Neptune

Neptune
Name: Neptune
Boat Owner: Christopher Creese
Description:

Neptune was based on plans for a 32ft canoe stern cutter that appeared in The Rudder magazine and owner/builder Bert Morris drew plans from this, making some alterations. He made a half model which he took to Perc Coverdale for approval before drawing up a final set of plans. She is constructed of Huon Pine planking and frames on a Stringy Bark keel. The deck is cut from timber left over from the construction of Amelia J. She was built in Bert’s back yard in New Town and launched in Constitution Dock about 1935.
The rig was intended to be Marconi cutter, however the A Class racing yacht Sirene was being converted to Marconi at the time, so Bert bought her mast & rig, planned a gaff cutter rig of 600 square feet with a 6 foot bowsprit. The sails were made by sailmaker Jack Forsyth, the main, topsail, staysail and jib costing 25 pounds. She was fitted with a De Dion petrol engine. Bert raced her with the Bellerive Yacht Club and she came first in her division in the 1938 Centenary Royal Hobart Regatta.
In the late1930s Bert made a number of alterations to make Neptune easier to handle when cruising including converting her to a ketch.
In the mid 1950s Bert replaced the petrol engine with a 16 hp Lister diesel intending to use Neptune for scalloping and later built a well into her. These alterations tended to make her squat by the stern so Bert asked his friend Jock Muir to build a counter stern onto her as he was otherwise occupied building the boat Pedra Blanca.
By the late 1960s Bert was building a smaller boat for himself (Seabird) and Neptune was put up for sale.
Mark & Erika Creese purchased Neptune in 1970 and converted her back to a cruising yacht. First the well was removed and a new engine installed. Later the accommodation was improved and she was re rigged as a Marconi ketch.
In 1990 Neptune was capsized in Marion Bay as she was heading to the canal. Mark, who was on his own, noticed several larger than usual waves approaching so he throttled back the engine to let them pass. To his surprise the waves steepened and began to break. Neptune ran down the steepening wave broached and rolled 360 degrees. Witnesses said that the boat completely disappeared under the breaking wave. Both Mark and the boat survived with very little injury.
Since purchasing Neptune, the Creese Family have primarily cruised her in Southern Tasmania, mostly the channel and Norfolk Bay with trips up the east coast and over 30 trips to Port Davey. The early trips to Port Davey were a source of comment at Hobart yacht clubs as at that time very few yachts visited the southwest. For those who did, it was seen as a trip for the boys and not for families with young children.
Neptune has also been actively raced up until recent times. Her performance compares favourably with similar boats and on the odd occasion she has even outperformed modern racing boats to the surprise of all.

LOD feet: 34
Hull Timber: Huon Pine
Type of Boat: Ketch
State: Tasmania
Built: 1935
Location: EWN
Category: