In September 1890 a fishing boat was launched in Melbourne that was to create much interest and excitement in boating circles throughout the Colony of Victoria. It was clearly a step ahead of the average contemporary fishing boat. The Melbourne Herald wrote:

'A New Fishing Boat - …Mr H.R. Murray, of South Melbourne, was commissioned to design and construct a centre-plate boat suitable for outside, as well as inshore, fishing in all weather. The boat left the Yarra by S.S. Dawn on Saturday, (27/9/1890), and has reached her destination. While on the riverbank (on the Yarra), she was an object of interest to nautical men, who one and all agreed that the new craft was not only well fitted for her work, but was one of the finest specimens of the boat builders art that has been launched in Victorian waters. She is very strongly built, and in both form and finish, is even more yacht-like than the centre-boarders of the long shore clubs. It will be noted from the following particulars that a new departure has been made in the elements of the Wanderer, (the name given). Length overall 28 ft, beam 9 ft, 4 ins, draft aft 3 ft. 6 ins. Draft with centre-plate down 10 ft, 6 ins. Unlike the Hobson's Bay and 'Cliff centre-boarders, the Wanderer has a well-rounded forefoot, and fine full entrance, with powerful shoulder and amidship body …'

The Age described Murray as the 'well known Naval Architect'.

The favourable comments regarding the Wanderer prompted members of the St Kilda Yacht Club to question Murray's competence to build a centre-boarder that could compete against their boats. The doubts about Murray's abilities as a designer and builder sparked a furious debate in the press, with letters to the Editor continuing for some time. Murray vehemently defended his reputation.

References:
Couta Net website http://www.couta.net/kerr-wanderer.asp, accessed 2/2/2004.

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