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Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)

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Roderick Smith:
The Tennessee Riverboat design is one of many from the prolific USA designer Phil Bolger (google for sites, including five ones on yahoo.groups).  It is designed for the home builder, using simple shapes in marine ply to create an effect reminiscent of the 1930s.  There are about 20 in Australia, where the style was popularised by Duck Flat Wooden Boats (  Most are built to order, and the owner can share part of the construction work with the professionals.
Mine is c1994.  A feature is the polished ply interior, apparently the work of the first owner.  The boat was built as Janoralee, named after his wife and two daughters.  It has featured on various websites.  After 5 years, it passed to a second owner.  I inspected the vessel in Nov.04, paid a deposit, and took delivery in Feb.05.  I have renamed it Jessie II (my father's third boat was Jessie, moored at Tooradin, Victoria).
Length: 9 m (fits on a 10 m trailer, and can be towed without a permit)
Width: 1.8 m
Draught: 0.1 m
Propulsion: 9.9 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard motor, mounted in an inboard housing (the motor needs 0.25 m, and below 0.3 m is a worry for weed or sand ingestion into the cooling system).
The hull is flat bottomed, with a lowerable keelboard.
It is meant for rivers and inland lakes.  I have survived a storm with 1 m waves on Lake Eildon; I have crossed Lake King in 0.8 m waves (but wasn't happy).
Duck Flat has an electric option, and would build a version with paddlewheels to order.  The current design has been widened (flared sides), and renamed Mundoo.
The kitchen is compact: ok for two, care needed when catering for four.  I tend to cater for breakfast and lunch, but tie up at a town with a hotel bistro for dinner.
The portaloo sits under the wheelhouse seat by day (or in the forecabin if there are ladies or toddlers aboard), and the footwell of the wheelhouse by night.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Hey Roderick, I'm going for my boat licence tomorrow, so I may be coming to borrow JesseII off you one day! Haven't been down the wharf yet, will be Wednesday when I go to wire up lights on PS Ranger.

Roderick Smith:
In Victoria, a restricted boat licence may be obtained at age 12 (my niece could skipper Jessie II).  A full license may be obtained at 16.  Most of the restrictions are concerned with waterskiing, not size of boat or waterway cruised.  The whole licence is theory, not prac (mainly signs and rules, most of which are international).  Sean and James are eligible for full licences too.  Learners permits for cars are available at age 16 (must be supervised); a probationary licence at 18.

Jessie II has been entered for the full length of the June-July 2007 Morgan - Koondrook/Barham cruise.  According to crew rosters, I may well be towing Michael's Bunyip or Sean's Grebe over some stretches (or PS Ranger or PS Billy Tea may tow Jessie II while I am in Melbourne doing a hasty RNV).  I may even have visiting Paddleduckers aboard on some days.

Now for some more photos.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Glad for the towing offer for Grebe Roderick, will have to take you up on it!

Although I do plan on catching the fleet at Koondrook...but then again I'd love to meet at Wentworth...there are quite a few boats that would be well worth seeing there. But I won't add anything here that would start mass conversation like the 'Australien' in my play write up!

It is a nice looking boat. I'm going to look into that paddler version! It may interest me as a future boat!

Mind you I'd probly need to save up a bit! And there will be quite a bit of money going into Grebe at the moment!

Wow!! The Riverrun sounds fantastic and very much fun, and I am aiming to get my full boat licence by the end of the year, hopefully before December. Hopefully I can pass!! Is the boat licence hard to obtain, or not much harder than my Leaners Permit would you think?! Hopefully it is not much harder!!!


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