HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

3 November 2014

Launch of the M.V. Dolphin.

During the high tide on Tuesday night the 6th of August 1936 the 250-ton wooden motor vessel was launched across the slips of A.W.Settree's ship-yards into the cold winter waters of Currambene Creek.

The vessel was the second largest wooden craft built in Australia since World War 1.
She measured 133ft long, powered by a 360 hp diesel engine, all of the timber used in the construction,  except the lining was obtained in the surrounding forests.

The Dolphin was built for  W.R.Carpenter and Co., and was to be used for the island trade.   The christening was performed by Miss N.Mottram, of Numba, by breaking a bottle of champagne across her bow.  She graciously slipped from her stays into deep water accompanied by cheers from the gathered onlookers.

Launching a vessel at night was a little unusual, designed to take advantage of the high tide. The whole scene was illuminated by flare lights.

Captain Griffin, representing the owners was present at the launch.

A vessel of this size took many months to make costing around 7000 pounds with an estimated additional 7000 pounds needing to be spent before she would be ready to engage in trade.

Mr Settree and his team of workmen were congratulated on producing such a high quality ship.

Renamed the M.V. Duranbah.
The vessel was renamed the M.V.Duranbah, and her final fit out took place in Sydney.

November 11, 1936 -  she was given a preliminary trial on Sydney Harbour. The vessel covered the measured mile between Bradley's Head and Pinchgut at approximatly 10 knots.

November 22 - On her first trip to sea bound for Rebaul she started leaking badly and returned to port anchoring in Watsons Bay, where the crew had to man the pumps at intervals.  The leakage was due ot timbers above the unloaded water line shrinking. There was no serious loss of cargo. The shrinkage was repaired by recaulking under the supervision of the Commonwealth Navigation Officials.

She was destroyed in 1948.


A.W.M Settree – Ship Builder.
Highly regarded as a leading ship builder.

Settree Ship Yard Huskisson – 1933.

The news of the launch was announced in the Pacific Islands Monthly.

pacific island monthlyt article about the launch of the dolphin - article 1936




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