The Rhona H Experience
Rhona H contributes to the Australian tall ship network. One of Hobart’s three operating tall ships; however, due to her authenticity, the only one listed on the Australian Historic Ships Register. Inclusion on the Register is recognition of each vessel’s significance to Australia’s maritime history.
Our crew may sail frequently; however, we remember that sailing on a historic vessel in Tasmania’s waterways is a privilege for us to share.
The experience begins Immediately after walking through the gates. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for a cuppa and chat with the crew and other guests. One of the crew welcomes and assists guests to board the gangplank and step on-board, using the sail lines as a handhold; just like the old days! As guests walk around the boat, specialty timbers are noticed. They then inevitably ask “is it a boat or a ship?”
Rhona H is Hobart’s smallest and oldest working tall-ship with an inflatable tender for going ashore on extended voyages.
On-board, photo opportunities abound; traditional sails, rope work, and the rigging. Crew show their enthusiasm for the ship, guests often get an impromptu lesson on coiling the lines onto the cleats; at home it’s a great skill that can be used to stop garden hoses from kinking!
Guests experience the way trading ketches used to work. Rhona H became known as the “ship that sails”, as sails are quickly set and for as long as possible.
Those who want to help assist the crew do as they haul in the lines: kids as young as three have helped as have our more life experienced guests (the oldest 92). There is plenty of seating up on deck; we give a live and unscripted commentary according to the sail passage of the day. Wildlife abounds; cormorants are usually on the Tasman Bridge pylons, we often hear penguins and recently spotted dolphins.
A highlight is “taking the helm under the bridge”; this option is given to guests under supervision. We often have two or three at the helm whilst others watch (and clap) following safe passage.
We are in the business of embracing traditional sailing and nautical skills whilst showcasing an historic Tasmanian vessel on Tasmanian waterways.
1. We take a personal interest in our guests, their experiences and memories of Tasmania.
2. Our volunteer crew provide high quality experiences, taking pride in sharing their skills and experiences.
3. We specialise in traditional sailing and nautical skills and promote all measures to enhance and support the protection of our environment.
4. Health Promotion is inherent in all our activities.
* Heritage Sailing Tasmania’s vision is to integrate traditional sailing, conservation and health promotion in Tasmania.
* We do this by aiming to provide all our guests with a unique and personalised Tasmanian experience, sailing on an historic Tasmanian tall ship in our beautiful waterways.
* We promote treating yourself to a memorable Sightseeing and Sailing Cruise, as well as seeing the art of traditional sailing and skills: knots, splicing and fancy rope work.
* Perfect for team building, rewarding work well done, a family/friends get together or just a fabulous day on the water.
Heritage Sailing Tasmania is a Social Enterprise operating as a Not for Profit tourism business. We have a strong commitment to Tasmania with an emphasis on maritime-focused tourism and conservation. Any profit earned from the operation goes back to the vessel restoration and operation. The ongoing refurbishment and commitment to a maintenance schedule has enabled Rhona H to maintain her capacity to carry 27 people on-board (highest for our class of vessel survey).
Health promotion is important and reflected in the experience.
Research shows that sailing and being on the water in calm situations helps many people, improving their self-confidence and decision-making abilities. For our guests, the element of risk and a small personal achievement is most profound when we allow guests to take the helm (even through the Tasman Bridge) and join the crew tending to the sails. It is teamwork in action and demonstrates inclusiveness.