Noakes Group
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The Lady Gets a Makeover

by David Salter | July 15, 2019

When the Sydney transport entrepreneur Captain Charles Rosman commissioned a new ferry in 1945 the Second World War had just been won. That victory came partly because of the newfangled radio detection and ranging (RADAR) systems developed by the Allies.

To honour that breakthrough electronic device, Rosman decided to name his 17.25m craft Radar.   

Designed by Australian naval architect David Philip and built in spotted gum and teak by Reg Adams at Berry’s Bay, Radar was launched in 1947 and soon became the hard working ‘mother’ of the Rosman fleet.

Today, more than 70 years later, she is back at Berry’s Bay enjoying a complete restoration at the Noakes Boatyard. A team of shipwrights and apprentices led by Garry Ferres are fitting her with new side decks, stanchions, bulwarks and replacing the entire foredeck. The heritage interior will be refreshed. Radar will also be re-engined with a Gardner diesel that’s been patiently waiting in a nearby container.

After stripping off decades of paint the Noakes team were delighted to discover that the planking is still sound. But the seams have now been sealed with epoxy and the whole hull will be sheathed in fibreglass to ensure the ferry is good for another half-century of service.

Radar has a strong social connection with Sydney Harbour and in 1972 became the first Sydney ferry to be granted a liquour licence. She can carry up to 200 passengers.

Rosman vessels offer the full range of charter options including corporate transfers and events, wedding transport, private harbour cruises and celebrations, children’s events and school excursions.

The refurbished Radar will be the perfect platform from which to enjoy the iconic events that lend the Harbour so much of its unique character – Australia Day, Vivid, New Year’s Eve and the Sydney-Hobart Race start. Radar is scheduled to be re-launched in early 2020.

Photo credits: David Salter


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