The Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats




Bring Lenna home!

Please help!!!

The trading ketch 'Lenna' was built at Port Cygnet in 1903 by
John Wilson & Sons for Risby Brothers, with Tasmanian
bluegum hull and kauri decks. She was built 'especially strong
for Messrs Risby's logging trade' and was later operated by
Henry Jones &Co.

Lenna worked in Tasmanian coastal waters until 1958. She
was sold and went to the mainland where she has worked as a
passenger vessel in Victoria and NSW.

Lenna was given a temporary reprieve from the breakers early
last year, but her time may now be up. Her current owner, Alan
Draper of Gosford, is keen for her to return to Tasmania. She
is now on the shoreline near Gosford, with orders for her to be
removed. Unless funds can be found to bring her back to
Tasmania, the hull of this fine ship is likely to be cut up and
sent to the tip.

Lenna PhotosLenna Photos


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Dear All,


  • On Thursday 17 May Lenna's damaged bow timbers were removed from the keel.

  • The keel section timbers and planks were cut between frames 10 and 11 (numbering
     from the stern) allowing the steel "slipper" under and around the keel to be oxy cut

  • This resulted in a main keel section 38ft long (from just aft of the centre case to the
     forward end of the keel) and a stern section 24ft long.

  • The two main keel sections together with bow and other remaining loose timbers were
     transported to Woolwich Dock overnight on two semi trailers and unloaded there on Fri
    18 May, joining the starboard side and other sections and parts delivered on 11 May.

  • This work and subsequent site cleanup was done by Gary Ferres, Rob Gordon, Chris
    Rawlings, Marlon Counsell and Christopher Timmis all from Noakes in Sydney, a great
     contribution to the project.

Four photographs taken on 17 May are attached, all courtesy Rob Gordon.

0601   Keel section awaiting removal early morning
0612   Chris oxy cutting the steel "slipper". Note aft end of (filled in) centre case at left   
0616   Stem timber lift. The 60 mark indicates distance (ft) from aft end of keel
0619   Stern section lift with loose timbers on top (includes 10 frames of the total of 30)                       
The 38ft main keel section length allows future transport within a standard 40ft container length, an important consideration for the future.


LENNA RECOVERY - Site Report for 10 to 14 May

The last few days have been the highlight of this project.

Firstly regarding the substantial offer to preserve and prepare what
we have of Lenna for exhibition in Tasmania, as noted in the Site
Report for 2 May. Some already know that this is from Sean Langman of
Noakes Boat and Shipyards, and for the work to be done in Sydney at
Woolwich Dock, the old Morts Dock shipbuilding site, prior to
transport to Tasmania.

The offer has been discussed on site in Gosford by Sean and Lloyd
Clark of Lenna Hotel in Hobart, and later with other significant
supporters of the project in Tasmania and NSW, and all have expressed
strong support for the proposal which has thus been enthusiastically

There are many good ideas for this work and these will be communicated
as they are further considered and developed. A meeting in Hobart in
the near future is likely at which time more thoughts and ideas can be

So what has happened since the 8/9 May report?

A large near 40 ft long section of the starboard side, from right aft
forward, has been cut out and transported to Woolwich Dock together
with useful port side sections which broke loose during the lift on to
the barge on 2 May, and other parts. This load comprised a full semi
trailer load and was delivered on 11 May. The cut was in line fore and
aft with where the structure had come apart aft and finished forward
at a join in the main stringer.

The remaining keel structure, frames and planks etc was lifted off the
barge and placed ashore on 11 May awaiting resolution of the most
suitable transport to Woolwich. This will almost certainly require one
cut through the keel resulting in 2 pieces due to the 65 ft total
length (apologies to those working in metric).

Transport to Sydney for this section will soon be finalised and arranged.

The barges were loaded and transported away today 14 May and all
unwanted items disposed of and the site cleaned up.

We had great help from David Sudano from Port Huon Marina and Gary
Ferris and Rob Gordon from Noakes, Sydney with this work last week.
Lloyd Clark was also on site.

Our next report should be able to advise that all Gosford (actually
Koolewong, a few kilometres from Gosford), work is complete and that
the project will continue at Woolwich.

