HERITAGE FERRY FLEET
An exciting new addition to the Davistown Putt Putt Regatta & Wooden Boat Festival
Over 400 years of Sydney Harbour History battled it out in the inaugural Heritage Ferry Challenge in 2019, a new addition to the Davistown Putt Putt Regatta & Wooden Boat Festival.
Sydney Heritage Fleet, Central Coast Ferries, Macleay Cruises, Brooklyn Ferry Service, Transport Heritage Australia and a number of private owners came together, donating their time and their heritage ferries to participate in this special eventto raise money for the Kids with Cancer charity and we look forward to this becoming a regular addition to the Regatta weekend activities.
Our Heritage Ferries travel from far and wide to join us including Sydney Harbour, the Hawkesbury, and Lake Macquarie. If you wandered down to the shores of Sydney Harbour through most of the 20th century you would have seen hundreds of vessels just like these going about their daily work. They were a mainstay of our all our ports and their industry. Sadly, with the passing of time their numbers have dwindled, however we are fortunate to be able to create this opportunity to showcase the largest gathering of timber ferries and launches left in Australia.
After the excitement of the Heritage Ferry Challenge on the Saturday, the fleet heads to Davistown on the Sunday joining the many on water festivities including the Grand Parade. There are opportunities for visitors to the Regatta to hop aboard and look closely at the craftsmanship and beauty of these historic timber vessels and joy rides are also on offer throughout the day.
Below is a list of vessels that participated in our inaugural 2019 Heritage Ferry Challenge and we look forward to welcoming these vessels and more back to the 2021 Davistown Putt Putt Regatta and Wooden Boat Festival.
- Protex – former Nicholson Brothers, Stannards, Woy Woy & Dangar Island ferry built c1908. Used to carry the workers to the Colgate Palmolive factory in Balmain where they made ‘Protex’ soap – hence her name.(current owner Sydney Heritage Fleet)
- Codock II – former Cockatoo Island launch / ferry built in 1945. Spent most of her working life carrying workers to and from the Island. Now a ferry operating on Brisbane Water.(current owner Central Coast Ferries)
- Banksia – former Cockatoo Island launch built in 1952.(current owner Brooklyn Ferry Service)
- Macleay – former Maritime Services Board of NSW launch / ferry built in 1985.She was the 2nd last timber vessel ever built at Goat Island by the MSB shipwrights.(currently charter vessel for Macleay Cruises)
- Girrakool – former Maritime Services Board of NSW launch / ferry built in 1984. She is the sister ship to Macleay and was the 3rd last timber vessel ever built at Goat Island by the MSB shipwrights.(currently privately owned)
- Leura – former Stannards & Hegartys ferry built at Holmes Yard, Lavender Bay c1940. Spent many years as the Lavender Bay ferry taking people to Luna Park, Jeffrey St, and McMahons Point, as well as operating school runs.(currently privately owned)
- AWB 422 – former naval workboat built c1943. Over 400 of these design were built up the east coast of Australia during WW2 and there are still a few left. This AWB is currently under restoration and is still configured in her original look.(currently privately owned)
- AWB 435 – former naval workboat built in Williamstown, Melbourne 1942 & delivered to Cairns for Northern defence against Japanese invasion. 1946-1995 served as a tender vessel to HMAS Cerberus on Westernport Bay, Victoria(currently privately owned charter vessel)
Online links with further information:
Information on the Heritage Ferry Challenge:
Information on the history of Protex:
Information on the Sydney Heritage Fleet