May Queen Timeline

 

Date

Time Line Details
1865  Construction of  ketch commenced at Franklin  based on wooden scale model by Alexander Lawson  for William Thorp. Built of stringy bark and blue gum. Planks fastened with trunnels.
5  June 1867 May Queen launched at Franklin
13 Aug 1867 Owner registered as William Thorpe of Franklin
15 Aug 1867 Owner registered as John White tobacconist of Hobart
22 Aug 1867 Alexander Lawson died of heart attack
8 Jan 1868 &  1 Dec 1868 MQ won first of many Hobart Regatta Trading Ketch races Master W Nichols and in December  Master T Oldham. 
25 April 1870 Owner registered as William Bell farmer of Franklin Island
23 Jan 1871 Regatta race 1st place master William Bell
29 Jan 1872 Regatta race 2nd place master William Bell  Collided with a   boat on davits of HMS Clive and progress slowed until disengaged 100 yards later
27 July 1873 Between 9 and 10 o'clock the wind, which had been light from the west, suddenly shifted to S.W., and came up in a heavy squall, and catching several of the river craft bound down, they had to turn tail and run for shelter. One of them, the barge May Queen, got caught before she could round to, and her mizzen was blown out of the bolt ropes, her mizzentop carried away, and the crosstrees came rattling down on deck, striking one of the crew on the head, and for the time rendering him insensible; but he soon rallied, and with the exception of a cut and a bruise was none the worse. The May Queen, and other craft got safely into port.
18 Aug 1873 May Queen and Hero left Southport at 1100am and arrived in Hobart at 500pm laden with timber from Chesterman and Hay sawmill at   Southport.  6 hour trip.
7 Sept 1873 Officially purchased by Henry Chesterman sawmiller of Hobart
27 Feb 1875 MQ sailed for Garden Island Creek loaded with a 40hp boiler for installation in a new sawmill for Henry C and partners.
5 Dec 1877 Regatta race. MQ was leading when the passage boat Crystal Wave capsized and went to the assistance of her crew. The race was reheld on 7/12 in blustery conditions and after part of her rigging gave way May Queen (which was favourite) retired.
8 Feb 1882 Regatta race 2nd, master H. Chesterman, after Korunah, ahead of Coral. One and All, Tasman and River Chief.
4 June 1883 Collision with the steamship Esk in Storm Bay after leaving Port Arthur. Bowsprit broken off and the boom struck by the stern of the Esk. No serious damage but an inquiry conducted under the Wrecks Inquiries Act.
15 July 1883 After leaving Port Arthur with timber struck a strong Werly gale off Adventure Bay. The mizzen broke off at deck level going over the side with sails rigging and fittings and being lost. Stayed overnight in Wedge Bay and came to Hobart rigged as a cutter. 
26 Jan 1885 MQ ran into the yacht ‘Foam’ off Lucas’ slip and caused the loss of her mast. MQ undamaged. 
16 Feb 1888 MQ under Capt E McKavoy sank between Police Point and Huon Island in about 17 fathoms of water after being hit by a sudden squall. No loss of life and the vessel was dragged in to 8 fathoms by the ‘One and All’ and the ‘Alabama’ by the 16th March and raised without difficulty. 
1896 Christmas Day photograph taken at Raminea on the Esperance River with Jim Miley, Alf Nicholls and Joe Connors.
1906 Henry Chesterman dies and ownership transfers to wife Mary Chesterman
1 Sept 1924 MQ sold to Alan C Boxall and former truck engine fitted
19 Dec 1925 MQ had a collision near Princes Wharf with the ferry Kangaroo under Capt O’May. Hit amidships and the rail and several of the MQ stanchions were carried away
1924-1940 MQ used to carry coal from Catamaran to Electrona Carbide Works. Also other goods under contract.
29 Feb 1940  MQ repurchased from Boxall by Chesterman & Co
9th &12th Feb 1946 2 Races (Victory Regatta). May Queen won both, helmsman W. Bluett   Enterprise second on both occasions.
Feb 1951 MQ last regatta win.
Feb 1954 Final sail trading ketches regatta race MQ second
1955/56 MQ modified to utilitarian role with shortened bowsprit and topmasts.  Centrecase removed to allow greater timber stowage. Crew reduced to 2 instead of 3.
16 Aug 1966 Heading out from Hobart and off Taroona the stern of the MQ was lifted briefly out of the water by a whale that then surfaced alongside. It was about 21m long. Both entities proceeding on their way with no damage.
14 Dec 1972 Technical piracy. Crewman W Evans was charged  when he took the MQ to sea without a masters certificate after a disagreement with the skipper T Tuttle. Fined $50
30 June 1973   Chesterman & Co sold to a consortium of Tasmanian based timber companies with sale condition requiring preservation of MQ.
