Information on these pages has
kindly been provided by Lady Cutler's owners Jeff Gordon & Shannon
Harper. many thanks to Jeff for the regular updates!.
Many images on these pages have been provided by Jeff Gordon - images
are copyrighted as noted.
Don't forget to visit the Lady Cutler's homepage
28th September, 2007 (Jeff Gordon)
Work is progressing well in Melbourne with the final coat of paint
being applied to the superstructure. Yesterday we had 16 contractors
onboard, from shipwrights, painters, fire systems installers and
electricians. We also had a couple of engineers taking out
the injectors, fuel pumps and relief valves.
To say that the budget has blown out is an understatement!
The good news is that we only have a single page list of things to
do from Marine Safety Victoria, none of them very onerous so we feel
confident about getting her into survey for her first charter on the
21st October. We intend to have the injectors and fuel pumps back in by
the 14th October for Sea Trials. A new 350kg anchor and chain is on the
way...we will have to drop and retrieve this during the sea trial...I
hope the windlass from the Lady Street is up
to the job...with 30 turns for a metre of chain, it will be
backbreaking work...but I have a plan...I am inviting the contractors
out for a few beers to thank them...naturally no beers won't go down
until the anchor is up!!
12th August 2007 (Jeff Gordon)
The Lady Cutler is in her last
week of renovations in Portland Victoria. She is currently alongside at
the Boatyard being worked on by 8 boilermakers, shipwrights and
painters. Weather permitting she will come back to Melbourne between
the 15th and 19th August. It is hoped that steelwork repairs and
the painting of her exterior will be all but finished by the time she
leaves. Other work that has been completed in Portland is the fresh
water and black water systems and electrical work to the interior
lighting and galley facilities. On her return she will go into her
berth at Central Pier in Docklands Melbourne. Here further work to
her interior wIll go ahead. It is hoped that we will "re-Birth The
Lady" on the 7th October. Hopefully we will make the deadline...I am
taking booking already so am being fairly positive.
Along the way in business sometime things happen that are
quite unexpected and during July I have bought Shannon Harper
out! So now the whole catastrophe is on my shoulders alone!
29th June 2007 (Jeff Gordon)
Very busy with the LC now that she is back in the water. Work to
the superstructure will begin soon. Internal spaces on main and upper
deck will also be blasted and recoated in epoxy/concrete screed to
level. All ceiling liners will then come down and halogen lights will
replace the 1960s flouro lights currently installed. The toilet and bar
area will then be re-modelled, and the interior fit out commenced.
26th June 2007 (Jeff Gordon)
Work has progressed well in the two weeks she has been on the slip
Lady Cutler goes back into the water tomorrow...Whilst on the slip
we have cleaned and cleaned again the hull area in the engine room
back to bare metal and have also been into both peak tanks and cleaned
them back to bare metal.
Over the next month she will have her superstructure and deck
areas blasted and painted, fresh water and black water systems will be
in place and the internal fit out with bar and toilets will commence.
A priority will be the replacement of the sponsons, and a new
stairway will be placed as an exit to the rear deck from the rear
wheelhouse, which will be turned into the galley.
15th June 2007 (Jeff Gordon)
Today was a really good day...the sandblasting of the hull
topsides and bulwarks is into day three, and proceeding well. We have
gone with Wattle Paints and have blasted back to bare metal.
But the really good news today is that the Marine Surveyor from
Marine Safety Victoria has been to Portland to do the out of water
survey and the hull "envelope" has passed for survey.
The propeller shaft which was pulled inboard, was inspected
and passed as near perfect. The Old Girl has proved herself on a major
sea voyage and now her hull has been inspected and approved.
We are very pleased to have got this milestone behind us.
There is plenty more to do and quite a few more dollars to part
with...so we must press on.
More pics and information will follow next week
Jeff writes :
We are now up on the slip in Portland after a very good run 23 hrs
from the Yarra river to Portland Harbour, a distance of 190 NM.
During the week prior to leaving we worked on the
Inter-cooler stripping it down and found that the anodes had been
placed incorrectly the wrong way round restricting the raw seawater
We cleaned the inter-cooler, reassembled and tested it and then
discovered that the oil cooler had been bypassed and the
thermostat on the main engine heat exchanger had not been set
correctly. The upshot of all these engine modifications was a much
cooler running engine not getting over 74 degrees C for the trip around
The Lady Cutler was
slipped on Tuesday the 12 June and quickly cleaned off. The hull below
the water looks to be in very good condition with very little wear on
the anodes. She was last slipping in 2004 and I can't say the "5 year"
antifouling held up very well, with quite a lot of mussel growth...in
fact we could have had quite a good dinner from them if they weren't
from the Yarra River!
I will keep you informed on our progress.
Lady Cutler leaving Port Phillip through the Rip (09/06/2007)
June 8th, 2007
We are leaving tomorrow around lunch time for another stab at the trip
to Portland. Engine temp is now under control with an average reading
65 degrees under load. Very happy with that and fuel consumption will
be down too with the cooler running temperature. Have found out that
the oil cooler was being bypassed and the engine thermostat was not set
properly. Also replacing lube oil in the turbo before we leave.
