Originally built in 1898 on Dog Island, off Flinders Island, the gaff-cutter was designed to be used for carrying freight around the islands. The vessel was purchased in 1910 by the Davis family of Bruny Island, to be put into work fishing for scallops and couta in the Channel. Now owned by 5th generation Davis, Isabella Laughton-Clark, Britannia was fully restored in 2006-2008 by Terry Lean, the late Mike Seeney, Anne Laughton and Andrew Clark at their home in Kettering. The vessel now consists of not only New Zealand Kauri Pine, but Tasmanian timbers like Blackwood, Huon Pine and Celery Top Pine. It is used today for pleasure and weekend cruising.
The vessel has changed from a double-ender to a counter-stern a number of times to suit the needs over the previous 120 years.