Photographs taken on 11 May are attached.
Lenna Photos

Lindsay Rex (on site)


SITE REPORT FOR 8/9 May 2007.

Some port side parts recovered from water and placed on barge.
Many unwanted items and rubbish cleared from hull on barge.
Hull largely washed down.
Further cleanup tomorrow 10 May.
Transport options discussed on site today 9 May.
Key decisions on transport and other matters tomorrow 10 May.
Many thanks to Dave Sudano from Port Huon Marina and Gary Ferris and
Rob Gordon from Noakes, Sydney for their efforts in very dirty
conditions today.


LENNA RECOVERY – UPDATE No 12 - May 6, 2007

As you will have read from the last update (2nd May), the Lenna has now been lifted and
placed on barges at Koolewong, near Gosford, and is now being prepared for road transport.
Photos of the project (taken 30th April to 3rd May) can be viewed at:

Lenna Photos

You will also be aware from the site progress reports (and the photos) that the port side of the
vessel came away during lifting. This should be able to be recovered, and is not as negative
an outcome as perhaps first thought. Proper preservation would most likely require at least
partial dismantling and reconstruction. In addition, this has revealed features of the
construction that otherwise may not have been seen, and may provide more interesting
display options.

Decisions will be made over the next few days regarding how to proceed to best meet the
aims of the project, which in general terms is to preserve as much of Lenna as is possible for
display in Tasmania, as both a memorial and tribute to our maritime heritage.

Thanks to the many who have contributed in all ways to the project so far, including recent
donors of funds. I have several comments and emails from supporters. Below is an excerpt
from an email from David Payne, Curator of the Australian  Register of Historic Vessels at the
Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney:

“Thanks for the continued updates on the recovery, I believe that in the circumstances you
were faced with, the outcome is quite reasonable and people should remain positive that
what is left is both worth retaining and can contribute something to our heritage.

One option is to do a display rarely seen in this country, it has the qualities of a sculpture
with a combination of the remaining structure and a careful selection of new structure to
redefine the elegant hull shape that Lenna had when launched. This has exciting potential,
and I still feel that going back to the 1958 suggestion of it being a memorial to its type and
the people associated with it is worth serious consideration.

No doubt there are other ideas, and these can be discussed amongst the interested parties.”

The “1958 suggestion” to which David refers is a newspaper article from that year which
suggests the Lenna be preserved “as a memorial to a passing era”. Interesting to note that
she had around 40 years working life in her after that! We will keep you informed as to
progress, and please contact us if you have any comments, would like more information, or
would like me to send any of the photos directly.

Alan Champion


Sent: Thu, 3 May 2007 09:26:52 +1000


Dear Friends and All,
Vessel lifted with 3 mobile cranes using spreader bars. Weight proved to be at crane limit,
around 30 tonnes.
During the lift and due to lack of deck or other thwartship structure, the port side frames and
planking progressively came away from the keel and fell back into the water.
The keel and starboard side structure is now on the barge in one piece.
The port side sections will be recovered next week and placed on the barge.
Decisions on road transport from the barge will now be made. The narrower section now to
be transported makes this operation easier. 
The section on the barge will be left there and lifted directly to road transport to minimuse
further handling.
A most interesting, substantial and unexpected offer to prepare and preserve what remains of
the original Lenna was received yesterday. The proposal is consistent with our aims of
displaying the structure for public viewing in Tasmania and will be further discussed over the
next few days.

Friends of Lenna Progress Report 1 May 2007

Barges delivered to Koolewong, launched and assembled.
Tanks and drums removed from vessel to lighten load to be lifted.
Arrangemenst all in place for lifting vessel on to barge tomorrow Weds 2 May.
Major donation received, easing financial pressure to fund removal of vessel from water.


Dear Friends of Lenna and All,

UPDATE 10 on 14 April advised we were short of the extra funds required to lift Lenna
ashore by loading the hull on to a barge and then moving the barge to a suitable unloading
location, away from overhead power lines. Since that time more funds have been offered and
we sincerely thank those responsible. Although we have not reached our financial target, the
needs of local authorities and wish to minimize potential damage due to strong winds have
pushed us to make plans to place Lenna on the barge this Wednesday 2 May, with the lift
ashore hopefully later that day. This has only been possible due to three supporters providing
a guarantee of the possible shortfall in funding, all based on our best estimates of what could
be required. So please continue to encourage anyone who may be prepared to assist
financially. Any funds not required at this stage will be available for later preservation work.

