a ceremony attended by HRH The Duke of York. Tenacious sailed on her maiden voyage 1,548days after her keel was laid, on 1st September 2000 from Southampton to Southampton calling at Sark, St Helier and Weymouth.

She has been encouraging self-discovery and cultivating active participation ever since.  The supportive and well-designed environment quickly breaks-down prejudice,promotes equality and mutual understanding.  It is where people find new strengths and learn to see strengths in others without being diverted by a perceived weakness.  The effect is an immersive personal development experience, increasing life skills and self-belief. A voyage with the JST is about joining in and getting involved in all aspects of sailing the ship, regardless of physical ability. Whether you are a tall ship enthusiast, fair-weather sailor or complete beginner - they welcome everyone.

For the full story on Tenacious please use the following link -

Young Endeavour

The Young Endeavour Tall Ship provides young Australians aged 16 - 23 with a once in a life time opportunity to be challenged and travel to all parts of the globe. The voyages are designed to create self-awareness, develop teamwork and to promote leadership skills. The ship itself was a gift from the United Kingdom to the Government and Australian public to mark the Bicentenary in 1988. 

It was built in 1986 in England, and arrived in Australia at the beginning of January 1988. The scheme was initiated to make The Young Endeavour Australia's sail training flagship, with the vessel also attending many of the major events in Australia and around the world. The vessel also offers Corporate Day Sails and Social Sailing ventures, as well as Community Day Sail programs for those with special needs. 

For more information head over to their website: