Crest relaunched at Jervis Bay Maritime Museum – 10th March 2020

In 1987 Crest was pulled up on the hard, presumably for the duration of its slow rot to destruction. An initial plan for restoration had it still on the hard but pimped to look like a vessel that would be the proud possession of a Maritime Museum. A pretty but fossilised vessel.

Crest is a motor launch built by Freddie Dent in the Huskisson boat yard and launched in 1911, the same year as the famous Walter Reeks designed Lady Denman ferry, also housed in Huskisson. She is a 24 foot carvel planked motor launch built for Jack Rossen and originally named Ninon for his wife. Crest is a classic of the Dent designs with a vertical stem and a pronounced counter stern characteristic of the boats of its age (think Titanic). The last survivor of the Dent era of small boat building.

Stan Brown and Bruce Angus had another idea. What about restoration to the water? They pitched the idea to the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum Board and they got traction. The Australian Maritime Museum was sought out for funds and they came up with a plan of the boat and a management plan for restoration prepared by David Payne.

The Crest restoration was on its way!

It was a concise, two-year plan to get the boat afloat by 2014. Illawarra Mutual Bank provided substantial funding but that was not enough to get Crest ready for the water. Bendigo Bank provided another substantial grant of money that brought the project really close to completion. Some Bunnings BBQs, a calendar or two and some auctioned art got Crest to launch on Tuesday March 10 2020.

A bit overtime but well worth the effort!!

Many volunteers with an eclectic array of skills have contributed to the restoration.     While a lot of those skills came in handy along the way and have made smoko very enjoyable, we have had to learn some of the ancient arts of boat building to get the job done.

We have been able to draw upon boat building experience and talent from the local area and beyond. Dave Lewis, a local boat builder from Lewis Classics was our tutor for a number of years. His heritage boat building experience kept us honest and diligent and slowed the progress, but in a good way. John Settree, a local legend of the boat building industry drops by occasionally and runs a critical eye over progress, not always flatteringly, also in a good way.

We got there!

Amanda Findley, Shoalhaven Mayor poured the champagne over the boat and it was, at last, gracefully launched.

Thanks to all who have contributed, sponsored and supported this project. As Mayor Findley said on the day, it is our gift to Huskisson.

The Crest Restoration Team
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum