- Newspaper, The Newcastle Herald
- Biographies and personal histories, Post WWII
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Nirimba
- March 2006 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Ten former Navy apprentices involved in the building of a yacht more than 40 years ago were reunited with the vessel in Newcastle this week as its new owners.
The men, now in their 50s and 60s, worked at the former Royal Australian Navy Apprentice Training Establishment in Sydney where the yacht started to take shape in 1962.
It was launched at Sydney’s Garden Island in 1966 and named Nirimba.
The yacht was used by the navy as a training vessel and it sailed in eight Sydney to Hobart races in the 1970s.
It was sold in 1984 and had two owners before a Gold Coast man bought it three years ago and spent more than $80,000 restoring it. Former apprentice Rick Pengilly, who helped build the rudder, propeller shaft and fitout, said it was dream come true to find the yacht advertised for sale on the internet.
‘We (the apprentices) decided to buy it back,’ he said.
‘None of us could afford to buy it back (alone), so we formed a committee 10 weeks ago.’
The group raised $50,000 through appeals on a website and emails to ex-apprentices.
Three of the new owners, Brian Staples, Brian Carney and Les Hanicott are Novocastrians.
The yacht was trucked from Queensland to Newcastle where the mast was installed on Thursday and renamed The MOBI Yacht Nirimba.
It sailed around the harbour yesterday, and today will head to its new home, at the RAN Sailing Association in Rushcutters Bay.
‘I feel like an expectant father; it looks really pretty,’ Mr Pengilly said.
By Sarah-Kate Scicluna
Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald© Copyright 2005