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Arcadia II History


The Arcadia II was built in 1939 by Charles McKay as a leisure cruiser for George Rometech, the owner of the Arcadia Hotel in Hobart.

The description of her as reported in The Mercury, 25th April, 1939 is:

This fine sturdy craft, built of Tasmanian timber, is 53ft long, has a beam of 14ft and is planked with Huon Pine. The decks are of 3 inch by 1 ½ inch Huon pine, and the deck beams are of hardwood. She has a raised deck forward, and a flared bow. The main cabin is raised 18 inches and an iron railing runs the whole length of the boat. There is to be sleeping accommodation for 10 persons, and the bunks will be 2 foot 3in wide.

  • In 1941 she was requisitioned by the Navy in Hobart for the 2nd world war to be used as an examination motor launch.
  • In 1944 she taken to Victoria and then sent into the pacific war zone around New Guinea to serve as a supply ship. She was armed with a Vickers machine gun.
  • After the war she idled in Tasmania and used as a training vessel until being sold in 1956 for 600 pounds.
  • She did a few seasons of scallop fishing and then charter work on the East Coast.
  • In 1961 she became a cruise boat on the Macquarie Harbour and Gordon River.
  • In 1970 the Arcadia II came to the Pieman River and Corinna.

She changed hands a few times since then but has had a quiet life cruising the river to the present day.

The Arcadia II travelled to Launceston in 2006, where she was refurbished, refitted and returned to her original pristine condition. The journey out of the treacherous Pieman Heads and back, was the first since 1970. The Arcadia II is the only huon pine river cruiser still operating anywhere in the world.

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