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Bailing tray from skiff BRITANNIA

Date: c 1920
Overall: 90 x 480 x 310 mm, 1.52 kg
Medium: Copper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Alan Griffiths
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Bailing tray
Object No: 00039719

User Terms

    This bailing tray made by Arthur Griffiths belonged to the 18 foot racing skiff BRITANNIA. It was the job of the youngest crew member to keep bailing to rid the boat of water - often with the help of a simple baking tray from the kitchen. Open boats were notorious for being wet, and 'Wee' Georgie Robinson's BRITANNIA was no exception.
    SignificanceThis bailing tray relates to open boat racing in the early 20th century, and reflects the life and achievements of BRITANNIA's builder, owner and skipper, 'Wee' Georgie Robinson - a prominent waterfront identity on Sydney Harbour pre World War II.
    HistoryBRITANNIA was built at Balmain in 1918 by champion 18 foot skipper and boatbuilder 'Wee' Georgie Robinson. Typical of the era, BRITANNIA was built of cedar and its features include batten carvel hull construction with copper nail fastenings. In the 18 footer heyday of the 1920s and '30s, BRITANNIA was famed for its tremendous sail carrying capacity.

    By 1936, the skiff had been racing on the Harbour for over 15 years. BRITANNIA was, by this time, well established as one of the champion racing skiffs of the 18 footer class on Sydney Harbour. The skiff was quite famous, as was its skipper.

    'Wee' Georgie Robinson and BRITANNIA won consistently through the 1920s and '30s. Indeed, in the late 1930s BRITANNIA could boast a formidable list of championship honours as one of the fastest skiffs on the Harbour. In 1938, Georgia Robinson won the J L Glick Cup as "The Skipper with the Best Record in all Sydney Flying Squadron Club Championship Races Sailed for the Seasons 1935 - 36, 1936 - 37 and 1937 - 38."

    After 25 years of racing, BRITANNIA spent the next 28 years as the official starter boat for the Sydney Flying Squadron when it was fitted with a launch engine and superstructure. It was retired to a harbourfront boatshed in the early 1970s. BRITANNIA was purchased by the National Maritime Museum in May 1986 and in June 1986 it was sent for restoration to boat restorer Arthur Griffith.

    Additional Titles

    (not entered): Bailing tray from Britannia made by Arthur Griffiths 1980s

    Web title: Bailing tray from skiff BRITANNIA

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