ML Egeria returns to sea

THE historic Motor Launch Egeria has returned to the water following a six-week refurbishment that saw significant restoration works completed on the vessel’s hull.

With support of a $46,000 grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF), the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania’s (MYCT) project, which was based out of Lindisfarne, saw the 18.9 metre classic Huon pine and teak vessel returned to its former glory.

An important part of Hobart’s maritime history, the vessel is perhaps best known in Tasmania for its traditional role as the Governor’s launch.

Its restoration included stripping the hull back to bare timber, splining the planking to achieve a watertight seal and re-painting.

MYCT commodore John Hebbink said almost 1,000 hours of voluntary effort by members of MYCT, friends and community contributed to the “very successful” outcome.

“The six-week time frame was met to the day,” he said.

“The true extent of the remedial work could not be fully appreciated until the paint was removed.

“But fortunately, the paint removal revealed an extremely well-built and solid example of Tasmanian maritime craftsmanship with no real sights of deterioration after 75-years of use.

“Overall, the project has been a tremendous success and Egeria now looks magnificent.

“Many new people have also joined the list of volunteers who will be in charge of maintaining the crew and vessel.”

Mr Hebbink said he was appreciative to all those involved in the project.

“The refurbishment of this important piece of Tasmanian maritime history would not have been possible without the grant from TCF,” he said.

Launched in 1941, the ML Egeria was commandeered by the Royal Australian Navy as a harbour defence vessel for the duration of World War II after which it resumed its intended role of executive vessel for the Marine Board of Hobart.

Egeria was transferred by Trust Deed to the MYCT in 2007 and has continued to be used as a Vice Regal launch transporting many distinguished guests around Hobart. It also has the honour of being the flagship of the renowned bi-annual Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

For more information or to hire the ML Egeria, contact the MYCT by phoning 6243 9021 or visit www.motoryachtclub.org.

Caption: The historic ML Egeria is returned to sea following a six-week restoration.