Those involved at Koolewong (near Gosford) next week will do their very best to recover
Lenna in the best state possible within our resources, but there are no guarantees. Her
condition is far from good and we could face some tough decisions. This is our last chance to
recover Lenna, due to the need to remove the vessel from the water (regardless of condition)
to meet Authority needs and in view of available funding. We will keep you informed with
"stop press" updates on the Lenna website courtesy of Mori
Flapan in Sydney.

For those interested, the barge is an assembly of four pontoons each 40' x 11' with 3' joining
frames resulting in a single rigid 40' x 53' assembly. The pontoons will be road transported
from Barges Australia (Tom Korevaar) in Sydney and assembled afloat at the site. We thank
Tom for his assistance with the project. Cranes will be one 80tonne and 2 x 50tonne from
Waters Cranes in Gosford, the largest units available in the area. Larger cranes from
Newcastle or Sydney are beyond our means. Alan Draper the owner and Sean Langman from
Noakes Boat & Shipyards of NSW and Port Huon Marina in Tasmania and their people will
all be assisting.

Assuming we get Lenna ashore and we proceed from there the ownership will change, and
we will arrange road transport to Newcastle followed by transport by ship to Hobart, and
storage very likely in the Huon area. Once this stage is reached a more formal support and
friends organization will be formed to ensure preservation for which technical expertise is
already on offer. 

Everyone is welcome to attend and witness our efforts next week, and perhaps to assist any
last minute needs. We are documenting the operation with both stills and video. If anyone
has any questions please contact Alan (in Hobart) or Lindsay (who will be on site) per details
in the yellow box above under the Lenna photo.

Alan Champion
28 April 2007

LENNA - UPDATE No. 9 - 22

MARCH 2007


Dear Friends of Lenna and All,

UPDATE 8 advised of plans to lift Lenna's hull ashore at Koolewong near Gosford NSW on
Monday 12 March and then to transport it by road to Newcastle for loading on a ship as deck
cargo direct for Hobart. We have very generous offers to cover the transport to Newcastle and
from then on to storage in the Hobart area, together with people to assist shoring the hull up
etc as necessary for transport. The plan was based on the hull being brought ashore by others
from where it currently lies on the mud.

Lifting Lenna began at daylight on 12 March , starting at the bow and working back with straps
and later a spreader to midships, employing a 50 t mobile crane. The hull gradually came free
of the mud, and the lift demonstrated that the hull does have sufficient strength to remain in
one piece. There was some doubt about this. However lifting the whole hull together with a
second crane was abandoned as overhead electric power cables along the shoreline would
not allow mobile cranes to bring the hull ashore at that location, as required for road transport.

As a result the hull was left in the present location, with the lifting straps underneath ready for
further use. Options for employing a barge to load the hull on to, after lifting in the present
location, then towing the barge with Lenna aboard to a another location for lifting the hull
ashore have been investigated. This involves extra costs which were not anticipated earlier.

If the project is to proceed, and what remains of Lenna is to survive in Tasmania, we need
pledges of additional financial assistance for up to around $8,000 to cover the barge and extra
crane costs.

Please consider contributing, this is a now or never situation which must be resolved
over the next few days. If you or anyone you are aware of may be able to help, please
contact Alan or Lindsay urgently, see below.

The work on 12 March was done by Sean Langman together with three of his Sydney based
Noakes Boat and Shipyards shipwrights and a diver from the Port Huon Marina project in
Tasmania, working with Waters crane people from Gosford. Lloyd Clark and Chris Hazell who
have committed to transport once Lenna is brought ashore, and Lindsay Rex together with
several supporters were also there on the day.

Attached is a photo of the hull at Koolewong at low tide and another showing the midships lift
on 12 March. Not really pretty sights, most is underwater, but remember that Lenna was one of
the best of the Tasmanian trading ketches ever built. Once recovered it can be prepared and
exhibited in many possible ways in the future, and it will be the real thing.