1 July 1973 MQ ownership transferred to H Jones & Co 
3 Jan 1974 Final commercial trip after 105 years of service
16 May 1975 MQ ownership transferred to Marine Board of Hobart and then Hobart Ports Corporation. Displayed in Watermans Dock
1976 -1985 Marine Board partial restoration by Jack Charlston, Wayne Berrins, Trevor Tuttle and others to sailing rig.  Old deckhouse and engine removed.  New chainplates, deadeyes and topmasts made. Bowsprit from Huon Chief fitted. Masts removed, repaired and refitted deck seams recaulked and pitch filled .  
10 March 1996 Headline’ May Queen Rotting Away’
3 June
1997
Formation of "Friends of the May Queen" (FMQ) to lobby for
preservation program to be initiated.
Previous 10 years Deck severely rotted, no through flow of air to the interior of the hull. Deck beams and lodging knees rotted especially at ends adjacent to covering boards. Significant rot through many of the frames especially fore due to fresh water entering through the deck.
Feb 1998 Completion of 'Staples Report' detailing the current condition of the vessel; and examining preservation options, and feasibility of rebuilding the vessel.
March 1998 FMQ apply a Commonwealth Govt grant under the Centenary of Federation Funding
April 1998 Saturated (12%) borate solution spray treatment of interior of the vessel using Polybor (sodium octaborate).by Bob Chesterman and Bill Foster.
28 Nov 1999 Hobart Ports Corporation passed ownership to non-profit organisation May Queen P/L as trustees.
26 April 2000 Ken Jones appointed as shipwright with technical input for the project from Bill Foster
May 2000 Commencement of laying of temporary plywood deck cover to eliminate rainwater ingress. Receipt of grants of $20,000 from Hobart Ports and $20,000 from C’wealth Govt. 
8 June 200 Removal of mizzen mast and rigging for refurbishment
4 Aug 2000 Slipping,  cleaning caulking by John Harrod  and repainting.
13 Sept 2000 Completion of initial Conservation and Management Plan
Jan 2001 Removal of stern celery top pine deck. Forward mooring chains lowered to water level to reduce weight on weakened prow. 
29 June 2001 Installation of temporary steel lifting gantry (crane) in the stern to provide support and lifting capability of hull planks whilst replacement frames are fitted. Port side stern corner lifted 50mm to return original sheer to vessel using gradual turnbuckle lift.
Dec 2001 Awarded Community Fund Grant of $50,000
11 March 2002 Mark Singleton started as replacement shipwright following excellent work by K Jones.
17 July 2002  Slipping to allow fastening of planks to new internal frames. Replacement of 2 planks below the waterline 
Sept 2002 Install initial laminated deck beam and fit steel breasthook.  Install laminated frames and finalise stermpost 
Dec 2002 Fit new celery top pine stanchions.
Jan 2003 Three ‘ Work for the Dole’ persons commenced attendance. Repairs to masts and spars and wire rigging. Fit above waterline planks.
May 2003 Slipping to fasten planks to new stanchions and frames. Spline and recaulk seams, apply antifouling paint
April  - Aug 2003 Inspect, grease and serve wire rigging, refurbish blocks and running rigging. Refit main and mizzen masts and spars. 
Dec 2003 Moved from Watermans Dock to Prince of Wales Bay for wharf side deck and cabin reconstruction
16 Jan 2004 Flagship at Sandy Bay Regatta
Feb – June 2004 Remainder of interior frames fitted,  deck fittings replaced or renewed
To end 2004 Completion of centreboard and winding gear. Slipping and 2 planks replaced. 
9 Feb 2005 Moved from Watermans to Constitution Dock.
12 –14 Feb 2005 MQ featured in publicity brochure for Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Open for public inspections.   
Sept 2005 Slipping and replacement of underwater planks, caulking and painting 
2005-2006 Coating of deck planks, preservation and finalising rope rigging, fitting of electrical switchboard for lights
May 2006 Open for inspection as part of Heritage Week
2006 to date Regular Thursday maintenance day with volunteers attending
February 2007 Open for public inspection during Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Approximately  1,000 visitors over 3 days
February 2008 First wedding conducted on board with guests on Mawsons Place
2008/9 Construction of replica MQ dingy by Bill Foster and Rose Bay High school students.
Feb 2011 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Strong interest in May Queen. Annual slipping at Domain slip. 
Feb 2013 Australian Wooden Boat Festival.  
March 2013  Commonwealth grant to remove and  refurbish masts
Sept 2013 Returned to Constitution Dock following major 10 year maintenance program.