Victory is hardly a plaything but a substantial no nonsense commercial vessel with its towing hook mounted between two Samson posts. With a gearbox that weighs more than its single propulsion engine. Everywhere you look are substantial timbers, closely spaced frames that leave you in no doubt as to her working pedigree. Yet what also becomes apparent are fine lines, smooth elliptical curves, attention to detail in design, a classic. A long counter stern whose profile could easily be mistaken for an international 8M. A vertical stem that mimics the Titanic, and strangely enough also the latest racing yachts. A broad hull that slips through the water with little disturbance. A wide deck that allows you to walk around the boat with ease. Vertical pane glass on all sides of the wheelhouse. The new funnel will return to the original design, a tall round vertical style and reminiscent of the steam propulsion era.
Victory is a Melbourne tug, although currently berthed at a marina in Hobart. Having been built and designed in Williamstown, the heart of Melbourne maritime. Spending her early years plying the waters of Port Phillip and later years on Western Port Bay based in Hastings. Victory has been a part of so many people’s lives, that she is certainly a living history. Any doubt of this would soon be dispelled, as it was, at the recent Wooden boat festival. Where many of the visitors who came aboard were from Victoria, and had either worked on or sailed on Victory. A request has already been made for Victory to attend the reopening of Seaport at Williamstown.
Victory’s designer was Earnest Olney Digby a Williamstown shipwright. Everyone has heard of Fife and Herreshoff, and would acknowledge that fame comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s only fitting that Digby should be acknowledged as one of our famous Australian boat builders. For not only designing and being part of Victory’s construction but for his contribution to so many classics. From the 21ft sailing boats raced on Port Phillip to the international 8 metre yachts Defiance and Frances, both restored champions still racing and winning today.
Another of Victory’s many restorations is currently in progress. This version has the basic concept of returning closer to Erne’s original design, without trying to over restore. Victory has always been a working boat, so simplicity is still the guide.
Victory and her current restoration can be followed on the website below: –