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Couta Boat

Name of Boat

Giom Four
(Previously Tasma)

Owner's Name

Pip Cowan 

Boat Location

Gladstone Marina 

Registration No.


Sail No.



Feet & Inches  Outside of stem to outside of transom

Overall Length


Maximum Draft

4' 6" 

Maximum Beam


Centreplate Case Length




Carvel Clinker
Open 1/2 Cabin Cabin


Gaff Lug










20 HP 









Tasma’s beginning… As Giom Four has a wonderful and colourful history. Originally named 'Tasma', she fished the Bass Straits in a small fleet to a mother ship in the 1930's-1940's when she was sold to a gentleman in the Air Force, sailed to Cairns and raced in that region. He owned her (as I am told) during the 1950's and very early 1960's. She was then sold to a couple of young fishing fellows who sailed her up to Cooktown, changed her name to 'Wazoo', ripped out her lead ballast in the keel to sell and replaced it with concrete. Was she used as a drug run boat? I guess we'll never know for sure. However during the early to mid 1960's and remember it is bad luck to change a boats name, Wazoo along with many other boats was shipwrecked on a reef out of Cooktown. Her back nearly broken, when the cyclone subsided, she was salvaged by a disreputable freighter and towed to Cairns where she could be repaired. Only to turned around and sent back to sea when the harbour master bellowed that he did not want another artificial reef at the bottom of the harbour. With bilge pumps going 24 hours the freighter had had enough and possibly couldn’t afford the fuel run back to Cooktown. Wazoo was so lucky that her lines were simply not cut and to let her wallow and sink to her watery grave. A Meteorologist and his wife were on their way to Thursday Island to take up post there and saw Wazoo. They saw the disreputable freighter dragging her through the water. Slowing the freighter down considerably and watching black smoke belching from her stack, they saw a dream. A dream that took them over to the freighter and after an exchange of words, the towline was gladly thrown. Wazoo was gently towed all the way to Thursday, where she was beached. The bilge pumps could no longer pump enough water to keep her afloat. Walter and Jackie made friends with a retired Shipwright who's last wish was to rebuild a boat. And so after 4 years, sometimes 7 days a week, Jimmy Purcell lovingly rebuilt his boat. Every last copper nail was replaced with copper roves. Her ballast, well every Thursday Island child had much delight in finding old sinkers and car batteries and ingots of lead and a mould in the sand was filled with melted lead. To replace some, cannot get Huon pine in Thursday Island, Solomon Island Teak was used to replace her tow rails and decking. I can say that after owning her for over 8 years now, that I do much prefer a beach deck, but that's another story. In 1981, an old spirit came to life. Australia's first white woman to be shipwrecked and survive - Barbara Thompson, who the local Aborigines called Giom, gave her spirit to a beautiful Couta boat that I own today. That is also another story. So historical in fact, that I am endeavouring to write a short book. Giom Four slipped back into the water after four years. Giom is alive again. Her spirit lives on ……

Race Record





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