Home | Boats For Sale | Boats Sold | Backlot | Boat Register | Contact
Woodenboat Register

Online Boat Register

Couta Boat

Name of Boat

Lady Daphne
(Previously Rhianna)

Owner's Name

Ainesley Smith 

Boat Location


Registration No.


Sail No.



Feet & Inches  Outside of stem to outside of transom

Overall Length

30' 2 

Maximum Draft


Maximum Beam

12' 6 

Centreplate Case Length




Carvel Clinker
Open 1/2 Cabin Cabin


Gaff Lug





 lead ingots in steel frames 



PERKINS4.236 with PRM310 gearbox 





1939 in Queenscliff, Victoria 


Peter Locke 


Peter Locke 


Built for Cliff "Scutley" Thwaits who possibly fished out of Portland in her. Built as a Couta Well Boat "open aft cockpit, no house, big round in deck beams". Reportedly built with reclaimed Kauri planks from a demolition in Portland or Ballarat, allowing all planks to be full length without joins. Launched 25th March 1939 named "Valiant", sold to Wally Croft of Sam Remo. Taken to Stanley TAS. Other reported owners were Gary Phegan of Georgetown and a Mr. Bannon.

Worked as a cray boat out of Devonport by Reg "Manny" Douglas, who changed her name to "Lady Daphne" after his wife Daphne. Taken to Cygnet in the late 50`s early 60`s by Reg and Daphne. She had a 30Hp Lister diesel.

Purchased by John Skromanis of Margate in 1991. He was possibly the first to register her as a pleasure boat on the 22nd Jan 1995(from oldest label found on board). John built the large deck house in his workshop using White Cypress, a NSW timber. It was then lifted by crane into position. He also had her professionally rewired.

In 1997 the "Lady" was swapped with Rodney Abra for his boat and taken to Launceston. It is reported that Rodney renamed her "Rhianna", sealed the wet well and built a cabin over the top joining with the fo`c`sle cabin top. Cut companionways through the fore and aft bulkhead of the wet well so as to gain access to the fo`c`sle. The wet well which is now the head.

In December 2003 Robert Manson, Launceston, purchased Rhianna and re named her "Lady Daphne" when he learnt of her previous name. Robert said "I think it's the most beautiful boat in the world." Robert removed the engine and gear box (now the Perkins) cleaning it down and painting it. He fitted a new genuine Perkins flexible flywheel coupling from England, replaced all lines and hoses, removed the two old 325litre diesel tanks and replaced them with two new 200litre. While the tanks, engine and gearbox were out, Robert strengthened the subfloor framing and engine bed. The hull was stripped to bare timber and treated with Wattyl wood preserver, sealer and primer undercoat, then Wattyl HA120 Antifoul.

In October 2005 I became the "Caretaker or Trustee" of "Lady Daphne" and had her road transported back to Hobart. We replaced the milky perspex windows with tinted acrylic and the front windows with laminated glass. The mast and rigging were rebuilt and stepped in time for the 2005 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. The rotting hardwood bulwarks and toe rails have been removed, as well as the galvanised railing, all of which are to be replaced in the same fashion but with SS railing. The deck has been sanded right back and planking refastened or replaced as needed, joints routed out and sealed with Sikaflex. The deck then sealed with wood preserver, primer undercoat and painted. When all this is finished, the inside will gain our attention.


Race Record


Ros and I are enjoying working on and using Dahpne. We hope to have many happy hours motoring and sailing in her. I intend to retain the name "Lady Daphne", however will always credit her with her original name "Valiant" shown in brackets.



Featured Boats For Sale
Subscribe to our Newsletter