Royal Australian Navy Standard Launch Restoration

This photo is of the RAN Standard Launch alongside Snapper Island in Sydney Harbour many years ago. This launch was one of the ships boats on the 1st HMAS Parramatta. It was built by shipwrights at garden island dockyard for issue to HMAS Parramatta in October 1913. It is now part of the Naval Heritage Collection and the following series of photos shows her restoration which is being undertaken by a dedicated team of volunteers under their guidance of David Glasson. The plan was to have her completed for the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review in October 2013. When completed she will be placed on permanent display at the Naval Heritage Center at Garden Island, Sydney. Unfortunately it took longer than anticipated to complete. The project came to fruition in late 2015.

To convince the Naval Heritage Collection curator to spend the money necessary to restore the RAN Standard Launch David Glasson built a detailed scaled model of the launch with precision detail. I am amazed at the accuracy and David even makes his own roves to size! Take a look at the model here

Below is a pictorial overview of the restoration progress. It is an absolute credit to David and his team to have completed the resurrection of such an important naval artifact.

The Hard Work Begins

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Ribs removed in stern area as they needed refastening. With many being replaced. It also made it easier to remove old and flaking paint. Note: The longtitudonal battens. As the boat spent a lot of its time on Davits these were used to seal the carvel planking.

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Looking aft. After all planks cleaned and ribs replaced.


Looking forward after all planking was re-fastened. Note: The clamping technique to hold the stringer in place. The kiss principle at work

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Close up of the counter stern cleaned up.


From stern looking forward with restoration well underway.


Outside from bow stripped and starting preparation for painting.


Forward bulkhead and anchor well.


Forward bulkhead and anchor well.

Internal Fit Out


The remainder show photo’s of progress. We will keep adding as work progresses. The aim is to have her completed for the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review in October 2013.


Forward inwale laminations steamed and bent into shape, glued with Epox-E-Glue and installed.


Internal framework going in.


Forward floor going in.


More painting Note: The paint going on before the next step.


Internal framework in and painted.


The Outside Preparation.

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External hull paintwork completed.

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Coaming installed, things are shaping up.

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Coaming has been marked, cut & shaped.


Coaming glued into place using our EPOX-E-GLUE

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First layer of teak going into position, you can never have enough clamps!


Teak veneer on outer forward coaming.


Teak veneer glued and looking beautiful.


Layer of teak has been fitted around the front of the coming & the teak seating forward fitted


Teak seating slats fitted port side forward.


Timber for the seat steam bent and clamped into place.


The rudder head was severely degraded and new timber laminations were scarfed in using our EPOX-E-GLUE.


Rudder head repair showing laminated timber and plenty of EPOX-E-GLUE.

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Liberal spreading of EPOX-E-GLUE and light clamping.

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The scarfed and stepped joints. Note: The Glue used to fill gaps. This is actually stronger than having no gap. Remember – EPOX-E-GLUE loves open joints (gaps).

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The repair completed and ready to paint.

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Rudder completed and probably stronger than the original.

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Close up of port quarter showing off the quality of Davey & Co. cleats and pad piece.

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Note the detail in the engine box. The hinges are Davey & Co.

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Engine bay with port lid open.

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They even managed to track down an engine from the era and tidy it up!

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Forward crew area with the same high level of detail shown in the cockpit.

Coxswains position showing G-B & Wheel-A

Helmsmans position showing wheel and gearbox.

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Bow showing off Davey & Co. gunmetal deck fittings.

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Project almost finished!

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Looking from port forward showing Davey & Co. port holes. Note open seams. The launch is going on display in the Naval Heritage Center and Garden Island.

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Looking forward checking out the bezel and midships port hole located in the coaming.

Centre Porthole Installed on Bezel-Aug15

Close up of midships porthole showing the compound shape of the timber backing piece.

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Check out the detail of timber work in the cockpit. The craftsmanship is superb!

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Looking forward from the cockpit



Completed Launch, View from port bow


Standard launch, Stern view

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David Glasson - The man who made it happen.

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Close up of stern detail showing off Davey Bronze cleats.

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Davey Bronze Boat Fittings on the foredeck

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Detail of spray dodger with Davey port lights bedded in


Port Side view - Note: no caulking between the planks as this vessel is going into permanent display at the Naval Heritage Centre - Garden Island Sydney.

WBA Awards

The Wooden Boat Association of NSW administers the HAL HARPUR Award and it is offered to all people who are building or restoring wooden boat. For further information about the award visit wbansw

In 2015 David GLasson was nominated for the Hal Harpur award for the historical and authentic restoration of the historic RAN Standard Launch. The team of volunteers spent years faithfully restoring the launch for public exhibition at the RAN Heritage Centre at Garden Island Dockyard Sydney.