All photography and artwork, provided by Friends of Curlip

We are the custodians of the Paddle Steamer Curlip,
a 62 feet long, traditional, plank on frame carvel timber vessel, that was built by the people of East Gippsland at Orbost, in far Eastern Victoria.

The undertaking to design and build this vessel, as a community project commenced in 2002. The community, based around Orbost was largely dependant on the Timber industry in the surrounding Victorian High Country.
With the closure of Alpine logging and the creation of vast National Parks, the people of the region needed to create a major undertaking to bond the community and engender… a sense of belonging, this was critical for many of the men, who were dispossessed with the loss of their historical timber and forestry industry.

 

Our Mission

The Paddle Steamer Curlip is a reproduction of the historic Curlip a vessel that opened up the region in the 1880’s before road or rail, serviced this remote region.
There will never again be… in the living history of everyone who reads this website, another traditional carvel planked Paddle Steamer built in Victoria.
 
The time honoured wood on plank carvel construction method that is how Curlip and all traditional vessels were constructed, is only available through a small number of bespoke wooden boat builders, across Australia. The cost of such construction would be outside the reach and financial resources of any commercially or privately funded operation.
Unfortunately, the hull of  Paddle Steamer Curlip, has been attacked by Teredo Worm, that have eaten along some of her timber planks and compromised her underwater hull. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teredo_navalis

The new board of management of P.S.Curlip Inc, have effected temporary fixes and with appropriate government and Marine Board permits made an epic sea voyage, crossing the Marlo Bar, then down the coast from Marlo at the entrance to the Snowy River to Lakes Entrance in the Gippsland Lakes. She is only the second Australian Paddle Steamer to transit the open ocean since P.S.Weroona in World War II.
Our intention is to perform local fund raising and seek crowd funding donations and any available assistance grants to rebuild the vessel, an asset of the people of East Gippsland. We are excited about the upcoming Victorian State Government Community Grants Competition "Pick my Project" that we are in the process of submitting our submission to. We will keep our community friends and supporters posted in coming weeks on"How you can Help"

The Hard work for P.S,Curlip has begun.

Now that the initial hype regarding the vessel's arrival has subsided, our works committee, understand, that a community project of this magnitude, does not happen by Osmosis. The project is a long one, dictated by the small but regular, (in dollar terms) ongoing support and fund raising from our fantastic local community.

 This was Paddle Steamer Curlip's, blue gum, carvel planked hull being fitted in 2006, it is hard to imagine that in 10 years the Teredo Worms have wreaked havoc, requiring major repairs to encapsulate all underwater timbers. The board of management of P.S.Curlip Inc, with advices from our appointed AMSA Marine Surveyor and Naval Architect, Paul Bury and respected wooden boat builders and shipwrights Frecheville Heaney are progressing very well with the removal of all under hull timber planking. Our boat repair committee is systematically removing planks, a very labour intensive and lengthy process. We look forward to fitting the new timbers throughout the end of 2017 and into 2018.  Our plan is to replace the original worm infected timbers with first grade Yellow Stringy Bark Planking, sourced from the Victorian High Country and milled by Mectec in Newmeralla. This return to the original structural integrity and traditional methodology is also important, as it allows P.S.Curlip Inc to retain it's original Marine Survey status, without a re certification. 

This was Paddle Steamer Curlip's, blue gum, carvel planked hull being fitted in 2006, it is hard to imagine that in 10 years the Teredo Worms have wreaked havoc, requiring major repairs to encapsulate all underwater timbers. The board of management of P.S.Curlip Inc, with advices from our appointed AMSA Marine Surveyor and Naval Architect, Paul Bury and respected wooden boat builders and shipwrights Frecheville Heaney are progressing very well with the removal of all under hull timber planking. Our boat repair committee is systematically removing planks, a very labour intensive and lengthy process. We look forward to fitting the new timbers throughout the end of 2017 and into 2018.

Our plan is to replace the original worm infected timbers with first grade Yellow Stringy Bark Planking, sourced from the Victorian High Country and milled by Mectec in Newmeralla.
This return to the original structural integrity and traditional methodology is also important, as it allows P.S.Curlip Inc to retain it's original Marine Survey status, without a re certification. 


With the hull timbers replaced and proper ongoing care and maintenance she could well survive another 100 years, coupled with sound governance and well planned maintenance regimes P.S. Curlip should endure as a viable community based, educational and eco tourism venture on the Gippsland Lakes for many decades to come.
Paddle Steamer Curlip was relocared in October 2016, to a new area of operation to gain access to maintenance facilities and slipways and higher volumes of tourism potential at the Port of Bairnsdale, Paynesville and the Mitchell River Delta, a world listed Ramsar Wetland.

The new committee of management of P.S.Curlip Inc is comprised of members of the Gippsland Lakes Classic Boat Club www.glcbc.com.au who took over from the Orbost and Marlo based committee in October 2016, who were unable to continue due to their age, inability to navigate path ways through government instrumentalities and access to regular slipway and maintenance facilities, so critical to prevent the terminal attack on her hull by Teredo Worm.

Pick my Project our latest fund raising campaign

With the commencement of detailed works to replace Paddle Steamer Curlip's hull timbers, damaged by marine Teredo Worms, the external hull rejuvenation works, will be complete. Our most important project is the design and installation of a Clean Green Steam, renewable and sustainable energy plant and associated equipment, the vessel will provide an interpretative learning centre and tourism experience, certainly, unique in East Gippsland and Victoria and possibly Australia.  In coming weeks the Victorian Government will launch the campaign. Pick My Project is a community grants initiative with $30 million available to fund local projects.

We believe that with the broad community support we currently enjoy, Paddle Steamer Curlip's Sun Steam & Water Renewable Energy submission for $140,410.00 is a worthy recipient. With our cause, gaining in support from our greater community. Paddle Steamer Curlip will provide training, via work for the dole schemes, for long term unemployed.

She will become a training and work experience vessel for local TAFE students. As Victoria's only Paddle Steamer she will be involved in certification courses for mariners, STEAM ENGINEERS and boiler attendants.
Paddle Steamer Curlip is a valid and highly regarded project that provides scope for local Men's Shed projects and provides a day to day interest for our many volunteers and Friends of Curlip.

The Paddle Steamer Curlip is a community asset that must be saved,
we already have an amazing team of committed volunteers.
We are now are seeking donations, memberships and Crowd Funding to ensure this asset of the people of East Gippsland, is returned to service to educate our people on her historic significance and to experience her unique renewable and sustainable energy systems, so important for the biodiversity and future of our society and waterways.
— Gary Plumley, Chairman, P.S.Curlip Inc.

What We've Achieved

  • P.S.Curlip Inc new board of management formed by members of The Gippsland Lakes Classic Boat Club, October 2016.
  • After more than 1200 man hours of work the P.S.Curlip is temporarily repaired and gains government approval to carry out the ocean voyage from Marlo to Lakes Entrance.
  • The vessel has gained a land base, lease from DELWP (Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, East Gippsland Shire and Gippsland Ports, to rebuild, operate and locate the vessel within the Lakes system.
  • More than 2000 supporters on Social Media in 6 weeks.
  •  A membership structure is created and approximately 50 volunteers registered. 
  • Public relations, media coverage and very supportive local media.
  • More than 5,000 people turn out to watch the P.S.Curlip steam into the Gippsland Lakes from Marlo along Bass Strait, an epic ocean voyage.
    WHAT WE NOW NEED TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR SUPPORT...
    VIA FUND RAISING AND CROWD FUNDING.
  • Stage 1. The vessel now requires approximately $85,000.00 to repair her timber hull, below the water line, via memberships, local fund raising and crowd funding. STOP PRESS Another $25, 000 raised from community support June 2018
  • Stage 2.To install a clean green steam renewable and sustainable energy system. We require crowd funding or access to a suitable Government Grants Scheme for approximately $145,000.00.