Harman, History

History of HarmanHarman was built of Oregon planking on Australian hardwood frames. Builders, Storey and Keers, had yards in Sydney and elswhere along the coast, however it is not known which yard built the craft.

Harman was attached to the naval communications establishment HMAS Harman. Naval establishments were termed ‘Stone Frigates’ and it was a tradition that all naval shore establishments were allocated their own vessel bearing the establishment’s name. In this case the connection was unusual. HMAS Harman was a shore base in the Australian Capital Territory from 1943 onwards and located well inland; yet its vessel, Harman, was operated on Sydney Harbour.

Harman transported Navy personnel from ship to shore, and between the many Sydney Harbour RAN establishments, from Balmoral to the Parramatta River.

After decommissioning by the RAN in 1957, Harman transferred to Cockatoo Island Dockyard where she worked as a passenger and general duties launch. To improve visibility for the helmsman a new higher wheelhouse, with a raised sole, was fitted in the 1970s.

In 1992 Harman was acquired by the Sydney Heritage Fleet. She underwent major refits in 1999 and again in 2007/2008. In the latter overhaul rot in the carlins and deck beams was removed and replaced, a number of joinery items were also replaced, a new engine room hatch was built, a plywood layer added over the existing cabin top, and new fuel tanks installed.