Cartela – what’s happening?

Many have asked about the Cartela and plans for her future. Here’s a brief summary.

Cartela at Franklin – image courtesy of ABC

Cartela has been at Franklin since 2014 and is looking somewhat neglected. She has however, been checked regularly, including replacement of bilge pumps and various leaks have been fixed.

The Trust has sought to raise funds for restoration, with some success, however Cartela still needs major funding.

There are some background issues. Firstly, there are very few facilities to repair vessels of the size of Cartela, being almost 40m long and weighing around 200 tonnes.

The facilities which are capable of hauling out Cartela are busy and charge commercial rates, making it an expensive exercise.

This problem is faced by other larger wooden boats, many of which come to Tasmania for the Wooden Boat Festival, and which are also operated by not for profit organisations with limited funding.

Our vision is for a repair facility at Franklin to restore Cartela and then other older wooden boats.

This will provide opportunities for training, employment and will attract tourists to the Huon Valley. We aim to work with the other community organisations at Franklin and have their support.

We have an Economic Benefit Cost Analysis which shows that the Franklin Maritime Centre will boost employment and bring tourists to the Huon Valley – as happens in other similar centres overseas.

Some examples are Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and Port Townsend in Washington State, USA, and Den Helder in The Netherlands.

The potential for Franklin as a maritime center was been recognised by Tourism Tasmania in the 2020 publication Reimagining-our-regions-Far-South.

Based on this, we have recently applied for funding from the Tasmanian Government, and have the support of Huon Valley Council. We have also approached Federal politicians who have been supportive of this plan.

Although Cartela looks sad with her paint faded and peeling, she was recently inspected by an experienced shipwright and was found to be in good condition considering her age. (Internal inspection only)

We hope to have some news in the near future and will let you know. Meanwhile, please tell us your Cartela Story.






9 responses to “Cartela – what’s happening?”

  1. Janet Avatar

    Have fond memories of trips and parties on the Cartela. I hope you get the resources needed to restore her.

  2. Mick halton Avatar

    Had some good parties on the cartela and watched the king of the Derwent. I think all Tasmanians should donate and get her back up sailing up and down the Derwent with loads of people on her doing what she does best cheers MJ. Halton

  3. Simon Hutchinson Avatar
    Simon Hutchinson

    My memory is of a Taroona High School trip to South Arm in the early 1970’s. Still in her dull cream and white colours before the bridge went down when she became blue. As the last and greatest of the river steamers it would be tragic if she were to go the way of all the others.

    1. Liz Avatar

      My son was best man for his mate’s wedding reception on Cartela. She was a wonderful venue. Would be great to see her restored.

  4. Cher Avatar

    School trips on Cartella and the Kangaroo if memory is correct? Kangaroo was smaller maybe and both took us to south arm. Happy Days!
    It would be great if the Cartella could do trips around the Huon River, rather than taking her back to Hobart

  5. ellie Panarettos Avatar
    ellie Panarettos

    I – fuzzily – remember taking trips to Bruny island for a big fat Greek Christmas with my grandparents and the rest of the Greek community.

  6. john tacey Avatar

    Back in the 80s it was always tied up at the docks in Hobart for revellers to board and party on it on new years eve…..numerous bands would play and I do remember dressing in black tie for the event…was a great night.

  7. Huon Rodway Avatar
    Huon Rodway

    I remember traveling on Cartela back in 1954 when a Morris Minor was off loaded with her Derrick at South Arm …..Cartela was steam powered then .Converted to diesel in 1958

  8. Ian McDonald Avatar
    Ian McDonald

    Hello there,
    What progress is being made towards funding the facility for repair?

    I was a bit surprised to not see you have a stand at the Wooden Festival.

    Cheers Ian Mac.

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