The profiles listed in this Register have been documented from the stories and photos contributed by custodians and others who willingly shared information. Readers who have additional information about the history of any Couta Boat are invited to forward it to so that it can be added to the Register.

Eva Ellen C37 – A Traditional Wooden Boat

Boat Details

Sail Number:
Previous Names of Boat:
Bronze Wing
Boat Location:
Rose Bay, Sydney NSW
Current Custodian:
Mark Burrows
Year Built:
Early 1930s
Designer & Builder:
Lacco Brothers Boatyard, Rosebud, Victoria
Timbers Used:

Mast: Oregon

Decks: Beech

Mast: Oregon

Rail Capping: Hardwood

Length: 32 feet


Early Years

Eva Ellen was originally designed and built by Ken Lacco in 1937 for his brother-in-law and named after Ken’s sister, Eva Ellen Lacco. She was originally set up as a cray fishing boat with a sea water wet well, 2-cylinder Lister marine diesel engine and small sailing rig with aft cockpit.

She was used for fishing in Port Phillip, including cray fishing and scalloping, and then for fishing out of San Remo where she remained for some years.

Over the years, the boat has undergone numerous re-fittings by various owners, including being fitted with a 3 cylinder Gardner marine diesel engine, a dog house and a motorised dredge for scalloping in Port Phillip.

Custodian: Ted McKinnon; c1930s

Soon after her build, she came into the custodianship of Ted McKinnon.

Custodian: Tubby Olsen

At a later date, local Port Fairy identity Tubby Olsen purchased the boat.

Custodian: Colin Croft

Tubby leased her out and eventually sold her to another local identity, Colin Croft.

Custodian: David Dawes

After some years, Dave Dawes bought her for scalloping and named her Bronze Wing.

Custodian: Ric Lansell; 1988 – Mid 1990s

In 1988, Bronze Wing was advertised for sale, located at Lakes Entrance, Victoria. Whilst she was useable, she was generally in poor condition and in need of major repairs in order to be seaworthy once again. At this time, she was purchased by Ric and Jeremy Lansell with the intention to restore and transform her into a pleasure sailing and fishing boat.

The restoration project was carried out over a four year period, encompassing a complete re-build from the keel upwards. This involved removing and replacing 60% of the ribs, some planking and re-nailing the entire hull. All work on the hull was carried out by the Wooden Boat Shop in Sorrento, Victoria. Once completed, the bare hull was transported to undercover workshop facilities in Melbourne for the fit out of the hull. This fit out was done using all new materials and all work was carried out under the guidance of Tim Phillips.

In December 1991, at the completion of the rebuilding project, the boat was launched once again with her original name. She was maintained in first-class condition.

Custodian: Jono Edgar; Mid 1990s

In the mid-1990s, Jono Edgar, who was from Portsea, Victoria but lived in Sydney, purchased Eva Ellen and motored her from Port Phillip to Pittwater, NSW where she was moored and used as a recreational craft.

Custodian: James Morrison

Eva Ellen was then owned for a time by the well-known Jazz musician, James Morrison of Sydney and was moored at Pittwater.

Custodians: Mark Burrows, Fraser Hopkins and Les Owens

Custodian: Mark Burrows; – Present

Eva Ellen was then sold to Mark Burrows, Les Owens and Fraser Hopkins. In more recent years, Mark bought out Fraser’s share and then at a later date he purchased Les’ share to become the sole owner of Eva Ellen.

Eva Ellen is currently moored at Rosebay, Sydney Harbour, NSW.

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