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Motor launch OOMOOBAH refuelling at Bennelong Point near the Man o' War Steps, Sydney

Date: c 1930
Overall: 164 x 251 mm, 1 mm, 0.15 kg
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transfer from the Mitchell Library
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00013831
Place Manufactured:Bennelong Point
Related Place:Farm Cove, Farm Cove,

User Terms

    LADY HOPETOUN is partially visible behind OOMOOBAH.
    SignificanceThe Hall photographic collection provides an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour from the 1890s to the 1930s. The collection documents the lively sailing scene in Sydney during this period and features images of vessels ranging from large racing and cruising yachts to the great array of skiffs and the emerging technologies of motorboats. Images of many of Sydney Harbour's iconic vessels, such as OOMOOBAH, are also included in this visual record.
    HistoryOOMOOBAH was built as a motor cruiser in 1927 by Morrison and Sinclair in Balmain NSW. It was built for the well-known Sydney business man and boating enthusiast Percy Arnott. It was designed by the builders to the owner’s requirements and to a very high standard. The 16.76 m (55 foot) long hull has a canoe stern, and is carvel planked in spotted gum below the water and Oregan topsides. The deck was beech and cabin sides were teak. It was powered by two Invincible petrol marine engines.

    OOMOOBAH was launched in late February 1927, and the name is the Indigenous word for Arnott’s birthplace, Newcastle in NSW. The Arnott family were well known in the sailing community, and Sam Arnott, father of Percy Arnott had been an early commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club. OOMOOBAH quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious launches in Sydney and Pittwater, and in February 1928 Percy Arnott generously put OOMOOBAH at the disposal of the visiting Tasmanian team sailing in the Forster Cup for the 21 Foot Restricted class on Sydney Harbour.

    The outings by the Arnott family were occasionally reported in the social pages of the local papers. Shirley Arnott’s 19th birthday was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald in November 1938, while her sister Thea’s two month holiday aboard the vessel at Pittwater had been noted much earlier in January 1938.

    Its history is not well recorded from this point, however it is known that it served during the Second World War, operating out of Milne Bay and servicing radio stations in Normanby and Goodenough Islands. After the war it sold to Queensland owners.

    The vessel has recently been extensively rebuilt over a few years with the work completed in 2012. The existing superstructure is clearly different from the original in its styling, but the proportions and layout remain consistent with the original as launched arrangement. It is now powered by two Gardner 5LW engines and remains in excellent condition.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Motor launch OOMOOBAH refuelling at Bennelong Point near the Man o' War Steps, Sydney


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