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Couta Boat

Name of Boat

Spitfire Rose 
(Previously Spitfire / Rose (C91))

Owner's Name

David Barnes 

Boat Location

Sorrento 

Registration No.

 

Sail No.

C666 

Dimensions

Feet & Inches  Outside of stem to outside of transom

Overall Length

20' 

Maximum Draft

 

Maximum Beam

 

Centreplate Case Length

 

Construction

Planking
Structure
Framing

Carvel Clinker
Open 1/2 Cabin Cabin

Rig

Gaff Lug

Ballast

Weight

 

Material

Lead  

Engine

Make

 

Horsepower

 

Heritage

Built

1950s 

Builder

Alex Lacco  

Designer

Lacco 

History

One of six similar boats built by Alex Lacco in this period. Long time owner Alex Gillam saw her advertised in the Age she was then in Western Port and owned by ‘an Air Force type’ hence the name ‘Spitfire." Alex missed buying her from him but bought her from the new owner when readvertised from Williamstown and used her for fishing for 15-20 years. Dugga Beazley fisherman of Port Melbourne then bought her and commissioned Charlie Strong, a Port Melbourne boat builder to restore her including redecking and installing a centrecase. Dugga Beazley has worked and fished from a large number of Couta and net boats. His love and mastery of these craft would be hard to equal. He and Charlie Strong have had an involvement with a large number of the boats. Purchased in 1984 by Peter Gibson and renamed the Rose. She capsized and foundered north east of Policeman’s Point in the vicinity of the Portsea Hole in 2nd Feb 1986 in strong winds and an ebb tide which is particularly strong at the convergence of the channels off Portsea and she could not be found. The five crew were rescued after about 20 minutes in the water. Years later she was found by divers. The Gibsons had retained equity vis a vis the insurers and a deal was struck with the divers for salvage. The divers Melbourne Diving School were lead by Barrie Head who had rescued the crew after the sinking. Salvage began January 1990 but was hampered by deteriorating weather as well as restricted dive times caused by depth and tide. Sand was jetted out of the hull revealing the gear including fire extinguisher fully operational. She was pulled free of the sand and held upright to prevent filling with sand while ballast was removed. Airbags fitted to traveler hawse, chain plates and stem providing three tonne lift brought her to the surface and she was towed ashore. After a year of slow drying she was completely restored. She was previously owned by Tony McNamara who sailed her under sail number C91.
 

Race Record

Comments

 

 

 

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