Miss Lilly, formerly Mary Grace, was built by Bob Cayzer in Queenscliff, Victoria in the early 1950s, but the name of her original owner is not known. She was built at 20 foot in length. Her hull was constructed out of Western Australian Kauri, the deck of Philippine Mahogany, the spars of solid Oregon, whilst the timber used for her floors was Philippine Mahogany and reclaimed Sequoia.
The boat is unusual in that she has no centre-plate. The current owner Peter Laurel claims it is possible she was built initially as an open fishing motor boat, with her rig added later. There is evidence of her life as a working fishing boat found under layers of paint; with pins for nets and longlines in the centre thwart. In addition, her deck was fastened with iron nails, suggesting a long life was not envisaged.
There is a wooden block stamped “September 1952” in the gear, and a 1967 coin was found under the mast. An identical Cayzer boat, without a rig and known to have been built in 1952, is at Portland in Victoria.
Custodian: Isobel and Martin Purcell; Unknown – 2017
Custodian: Peter Laurel; 2017 – Present
Her current owner Peter Laurel named her Miss Lilly. When Peter purchased her from Martin and Isobel Purcell in May 2017, she needed repair. However, over a two year process she has been renovated using recycled timbers and fittings. Many original features have been repaired and retained, such as the heavily patched deck timbers and centre thwart. Peter intends to showpiece the now named Miss Lilly at the biennial Classic Boat Festival at Paynesville, Victoria.
Peter asserts that although Miss Lilly has no centre-plate, she is a respectable performer under sail. She has a complete rig and suit of sails and she is used as a sailing craft on the Gippsland Lakes. Miss Lilly is moored at Raymond Island, Gippsland Lakes, Victoria.