PRE-LOVED BOATS: 1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER

By: DEAN & SUSAN O’LOUGHLIN, Photography by: DEAN & SUSAN O’LOUGHLIN

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1908 PEARLING LUGGER CREW
1908 PEARLING LUGGER
1908 PEARLING LUGGER LIFEBOAT
1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER BOAT
1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER BOW
1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER DOCKED

This proud wooden workboat — a wooden pearling lugger from 1908 — represents the chance to own a piece of Australia’s maritime heritage.

KIM is a wooden pearling lugger from West Australia that was used for pearling operations around the country over a long period. Although most of its existing structure probably dates from 1958 and changes made in the 1970s, she has a story that goes back to 1908.


This boat is for sale. Find out more information here.


KIM’s long history reflects some intriguing practices relating to vessels used in the industry. It still retains the final arrangement used by traditional sail-powered craft up until they were retired from operation in the 1980s. The hull is carvel planked with a heavy sheer strake and has the classic shallow, moderate deadrise hull shape used by Broome luggers to suit drying-out on the low tide mud flats.

1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER

However, it had one unique feature – aft sections had a planked heel rather than a more abrupt exposed deadwood, suggesting KIM was re-built to be used as a yacht as well as a working vessel.

KIM also features twin verandah platforms aft that can be raised and lowered, pivoting from the sheerline, from where the crew tending the divers handled the lines and hoses of two or three divers at one time.

The lugger’s story goes back to 1908, when a standard 40ft pearler called KIM was built by Murray and Howson in Fremantle, and registered to owners George Streeter and Arthur Male. From 1912 to 1927 KIM was sold or relicensed to about seven different owners and in 1931, underwent a rebuild that saw significant alterations, including having an engine fitted.

1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER DECK

KIM remained operating in the North West until she was commandeered by the Royal Australian Navy in 1942, but survived war service unlike many other luggers taken over by the military, and in 1948 KIM returned to the pearling fields, finally being retired from the industry in the 1990s, when KIM worked as a charter vessel on Darwin Harbour until 2006.

Current owners Dean and Susan O’Loughlin have a passion for the history of the Top End of Australia and felt the need to preserve and protect such a significant vessel to ensure locals and visitors alike would have the opportunity to experience a traditional working pearl lugger.

Currently based in Darwin Harbour and in survey for up to 34 persons, she can be purchased as either a business or as a leisure vessel.

Although now retired, KIM still holds a pearl shell license, and with authentic artifacts and information on display of a bygone era, KIM really is a link to a colourful piece of Australia’s history.

1908 WOODEN PEARLING LUGGER HELM

 

1908 PEARLING LUGGER SPECIFICATIONS

FOR SALE $125,000 (negotiable)

YEAR BUILT 1908

BUILDER Streeter & Male

MATERIAL Timber

LOA 18.56m

BEAM 4.45m

DRAFT 1.6m

RIG Ketch/gaff

ENGINE Perkins inboard 124hp

FUEL 1200lt

WATER 1000lt

CONTACT Dean O’Loughlin

Phone 0412 467 438

Email tebs@live.com.au

Web thekimdarwin.com.au

 


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