Some generous Tasmanian businesses have offered to help, but more is needed. It is hoped
that the hull can be put on display as a tribute to the remarkable skills of Tasmanian
boatbuilders of a hundred years ago.

Donations to save the Lenna should be made out to "Friends of Lenna" and posted to 29
Mawhera Ave, Sandy Bay, Tas 7005

For more information or to offer support please contact:

Lindsay Rex by phone on 03 9589 4575 or 0417 014644 or email; or

Alan Champion by phone 03 6225 0727 or email, or send mail to 29 Mawhera Ave, Sandy Bay,
Tas 7005.



 History and Significance

Tasmania has a long tradition of building ships. This began soon after European settlement in
the nineteenth century due to the need for coastal and river transport and the ready availability
of suitable timber, especially in southern Tasmania.

 Vessels built ranged from small local rowing and sailing vessels to sailing whalers and
“London” traders, barques and ship rigged “clippers”. By the beginning of the twentieth century
Tasmania had become well known and regarded for designing and building the finest timber
ketches and schooners of the time. These vessels were evident in trades throughout south
eastern Australia. In particular, they included a large class of well over 100 shallow draft centre
board timber trading ketches with jackyard topsails which apart from their commercial purposes,
particularly in southern Tasmania and South Australia, were regularly and keenly raced at
Royal Hobart and other southern Tasmanian regattas, a tradition which lasted until the 1950s.

Pre-eminent amongst the ketch builders were the Wilson family of Port Cygnet, who built many
such vessels from 1870 until 1935. Well known amongst their vessels was the 75 feet ketch
, built for Risby Brothers in 1903 and which traded until 1961, winning the last race for the
class at the Royal Hobart Regatta in 1954, thus earning the final “Cock of the Derwent” trophy.

Lenna was subsequently a fishing boat, an excursion vessel named Lenna Bird at Lakes
Entrance in Victoria and finally, renamed Lady Kendall, an excursion vessel operating from
Gosford on Brisbane Water in New South Wales until decommissioned in 1999. Since that time
the hull has been gradually stripped of items of value so that only the basic but original hull now
remains. In August 2005 the vessel sank at the public wharf at Gosford, with local pressure on
the owner for the vessel to be removed. Demolition in December 2005 was a distinct possibility,
however a group of interested people from Tasmania, Victoria and NSW then committed to
raise the vessel so it could be moved, thus buying time for arrangements for preservation to be
made. Lenna was then raised and moved in March 2006.

Calls for help in newspapers and publicity generated during the February 2007 Wooden Boat
Festival in Hobart led to offers to transport the vessel from on shore at Brisbane Water to
Hobart via road transport to Newcastle and deck cargo by ship from there to Hobart.
Complications have arisen in lifting the vessel ashore from where she lies on the foreshore and
success can only be achieved with sufficient funds to hire pontoons and cranes to achieve this.

There is thus now and for perhaps a short time only, a once off opportunity to obtain the hull of
, as built by Wilson’s over 100 years ago, to be initially stabilized and later prepared for
display in a number of possible ways. Lenna represents a genuine original example of the art
and tradition from one of the most well known and recognized wooden shipbuilders of early

The opportunity is truly a once off. The only comparable vessels which remain are May Queen
of 1867, preserved as a static floating exhibit in Hobart, Terralinna of 1922, privately owned in
Hobart but a smaller less representative vessel of the class, Enterprise of 1902, ashore at
Bicheno, Tasmania in poor condition and of scow hull form not typical of the class and finally
Annie Watt
of 1870, owned by the South Australian Maritime Museum and with hull only in poor
condition in a shed in Port Adelaide. Lenna represents the pinnacle of the Tasmanian trading
ketch development better than any of the other available vessels and is also the largest of them.


