Eva Blanche was one of three launches in A.A.’Tucker’ Abel’s Royal Blue Motor Launch Line (RBML), as charter and ferry boats. (Mays, N (in draft). Industrious, Innovative and Altruistic: The 20th Century Boat Builders of Battery Point’; Broxam, G. ‘Those that survive’).
Tucker Abel was the first major motor launch operator in Tasmania and also owned a substantial boatyard in Battery Point until it was partially destroyed by fire in 1917. Among other ventures, Tucker continued to build smaller boats and dinghies until his death in 1938. It is believed that Eva Blanche is the sole remaining member of the RBML. According to the October 24, 1910 edition of the Hobart newspaper, the Daily Post, Eva Blanche was launched on the 18 October 1910. Eva was described as ‘one of the finest of its kind, is built especially for tourist and pleasure parties by the owner Mr A. Abel’. Eva Blanche was sold to Mr A. Hammond, of the Huon Valley in late 1922 and stayed in the Hammond family into the 1940’s where she was used to transport people and cargo, mainly apples, on the lower reaches of the Huon River. Between then and now, Eva Blanche has been in the Rodway, Coad and now Conway families as a pleasure craft on the Derwent River, D’ Entrecasteux Channel and Huon River. During this period her front deck was raised making her more commodious. A lengthy renovation and repair was undertaken over the past 10 years at Cygnet, by the Conways. This involved replacing 60 m of hull boards and 50 % of her ribs; installing new stem and stern posts, aft deck and cabin. Eva is now driven by a 30 HP Kubota Beta diesel motor, positioned towards the bow, similar to her original design. Her current cabin configuration is also more in keeping to her ferry roots. Eva was relaunched on the 26 March, 2018 at Port Huon and now resides at Franklin Marina.