The Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats

Customs launch


Tom Hughes is researching the boats of the Customs Service in NSW.


About the register

Sample page

Seek information

Send information

Help Wanted

Builder lists


Send email

Click here to join maritime_history_downunder
Click to join

Maritime History Downunder


Click here to join WoodenBoatsAustralia
Click to join WoodenBoats Australia

Associated pages:

Mori's webpages

Kham's webpages

Martin's webpages


Tom Hughes wrote:

"Does anyone know the fate of "Awoonga", a 40 ft double diagonal built hull built in 1964 by H. Morris, Hemmant Qld. Awoonga was in service in Sydney till about 1990. I last saw her lying idle in Homebush Bay (Sydney) in 1993. Does anyone know where she is now? "

Tom worked with Australian Customs at Sydney for 15 years and is currently engaged in a project to document the history of the service. He would be pleased to hear from anyone who has stories of the customs service, its people or boats that will help him tell the story.

Tom also wrote:

"Bindarree was built by Norm Wright 1959 for Customs and is I believe back in his yard for restoration!! served in Sydney until the 1980s, a 40' boarding and patrol launch with a turbo 6-71 GM (Detroit) and in her day the fastest non-pleasure boat in Sydney at 25 Knots.

The Awoonga also 40' was built 1964 by H Morris, Hemmant Bris also for Sydney Customs with sisters Pasteur for Quarantine (Syd) later became "Ben Boyd" for Sydney Customs, and Taipan for Customs Brisbane, She had a raised Bow added later for sloppy conditions.

Moonbi was built in Brisbane for Customs Newcastle, an ugly 32' with V6-53 GM an awkward boat. As yet I do not have a photo.

Boonooloo was built in Melbourne for Customs in 1946 as "Synan" and came to Sydney under tow in 1970 was then rebuilt to current configuration and used as accommodation and floating lunch room.

Divers vessel Kulanda was the longest serving she was bought from the RAN in 1947 and was a real workhorse for many years a standard 40' workboat with a 6-71 GM . She was sold about 1978."

Unlike commercial vessels that are usually registered and comparatively well documented, the history of vessels in government service can be difficult to uncover.

If you have any history on the NSW customs service, or you know the whereabouts of the Awoonga now, please contact Tom Hughes at
or Mori Flapan at:
...Send email  

Back to Help Wanted