The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum Heritage Vessel Restoration Team was awarded the Hal Harpur Award by the Wooden Boat Association of NSW during their virtual ceremony on Tuesday 9th March 2021. This award is in recognition of the outstanding work done by the team in the restoration of the Crest. The assessment panel highlighted the skill, enthusiasm and passion of the team, and the strength of the community support the team engendered.

The Hal Harpur award is presented each year and encourages the retention of traditional wooden boat building skills and the preservation of historical wooden boats and artifacts. The award is a perpetual trophy named after one of the Associations founding members, the late Hal Harpur.​

The amount of time and effort involved in getting Crest ship-shape went beyond the physical restoration work as the team worked hard raising money to fund the project – everything from grant applications to art auctions and BBQ’s.

Museum director, Diana Lorentz commented “This award is richly deserved by the restoration team, not just for their time, skill and patience in restoring Crest, but also for their team spirit and camaraderie over the years and their support for each other.  Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience and none more so than recognised in this award.”

The Crest is a fishing boat that worked in and around Jervis Bay for 60 years and was successfully relaunched in March 2020 into the pond at the Jervis Maritime Museum after last exiting the water in 1988. 

Originally launched as Ninon, the vessel was built for John (Jack) Rossen in 1911 By Freddie Dent in Dent’s Huskisson ship yard, the same year the Lady Denman Ferry was completed. Over the years Crest had several owners and underwent various alterations before being bought by Len Wright and George Lowe who donated Crest to the museum in 1988.

The vessel is a now rare example of the earlier style seine net fishing boats that were used in the Bay and Basin and is the only survivor of the Dent’s smaller boats that is known. For this reason and it’s cultural, social and technical significance to local history it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Vessels and has been a restoration project at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum.

Volunteers started scraping the internal timbers in 2013, initially with funding support from the Australian National Maritime Museum. Subsequently substantial funding was provided by IMB and Bendigo Bank which has supported the replacement of internal timbers, a third of the outer planks, refurbished the motor, replaced electrics and provided a decent coat of paint.

Museum President Michael Sutton commented: “We all thought the Team had done a marvellous job with the restoration; to have it recognised by their peers in wooden boat building gives it an added dimension”.

Crest is currently on display in the pond at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum, Huskisson.