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.
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. Grants may prove difficult given the amount of Grant Assistance the original build project received, however our committee have learned a lot in the last year.
Now that the initial hype regarding the vessel has subsided and many of the initial fair weather friends have departed, 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.
With the hull timbers replaced andand 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 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 access regular slipway and maintenance facilities, and the terminal attack on her hull by Teredo Worm.
After detailed works to replace her hull timbers, damaged by marine Teredo Worms and rejuvenation works, and 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.
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.
- Stage 2.To install a clean green steam renewable and sustainable energy system we require crowd funding of $105,000.00