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Boating - Gracious lady is coming to town

06 Mar 2014

Boating - Gracious lady is coming to town Image

Docklands will welcome a piece of history later this year when turn-of-the-century Edwardian steam yacht Ena takes up residence in Victoria Harbour.

Recently acquired by the Turner family, S.Y. Ena was built in 1901 for the manager of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney and Commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Thomas Dibbs.

Described as “magnificently opulent” by owner Warwick Turner, the boat was originally intended for entertaining and leisure.

“It was built to have enough speed to chase sailing yachts in Sydney Harbour,” Mr Turner said.

And according to Mr Turner, the vessel’s early 20th century luxury has been maintained to this day.

The yacht has had a varied history, from a luxury vessel to a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat during World War I.

The boat was purchased by the navy in 1917 and renamed HMAS Sleuth and operating as a patrol vessel on the Coral Sea and Torres Straight.

According to Mr Turner, Ena later became a Tasmanian fishing boat named Aurore before sinking and then being raised.

He said a $3.5 million restoration was carried out on the vessel between 1984 and 1986 and the boat then circumnavigated Australia.

Currently, S.Y. Ena is on display at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, of which Mr Turner is a founder.

It’s hoped the vessel will arrive in Docklands in around 10 weeks’ time, after which she’ll be used for corporate charters, events and potentially short excursions.

Mr Turner said he hoped Ena would be involved in harbour events and Maritime Museum activities from time to time.

“We want the public to see more of her,” he said.

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