Tom Hughes wrote:
"Does anyone know the fate of
"Awoonga", a 40 ft double diagonal built hull built in 1964 by H.
Morris, Hemmant Qld. Awoonga was in service in Sydney till about
1990. I last saw her lying idle in Homebush Bay (Sydney) in 1993.
Does anyone know where she is now? "
Tom worked with Australian Customs at Sydney
for 15 years and is currently engaged in a project to document the
history of the service. He would be pleased to hear from anyone who has
stories of the customs service, its people or boats that will help him
tell the story.
Tom also wrote:
"Bindarree was built by Norm Wright 1959
for Customs and is I believe back in his yard for restoration!!
served in Sydney until the 1980s, a 40' boarding and patrol launch
with a turbo 6-71 GM (Detroit) and in her day the fastest
non-pleasure boat in Sydney at 25 Knots.
The Awoonga also 40' was built 1964 by H
Morris, Hemmant Bris also for Sydney Customs with sisters Pasteur
for Quarantine (Syd) later became "Ben Boyd" for Sydney Customs, and
Taipan for Customs Brisbane, She had a raised Bow added later for
Moonbi was built in Brisbane for
Customs Newcastle, an ugly 32' with V6-53 GM an awkward boat. As yet
I do not have a photo.
Boonooloo was built in Melbourne for Customs in 1946 as "Synan" and
came to Sydney under tow in 1970 was then rebuilt to current
configuration and used as accommodation and floating lunch room.
Divers vessel Kulanda was the longest serving she was bought from
the RAN in 1947 and was a real workhorse for many years a standard
40' workboat with a 6-71 GM . She was sold about 1978."
Unlike commercial vessels that are usually
registered and comparatively well documented, the history of vessels in
government service can be difficult to uncover.
If you have any history on the NSW customs service, or you know the
whereabouts of the Awoonga now, please contact Tom Hughes at
or Mori Flapan at: ...