Oldest known Australian commercial vessel

The Beginning

 July 1865 – The 28 ft Admiral was constructed out of carvel-planked Huon Pine and launched at the Domain Hobart, Tasmania. She operated as an eight-oared ferry /rowing boat out of Waterman’s Dock, Hobart Tasmania.

  Nov 1888 – Converted into a steam launch and she operated on the River Derwent Hobart ,Tasmania. 

 1896During a number of refits, she was re-engined and had a counter stern added, giving her an overall length of 34 ft. She had been converted to a fishing boat with a fish well installed, extra free boards added in clinker style, and decked. She was later called Myra.

2006 – She was discovered abandoned in NSW by John and Sue Dikeman, and arrangements were made to transport her to Hobart where she arrived in early September 2006 to begin her restoration.  



The "Admiralty"

. A group of interested people, mainly previously associated with the Norfolk project, later met with Bern Cuthbertson to form a body called the “Admiralty” to be responsible for the funding and restoration of the Admiral to its original design.

On 16 January 2007 a group travelled to the property “Forest Home” (owned by Wesley Hazell) near Judbury to inspect a possible storage shed with more than adequate floor space, a lockable room, work bench, overhead gantry etc. for the site to restore the Admiral.

 From 20 January 2007, a team of 9 volunteers then worked twice a week when available (often only 2-3 being available) to dismantle, restore and replace frames and planks to give life to the vessel in its original working configuration.

Restoration Begins

The condition of the hull below the waterline was a sorry sight with cracked strakes, crazed old tar anti-fouling and old eroded hull fittings from its varies role in its life. So the first job was to remove the half-deck, deck framing and bits. Then the six foot long counter stern  was removed by using a power saw slicing through on the original stern post alignment.  The three uppermost clinker strakes (installed when she was a fishing boat) were removed down to the original sheer strake that was identified by its fine scribed beading line on its top inner edge.

Restoration challenge

Her New Home

Admiral has been loaded into the Bass and Flinders Centre and its final installation is in progress.


  • Norfolk
  • Elizabeth
  • Tom Thumb
  • Captains Cabin theatrette

Films to see

  • Life of Flinders
  • Building the replica Norfolk
  • The Navigators


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  • Location

The Bass and Flinders Centre is operated by volunteers under a trust arrangement and is self funded.