When rocking gently against the pontoon, the timbers of the MV Bundy Belle and the MV Bundy Queen creak to each other in reminiscence of their days carrying chattering schoolchildren or an eclectic mix of passengers with their equally assorted chattels and a menagerie of animals across the waters from the mainland to the Southern Bay Islands.
In those days they were called the MV Titan and the MV Islander.
The hull of the 40 ft Titan was built in 1967 by boat builder Keith Kuskopf for Ian Ward, who then fitted her out on Lamb Island with the help of family and friends.
The Titan was powered by a 6cyl, 90hp Bedford diesel. She replaced the Dawn Mist and began service as a passenger and school ferry in 1968.
Bay Island Ferries commissioned the building of the 45ft Islander in 1983.
She was built by boat builder Fred Flemming, could carry 90 passengers and was powered by 218hp with a cruising speed of 11 knots.
The need for larger and faster ferries to service the islands made the Titan and Islander redundant.
The Titan remained in Moreton Bay as a tour boat taking day-trippers to sites of interest. She then sat out of commission and out of the water for many years.
The Islander went to Sydney and was a ferry on Darling Harbour.
The Titan was sold in 2000, restored, which took many months, and renamed the Bundy Belle.
She then sailed to Bundaberg to establish a new venture, The Bundaberg Ferry Company.
Bundy Belle now cruises the Burnett River for two and half hours most day's giving visitors a leisurely and informed tour, including the colourful history of the river.
The boats were reunited in 2003 on the Burnett River when the Bundaberg Ferry Company went in search of a party boat.
The Islander was purchased in Sydney, had her trucked to Bundaberg where she underwent a total refit, renamed her the Burnett Queen and commissioned her as an elegant river boat on which guests dine, dance or celebrate special occasions whilst cruising the river.
Mon, February 1, 2010
by Burnett River Cruises filed under