Macpherson Robertson - Historic Vessel - HV 000235

AU $52,500 Ono
26' - 7.92m
Family, Leisure, Cruising
Vessel Location
Valentine NSW
Launch Year
Hull Material
Timber Double Mahogany Planked

This Historic Vessel 'Macpherson Robertson', has been recently restored to a very durable base build, and is now for sale.

Commissioned by Patton's Slipways, Milson Point, in 1956 adjacent to Sydney's Ensemble Theatre. The Original Vessel name was a tribute Sir Macpherson Robertson (1859 -1945), philanthropist, explorer and supporter of Antarctic Expeditions.

This vessel's use spanned 18 Antarctic Expeditions (from 1956 to 1978), and was used as a Ship's Tender, Work Boat and Survey Vessel by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE).

Now restored above and below the waterline, this vessel is poised for a variety of future uses, and carries a rich history.

Currently powered by a 9.9hp Yamaha Auxiliary Outboard (6.1 knots boat speed), this vessel is ideally suited for the installation of a new diesel inboard or a modern electric power conversion.

Additionally, the most recent internal engine (A Ford Lees 80hp marine diesel) is also available for inspection by, or free use of, the new owner.

The following information is from the Australian National Maritime Museum
[Copyright (2018). Available at: https://arhv. Sea. Museum/en/objects/details/150844]

MACPHERSON ROBERTSON was built in 1956 with part of a donation of 3000 pounds from the Melbourne confectionary firm of MacRobertson Ltd, well known for Freddo Frogs amongst other things. Its founder and philanthropist Sir Macpherson Robertson (1859 - 1945), had been a long time supporter of British, New Zealand and Australian Antarctic endeavours.

The firm's donation was made at the request of Richard Casey, Minister of External Affairs prompted by the Director of the Antarctic Division, Dr Phil Law. The order to build the boat was placed by Dr Phil Law and it was built at Pattons Slipways, Milson Point, Sydney.

The 7.92 metre design is based on a standard workboat type used by port authorities at that time. The specifications however were modified for its work in the ice - double mahogany planking or sheathing of the hull up to the waterline for protection, bronze fittings around the propeller and bronze lifting lugs.

MACPHERSON ROBERTSON was often based aboard the Antarctic Division's icebreaker and supply ships MAGGA DAN, THALA DAN and NELLA DAN, from where it was launched and retrieved by the ship's crane. MACPHERSON ROBERTSON was used as a work boat for ship to shore operations and coastal survey trips.

The boat became surplus to requirements in 1978 and was purchased privately by David Wilson in Melbourne. Later in 1981 Wilson took it by sea to Newcastle NSW for use as a trawler on the Hunter River. He sold it in 1985 and its history until 2004 when it changed hands and was then known as PORPOISE, has not been documented.

In 2008 it had a higher cabin than the original configuration which may relate to its trawling period, but apart from minor repairs to the planking the launch still had much of the original structure intact and was in good condition. In 2010 the entire hull and superstructure were given a complete overhaul and repair. The current engine is now an 80 kw (110 hp) Ford Lees diesel. "

AU $52,500 Ono   
Vessel Name
Macpherson Robertson
Launch Year
26' - 7.92m
2.6m or 8' 7"
1.0m or 3' 3.5"
5.0 Tonnes
Vessel Location
Valentine Nsw
New South Wales
HV 000 235
Australian Antarctic Division
Patton's Slipways
Hull Material
Timber Double Mahogany Planked

Peter Rigby
City / Suburb

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