We pulled the Intercooler apart and cleaned it...not that it was in
such bad condition. We found that the zinc anodes had been put in the
wrong way round and were restricting the salt water flow.
We will be keeping 1/2 hour running engine stats on the journey in the
engine room log.
June 6th, 2007.
We have been trying to get the Lady Cutler around to Portland for
slipping a cruise of around 180nm...and finally set off last Sunday at
7am. Lovely day and great voyage down the harbour with our tail in the
air after a very busy week getting last minute things done. Out through
the heads OK and then 30 miles towards Cape Otway the engine overheated
and we lost oil pressure on the main engine. So we shut everything down
and wallowed about...great for the stomach.
Down in the
Engine room we have a back up cooling system so bypassed the normal
cooling pump and engaged the general service pump and hey presto we had
the engine temp down and gingerly made our way back to the heads. We
arrived at Port Arlington (near Geelong) at 10.30pm...rather tired and
weary. Ron, the engineer and I then stripped down the raw water cooling
pump. By 12.30 we had dismantled the pump and could see nothing wrong
so had a wash and went to bed in our hammocks...a very cold night, felt
sorry for Ron who is a skinny 60ish something.
Up at 6am... A
cup of tea made all the difference. Back to the pump, put it back
together, stripped down the sea water strainers, they were ok except
for a couple of syringes in them, then after breakfast stripped down
the cooling system, from the sea water pump to the oil cooler, to the
intercooler and the engine coolant heat exchanger. All seemed to be ok
with plenty of water getting through except through the intercooler, a
device that cools the air from the turbo before it goes into the engine.
Hope you are still following me?
2pm, having put everything back together we wished Port Arlington
goodbye and motored up to town, arriving at our berth at Spotswood by
5pm...very tired. Drove home somehow, had a quick dinner and went to
bed at 7pm!
Repairs to the intercooler are taking place as I type this and we hope
to make another lunge for Portland by Saturday.
weeks in Portland should see the old girl transformed from an ugly
duckling to a regal swan...well not quite...but we are getting there.
May 7th, 2007.
Both bridges will be kept, we want to keep the Lady Cutler as close to
her original specs as possible. I first saw the Victoria Star when I
sailed into Melbourne in Christmas 2002. We stayed at the then new New
Quay Marina and incidentally didn't pay a thing for the two months that
I was there. From my perspective as a person who likes a traditional
looking vessel, I thought the Vic Star was a standout in the Fleet and
I tried to get some work on her...but the owner didn't seem to really
want my help.
So a bit peeved 'bout that...a few years later, I
just went out and bought half of the Lady Cutler...and now I am hoping
that I will get plenty of work. I am going to the Aust. Maritime
College from June to August to complete my Master 4.
In hindsight I think it was a pity that Vic Star has had a bridge
He has put the galley on the lower deck and ruined not only the look
for the double ended ferry, but compromised the lower deck space. The
dance floor behind the bridge is also a bit of a drawback with noise
effects from the live music and DJs.
Our configuration will be
different with a dance floor and bar downstairs with a view right
through the boat. We will probably end up with the galley upstairs in
the aft bridge, and have a buffet area in front on the laid teak deck.
We will have to enclose this area to make it work, similar to the
enclosed space between the bridge and the upstairs seating area on the
Another feature will be the retained twin masts and
flagpoles at the end of the vessel. We will be keeping the traditional
paint colours of deep navy blue on the hull and off white on the cabin
sides, with a thin blue stripe. We have cleared the foredeck entirely
which will make a great area for the punters to enjoy on balmy nights.
Our anchoring system will be from the aft deck. We hope to be taking
the anchor and chain aboard on Thursday arvo. We have tested the engine
and controls alongside the wharf, and all seems very very well with the
MWM diesel and new electric/air controls.
Still plenty of work to go...but at least all the welding work is
Look out for her on the water...Andrew McKinnon took some nice pics of
us alongside the wharf on Sunday.
May 4th 2007.
Work on the Lady Cutler has continued apace during February, March and
was towed out of the Maribyrnong River, where she had laid for 2.5
years, rather forlorn and forgotten, to the Science works Jetty , just
downstream of the Westgate Bridge. Needless to say the Port Authority
which rules Melbourne waters, did not make it easy for her and along
with other provisions she had to be chained to her new wharf.
she arrived in Melbourne in 1998, Lady Cutler has undergone serious
refit of her hull and decks, with much of the steelwork being replace.
Unfortunately vandals and thieves saw to it that she lost some of her
removable equipment, but not her heart and soul.
In the past
three months an ex navy compressor has been installed, the general
purpose pump reconditioned, the engine controls and steering restored.
and much of the finishing off of the steelwork and welding completed.
a bit of stuff was purchased from the Lady Street, including the
anchor, chain and Windlass. The flag masts at each end of the vessel
have been reinstated from those off the Lady Street.
Cutler will complete her first sea trials early next week and we are
hoping for a 20 hour voyage to Portland on the 13th May...weather
permitting. She will be slipped at Portland, and will undergo out of
water survey, blasting and painting. It is hoped that the Lady Cutler
will return to Melbourne early in June to start the internal fitout.