The Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats



A vintage Victorian fishing boat

...but not a
'couta boat


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Brendyn Hancock purchased the Diana in 2011 and wants to find out more about her history.

Brendyn wrote to me seeking any information that I might have on his 24 ' x 8' 9" boat. Unfortunately I had no record for her under the name Diana.

Brendyn believes that she originally was a sailing fishing boat. My guess is that this and her profile would date the boat to the years prior to World War 1 and probably around the turn of the twentieth century. Diana has a wide keel and Brendyn thinks that she may originally have had a centreplate, though this is yet to be confirmed.

Diana has a draft of 24". She has been on the Gippsland Lakes since at least the 1960s and it is believed she previously came from Melbourne.

In response to my suggestion that she might have been a 'couta boat, on 13 August 2013 21:56, Brendyn wrote:

I have contacted Tim Phillips in Melbourne. She is not a couta boat. Her scantlings are to fine, her draft a little shallow. Tim says she could be a top of the bay boat (Port Phillip Bay Melbourne). In his opinion she was built by a fisherman not by a shipwright.

I live on the Gippsland Lakes and thought she was a lakes fishing boat but lakes boats seem to be even finer than Diana. I have some leads locally but one of them takes her back to Melbourne.

A record for the boat created from the information that Brendyn provided is given at the bottom of this webpage.

Do you know the story of the Diana or the "Top of the Bay" fishing boats? Any information that could help to put together the history of the Diana would be gratefully received.Please contact Mori Flapan by email.

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Name: Diana   

Later names {also Sail or Rego or Fishing No}: {FB501}-b13

Material: Wood

Rig: Lug   Rig changes & identification codes: A.b (standing lug)

Type:Fishing/Yacht   Propulsion: Sail

Designer: <unknown>

Year built: 1900s?   Yard or Job No: <unknown>

Builder: <Unknown>

Where built: Vic?

Engines: <unknown or N/A>  

Boilers/Gearing: <unknown or N/A><unknown or N/A>

Official Number: <unknown or N/A>    IMO Number: 0

Dimensions (ft)— Length: 24 Breadth: 8.75  Depth: 2

Volumetric ‘tonnage’ measurements (1 ton = 100 cubic ft):

Gross: <unknown>  Underdeck: <unknown>   Net: <unknown>

Decks: Cockpit   Deck Erections: <unknown>   

Number of funnels &location: 0  Number of bulkheads: <unknown>

Tanks, etc: <unknown>   Freeboard: <unknown>

Stem: Straight   Figurehead: Nil   Stern: Transom raked  

PORTS and owners: MELBOURNE?p60s: PAYNESVILLE@c65s Rick Eadie:  '96b11 David Evans: '11b13 Brendyn Hancock

Fate/Status— Year: 2013  Type: Operational  Details: <unknown or N/A>

History and details: Carvel planked. Standing lug. 24" draft. Rudder & tiller hung from transom. Fitted with auxiliary motor nd. 1976 rebuilt by Sid Reynolds, fitted with square plywood cabin and new motor. 2000s sitting on the mud. 2009 underwent major refit, fitted with standing lug rig, new deck and motor, reconditioned 2Cy. Yanmar 2QM20 diesel. 2011/02 purchased.


References (see BrendynHancock(P)


Research notes: Brendyn Hancock seeking history. May have originally had another name. May have originally come from Port Phillip. Has wide keel, believed to have originally carried a centreplate though that is yet to be confirmed.

Corrections, additions or updates gratefully received via email at

If information is published please acknowledge Mori Flapan: Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats 2013 and any other major contributors listed in References above (usually denoted by capitals).