We found Apollo on the hardstand at Queenscliff, she had been on a mooring and had partially sunk. The old Detroit engine was swamped and no longer working but had managed to leak oil right throughout her bilge and cabin. She was trucked to Kettering where her restoration began by two very enthusiastic owners. Our incentive was to see her entered in the Wooden Boat Festival 2015 sporting a new makeover. She was repowered with a 160hp Yanmar, completely rewired from 24v to 12v. The old chain steering that had rusted and no longer worked was replaced with a modern hydraulic steering. As her instruments had been badly weathered these were also replaced and where possible items of her era were used. She had to come out of the 60’s a bit, but as much as possible was retained. Lots of painting later and many late nights she was starting to look amazing. (We are biased).
Built by Pompei Brothers of Mordialloc Creek for Jack Clarke, owner of G V Clarke Motors in Preston Vic. She was launched in 1969 hence her name Apollo. Jack had wanted to use her in Port Phillip Bay and beyond for a private fishing vessel which sadly he never got to enjoy before he died. She was taken to Noosa by Jack’s son for many years but was never used and began to deteriorate.
Her history is extremely important to us and we have arranged to visit Joe Pompei in the coming weeks to discuss Apollo with him. His memory is astounding for a man in his 80’s and he could reel off all her details on the phone without any prompting. While researching her history we came across a photo of her on the Paynseville Wooden Boat Rally Facebook site. I asked the question if anyone knew of her, and within hours Bill Morley contacted me to share her history: Charles and Beverley Morley bought her from Jack’s son and moved her to Woongoolba where she was used for family trips to Sanctuary Cove and the Gold Coast. As Beverley and Charles have both passed away, their son, Bill Morley, was able to fill in many of these gaps and supply photos of her days with his family. She was a much loved part of the family as Bill’s words display; Hope this fills a gap, she’s an amazing boat, it was a religion for us every weekend in Southern Moreton Bay. Hopefully if we make the festival one year I can steal a tour off you.
Having found two more of her owners, their words all resonate with Bill in the fact she was an amazing boat that they all loved immensely. We feel very lucky and honoured to be custodians of her now. We would love to be able to share her story and many photos with members of the public which is why we would love her to be considered to enter the AWBF.
We would love to see many more Pompei boats in the festival and our dream would be for the surviving Pompei brother, Joe to be able to visit the festival and see his boats displayed that he and his brother crafted.