Model - Clinker sailboat ; 1897; 2460/A


Tinonee Museum


Model - Clinker sailboat

About this object

This model clinker sail boat was made by Tinonee carpenter Thomas Middlemiss [1865-1945] in 1897 from red cedar cut on the family property ‘Dundale’ near Little Tinonee. The mast, sails and oars are now missing.

Middlemiss lived near the river port of Tinonee and would have seen clinker built sail boats that once carried goods and passengers along the Manning River before the introduction of steam powered ships. Perhaps these were the inspiration for this model.

Clinker built boats used overlapped hull planks and this model illustrates that method of boat building. They were easily built in a vernacular or functional style and did not require great skill. Clinker built boats made use of everyday materials and tools, and went out of vogue when plywood became readily available.

This simple model made when Middlemiss was a young man appears to have been treasured by him as it remained in his possession until his death when it was passed down to his son. Perhaps it was the first model he made or perhaps it was made as an exhibit in a local agriculture show where model making was a regular prize category.

On his retirement Thomas Middlemiss made many toys and furniture items for his children and grandchildren.

This model evidences a local man’s carpentry and model making skills and demonstrates the men’s craft of model boat making which remains a popular men’s hobby today.

Jenny Cherry and Debbie Sommers
4 June 2014

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