Name: Lenna

Type: Cargo/Fishing/Yacht/Ferry

Official No: 105697

Sail No: {42}

Later names: Lennabird-'66b76b82 Lady Kendall-'85b86b99

Builder: 1903 Wilson, John Port Cygnet, Tas

Material: Wood

Rig: Gaff ketch

Rig modifications: Aux ketch a10b17

Propulsion: Sail

Decks: 1Dk

Net tonnage: 41

Ports &owners: HOBART'04 Risby Bros (Arthur &Charles Risby): '04 Tasman Yong: '10b10
S.Purdon: HOBART'12b17b28b29 Sam.Purdon: '33b46 H.Jones &Co Pty Ltd: b57 IXL Timber
Pty Ltd: LAKES ENTRANCE,VIC@'61 Richard Robert Richey: '66 George Harold Peel:
GIPPSLAND LAKES@b73b76b82: b82 Peels Launches: BRISBANE WATER@'85b86b88
Starship Cruises (Alan &Warren Draper)

Dimensions registered (ft): 64.60 x 20.00 x 5.20

Bow: Clipper

Figurehead: Nil

Stern: Transom raked

Deck erections: Raised quarter deck & deckhouse abaft main mast

Fate: Stationary 2004 Lying at Gosford, NSW in deteriorated condition.

History & details: Huon pine carvel planked. Trading ketch designed with Hobart regatta in
mind. Lugsail topsails. Hobart No.1 of 1904. Hobart No.2 of 1912. Originally engaged in
southern Tasmanian timber trade carrying logs to the Risby Bros sawmill at Hobart. 1904-57
trading vessel in Tasmanian waters. Transferred to St.Helens trading on east coast to Hobart,
nd. Auxiliary oil engine fitted after 1910 &by 1917, 20bhp. 41g/38n by 1917. Apparently
employed at one time in Tasmania-Melbourne apple trade, held record for sailing vessel
delivering apples (check). Subsequently carried timber. 1926/01 at Catamaran, beautifully
decorated stern. 1927/01 Hobart-Point Eric-Port Davey. 1929/02/16 departed Hobart for
chartered trip to Port Davey, chartered by party of 14 Hobart yachtsmen, a most yacht-like
vessel, beds & bunks made up in main hold, electric light & wireless installed. 1929/02/21
arrived at Port Davey, met with ketch Foam (qv), engaged in hunting & fishing. 1929/02/27
departed Port Davey, called at Southport, party visited caves at Hastings. 1929/03/01 arrived
at Hobart, exchanged salutes with HMAS Australia (qv). 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1950 won
trading vessel race at Hobart regatta. 1938/02/19 won trading vessel race at Centenary Hobart
regatta. Still on Derwent River 1948. 1953 trading with timber to Hobart, made one round trip
per week with building and case timber till 1957. 1954/ 02 won last race for trading vessels
against May Queen in Hobart Regatta. Last trading ketch carrying a full rig trading on the
Derwent River. Converted to fishing vessel after 1957 &before 1966, working out of Lakes
Entrance, Vic (Sam^2004/10 sys fishing vessel for 15 years). 1961 purchased for conversion to
fishing trawler. Clipper bow modified to raked, nd. 1966 converted to cruise vessel & operated
on Gippsland Lakes. 1966-85 operated cruises on Gippsland Lakes, part of the 'bird' fleet. 180
pax. 1973 serving as pleasure craft on Gippsland Lakes, Vic. 1976 & 1982 operating on
Gippsland Lakes out of Lakes Entrance. 45g by 1982. 1tier/Hw 1stump. Funnel aft, raked bow,
square counter. 1985 sold & transferred to Broken Bay. 1986 plans to rerig for Bicentenary
Celebrations, never came to fruition. Sometimes also operated on Sydney Harbour.
1988/01/31 transhipped guests to ketch Defender at Broken Bay. 1999/03 tourist cruises on
Brisbane Waters twice daily. 1tier/Hw FU1b by 1999. 1999 laid up at Gosford, partially
stripped. 2004/05 hulk lying derelict alongside hulk of Karrabee (qv) at Gosford, inspected by
Bern Cuthbertson with view to possible restoration. 2005/02 model sighted at Australian
Wooden Boat festival at Hobart. 2006/03 raised after having sunk at Gosford Public wharf,
beached 3 km from Gosford, awaiting funds to allow salvage for restoration.


References: Amb1^1926/6(P):AMB1^1927/5(P),1927/6(P),1929/5:As76,82:Ash^10(P),18,55(P)