My name is Trevor Davidson a friend of Ossie Whittley the well known boat designer/ builder now retired who started this society about 5 years ago. I am putting this blog together in order to continue the preservation of local marine history and make available space on this blog for your items of interest, photos, drawings, writing etc.
I will post as much material as I have and can collect from all sources, if you would like to contribute anything relevant please email me

Copies of any Photos available on request

The aims of the Society

The Maritime History Preservation Society of East Victoria

The Maritime History Preservation Society of East Victoria was established to preserve the maritime history of the Gippsland and East Bass Strait islands and Mornington Peninsula.

The functions of the society consist of, but are not limited to :

Gathering information and memorabilia

To display material such as old boats, replicas or models, old fishing gear, fishing methods, coastal trading boats, etc.

To make the above material available for exhibition.

The society also acts as a central point to pool the above information and memorabilia, and assists in the gathering of exhibits, volunteers, and venues for shows.

The vastness of the area covered and the fact that the above information is still available through thee older generation, although rapidly drying out, made the establishment of the Society imperative.

The Society is open to any individual or group for membership.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Port Albert boat Sea Hawk

Sea Hawk is a timber fishing vessel owned by local Ken Davidson, the boat has been in the Davidson family for many years.
Ken has written to Ossie detailing some of the boat's history, it is included here with photos of the boat, also showing Ossie taking the lines for making the models which appear below. 

Ken's letter detailing history.

Dear Ossie

Thank you so very much for taking Sea Hawks lines. I had leveled the boat before you took the lines, however she had moved a little. I’ve leveled shortly after your measurements and recorded that she was 1 cm higher to starboard than on the port side.
Arlmond (a Melbourne boat builder) considers that when launched Seahawk may have been completely open. According to the Cullivers who were the second owners in 1923 she had a half cabin only, with redgum slat seats right around the cockpit. This half cabin had the two port holes one on each side. I described this to Tim Phillips many years ago. Some time ago he restored a Jones boat to as close as we know Seahawk was originally. However he considers the keel had straightened somewhat and his restoration gave the keel of “  ?   “ more curve. This craft “ ? “ a member of the Portsea Couta Boat Club is a few feet shorter than Sea Hawk.
Recently talking to our local boat builder Geoff Lipscomb he told me of a half cabin matching the size of Sea Hawks half cabin that sat behind a house near the waterfront at Port Albert for some years. It had four bolts holding it to the combing. And we considered that it was fitted on for ocean work inside the entrance. This is quite likely and I am trying to find out the facts.

Harry Broche owned Sea Hawk for a few years before 1950. He did professional fishing and some lighthouse runs and other interesting projects? My father purchased her from Harry in 1950, and Ted Broche completed a restoration building the present two stage cabin.

I have recorded every bit of history from 1920cwhen she was built up the Maribynong river by Jones. It is extensive including my father’s logs and my own. I will soon incorporate it into the third edition of my book “Bass Straight Memories”. As you requested following is the brief history.-

Sea Hawk was built up the Maribynong River in 920 by John Jones (a Swedish boat builder). She was built for a partnership to take parties out from Sorrento pier. The partnership didn’t continue. She was taken over by the Cullivers, Harry, Joe and Sandy for recreation at first. A taller mast was stepped and the lugsail rig was changed to gaff.

The Culliver boys decided to go professional fishing which continued until the depression. At that time they decide to use a smaller boat and Sea Hawk on logs was rolled up the beach at Rye. She was found there by Dick Avery and Harry Shiels of Port Albert in 1939. They persuaded a wealthy furniture merchant of Melbourne Andrewather to finance them for shark fishing out of Port Albert. On the trip around they replaced the petrol/kero Fordson engine with a McCormack Deering at San Remo and new shaft and propeller were fitted also.
They hit a gale off Cape Liptrap and the red sails were blown out.
At Port Albert Dick Avery and Harry Shiels used Sea Hawk for shark fishing from 1939 until approximately 1945. They considered extending her stern but were persuaded to buy a larger boat “Sea Fairer”.

Harry Broche then took over Sea Hawk, he did some lighthouse runs and some professional fishing.

Around 1948 she was transported to Ted Broche’s boat yard. Restoration took place with re ribbing.
And when the ribbing was finished my father Charley Davidson bought the boat from Harry in 1950. Ted Broche then completed the work and built the two level cabin.

She was re launched in 1951 and used by Charley, family and friends for recreation and some parties. Elder son Geoff sailed her while younger son Ken was in New Zealand. On Ken’s return they sailed together. Geoff left to reside in Canberra and Ken sails her today.

Sea Hawk, up on her low loader now has her deck replaced again and cabin re clad. She will be re launched again in two weeks for the 2008/9 fishing and sailing season.
Enclosed are some sketches and photos that should help with your models.

Ken Davidson
Port Albert Victoria Oz

Ossie hard at work taking lines of Sea Hawk

Original cabin design

New cabin design

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some models Ossie has built.

Model Making

An important part of  recording maritime history is preserving boat designs, Ossie has taken on himself to measure and record the lines of various traditional boats, cruising and fishing. He has taken this a step further and created models from these lines which should help preserve these pieces of history, including designs other than local boats some from overseas.
America had Howard Chappelle who recorded small boat designs and published several books including American Small Sailing Craft and others, Ossie is doing the same job here perhaps on a smaller scale.

Ossie gives some instruction on taking lines and model making.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Model Boat Display 16 & 17 October 2010

The Blind Bight Boat Owner’s Club Inc.
Together with
The Maritime History Preservation Society of Eastern Victoria

invites you to a

16 & 17 October 2010
Models of Historic boats Photos, replicas and
Examples of old fishing gear and fishing methods
Displays of commercial fishing and trading methods
Bass Straight oil rig supply boats and equipment.

All welcome!

Yes Ossie Whittley will be there.
If you have any sea faring models, pictures or memorabilia
 you would like to display
Please contact Trevor Davidson on 
maritimehistory@email.com  or phone 0428 371 841
or Elwood Trieb 59965997

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A boat designed and built by Ossie.

Wizard of Oz a junk rigged plywood dory with lee boards and 18 hp outboard. 
Able to sail in very shallow water. 
Built with twin cabins and home made polytarp sails.
The last photo shows on  the Wizard's port side the 34' ocean going dory also designed by Ossie.