It is not known exactly when our wooden dinghy was built, or by whom. The first historical record of the dinghy is from 1915 when the dinghy was either purchased or built for Phillip Ernest (Ernie) Archer of Cradoc. Ernie was born at Cradoc in 1892 and it is believed he obtained to dinghy when he was 18 years of age.
The dinghy is 3.1m long with a 1.5m berth. It was made from Huon Pine. It had a 2-metre mast, made from Tasmanian Oak and a homemade canvas sail.
It is believed the dinghy was built at Cygnet in 1915 and Ernie purchased the dinghy as a sailing dinghy. At this time the dinghy was used to sail on the Huon River for recreational and fishing purposes.
Ernie had 4 children Eileen, Nel, Doreen and Jim. They learned their boat-craft skills on the Huon River in their wooden dinghy, and in particular Jim later went on to become a local fisherman.
The dinghy originally had a rollick hole in the transom, which was used to steer the dinghy by an addition oar. After Ernie passed away in 1954 the dinghy was passed on to Ernie’s son, Jim Archer. Jim also had 4 children Robert, Phillip, Cathy and Jan.
Jim used the dinghy as a tender dinghy to move from the shore to his fishing vessel ‘Beryl’. Jim was a scallop fisherman in the d’Entecasteaux Channel. At low tide Jim would use the wooden dinghy to move the scallops from the fishing vessel to shore. Once again Jim’s children learned to sail and fish from the wooden dinghy, which they transported from Cradoc to Cockle Creek for fishing and sailing.
After Jim passed away in 1987 the dinghy was bequeathed to his son Robert. At this time the dinghy was in poor condition and Robert kept the dinghy in his backyard, exposed to the weather. In approximately 2008, there was a ‘Daggy Dinghy Day’ held at Franklin. Robert was asked to display the dinghy at this festival, and moved the dinghy from Bellerive to Franklin.
After this festival the dinghy was reported to have been donated to a local school for the purpose of teaching the children boat-craft.
In July 2018 the dinghy was donated to the Rotary Club of Howrah by Graham Rankin of Cradoc for restoration.