I purchased the boat in 2008 in a somewhat sorry state, thinking that it would not take long to “do her up”. Then began a very steep learning curve about what is involved in being the owner of an elderly wooden boat!
Moving to the present day and I have now completed all major works, refurbishing the cabin interior – the white painted Masonite pegboard had to go! Re-masted, new sails, cockpit refit along with routine maintenance kept me busy.
The process was all made worthwhile as I have been fortunate to be in all Festivals since 2009.
A constant source of surprise is how well the vessel is known. I have had previous owners or their family come for a chat at each Festival. One of the daughters of the builder remembers helping with construction in the back yard. She was the only one small enough to “get up inside the pointy end” and help with the roving & clenching by holding the “dolly”, very noisy, apparently!
Another lady informed me that when her father owned the boat he was so fussy he would allow no fishing on board, only in the dingy towed behind!
The visit that really impacted me the most was yet another lady who, in 2015, offered me the original brass wheel that was on the boat when owned by her father, since deceased. She said he would have been happy to know it was back on the boat. So duly installed it was for her to see in 2017.
The boat has had several owners and was also for some period, I am told, a workboat from Purdon & Featherstone. As yet I have not been able to confirm this.
I do know she spent some time at Triabunna immediately before I purchased her so earlier this year I decided to take her up there for a trip and visit Maria Island. On passing through Dunalley and the canal another example of how well Lueena appears to be remembered. I was tied up at the fish wharf and the Canal Superintendant came down, looked over the side an asked if I still had the 20 hp Buhk in her! It would have been at least 10 years since she last passed that way.
Enough of my history with her, now a little about her designer, Arthur C Robb. He designed other vessels, including during WW2, a fully self contained rigid lifeboat which was dropped from a Hudson Bomber to downed Airmen. There is an example in the RAF Hendon Museum. Another from his stable of designs was the “Lion Class”, one of which, “Siandra ” won the Sydney -Hobart on handicap in 1958 & 1960.