The Ship

The Ship

The SV Rhona H” is a 15.36m. (LOA) Gaff Rigged Ketch.

The hull was constructed in 1942 by Ned Jack of Launceston using Huon Pine frames and planking and Celery Top Pine decking. Each of the two masts was made in two sections from Oregon timber.

The vessel has been certified to carry twenty seven day passengers and crew and twelve overnight passengers and crew.




Official Number   152398
Call Sign      RG621
Length overall                              15.36 m
Breadth                                         4.42 m
Draft Loaded                                2.2m
Height to Mainmast Truck       15.45m
Sail Area                                       124.50m2
Displacement                               31.87 tons (Light Ship)
Fuel Capacity                               600 litre
Fresh Water Capacity               440 litre
Propulsion                                    75 BHP Gardner Diesel Engine 54kw

The Ship:

The ship has a long history in Tasmania; she has participated in many maritime festivals and events. Her remarkable story, including her renaming is included in the Rhona H experience. Rhona H is a gaffed rigged ketch that was built in Trevallyn, Tasmania in 1942 by Shipwright Ned Jack.

She started her life known as Jessie, a fishing vessel built for the Youl family of Symmons Plains (now known for motor racing), and was sold to Max Hardy in 1946.

Rhona H is one of the last traditional Bass Strait traders built, and her classical 52-foot lines and complex gaff rigging give the impression of a much older vessel. The vessel was put to use hauling crayfish on the continental shelf, a fishery Max pioneered. During these years Rhona H had only one mast, and the hold amidships was used as a wet well to store fish. In the 1970’s she was sold again and put to use in abalone fishing making countless crossings of Bass Strait under successive owners. Rhona H retired from fishing in 1988 and was refitted for training and tourism operating from Hobart and Launceston.

After her 1999 refit she conducted many Bass Strait crossings, including twice competing in including twice competing in the Tasmanian Three Peaks Race (Vintage Division) and sailing out of the River Derwent to view many Sydney Hobart yachts completing the famous race.