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Decommissioning of the Reginald M

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 29 November 2018

Time and the elements have caught up with one of the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village boats, the Reginald M.

The Reginald M the former cargo boat, which has been closed to the public for several years, has been removed from the village.

“Unfortunately the ‘Regi M’ has reached the end of its life as a boat and as an attraction at Flagstaff Hill,” Warrnambool City Council Manager Visitor Economy David McMahon said.

“While over the years we have been able to maintain the craft above the waterline the deterioration below the surface meant that the Regi M was resting on the bottom of the lake and unsafe for visitors to board.

“She’ll be removed from the village in sections and taken off-site while any parts of the boat that are salvageable will be retained within the Flagstaff Hill collection.”

The Australian National Maritime Museum and the South Australian Maritime Museum have been notified of the decommissioning

The Reginald M, built in Port Adelaide in 1922, was named after her builder and first owner John Murch.

It launched at Largs Bay in 1922 for the purpose of carrying cargo around South Australia including guano, barley, wool, horses, cattle, timber, explosives, potatoes, shell grit and gypsum. It passed through numerous owners over the years and primarily maintained its purpose as a cargo vessel.

Boat restoration efforts at Flagstaff Hill will continue to focus on the Viator which, unlike the Reginald M, has a history linked to Warrnambool.

Built in Williamstown, Victoria, the Viator is a wooden, single masted ketch, which served as a barracouta fishing boat in the Warrnambool area until the mid-1930s.

She then served as a mail ferry between Warrnambool and Portland before becoming a general fishing and recreation boat owned by local families.

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