Custodians: Wilson Family; c1930s
Swan was one of three double-ender net boats built by Peter Locke in Queenscliff, Victoria in the 1930s. She was built for the Wilson brothers, commercial fishermen from Portarlington who fished in Corio Bay at the western end of Port Phillip. She was built at a length of 27 foot.
There are no records of the boat’s location during the next 50 years. But in the 1980s she was in the possession of a Geelong fisherman whose surname was Bairdsdale. It is understood that he leased Swan to some of the local fishermen. Two of these fishermen, ‘Woofer’ Johnson and Steven Peters built a little doghouse on one side of the boat. But the doghouse did not offer them protection on one afternoon when they were returning to shore after shooting the nets; in gale force winds they hit a channel marker, smashing the bow out of the boat. The boat sank but both fishermen were able to get to shore.
Once the boat was salvaged and a new stem built, she was advertised for sale.
Custodian: Dugga Beazley; mid 1980s – Present
Commercial fisherman Dugga Beazley acquired Swan and delivered her to a paddock near his home in Port Melbourne. But the keel had gone up into the boat. Dugga placed some heavy weights along the keel and placed some blocks under the middle of her, leaving a four inch gap. Eventually, the keel straightened. However, in a short time, the boat dried out and the planking shrank, falling away from the ribs. But once the ribs were replaced, the boat was fit for purpose.
Dugga uses Swan for sailing only and has taken her to the Geelong Wooden Boat Festival numerous times. He has also twice sold and repurchased her, even making a profit on one of the sales. Dugga says that he is wary of parting with Swan again, as he is of the view that she might not be looked after so well by the next custodian.
Swan is moored in St Kilda Harbour, Melbourne.