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Reproduction bumpkin (bowsprit) for 18 foot skiff BRITANNIA

Date: 1991
Dimensions:
Overall: 225 × 850 × 6005 mm, 30 kg. Length: 6005mm
Medium: Wood; spotted gum. Metal; bronze
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Bumpkin
Object No: AX009729
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    A reproduction bumpkin for the 18 foot skiff BRITANNIA.
    The bumpkin is a spar, similar to a bowsprit, but which projects from the stern. May be used to attach the backstay or mizzen sheets.
    SignificanceBRITANNIA reflects the life and achievements of its builder, owner and skipper, 'Wee' Georgie Robinson, a prominent waterfront identity on Sydney Harbour pre World War II. It is also a superb example of the skills of the wooden boat builders during that period.
    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, Georgie 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.
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