The purchase, maintenance and upgrading of boats has been a perpetual challenge to the school, boat club supporters and fund raisers since 1905. The current boat builders and equipment suppliers, Sykes, Ausrowtec, Hale and Croker had forerunners in Bayes Brothers, Messrs Jerram & Sons of Melbourne, Stephensons and Sargent & Burton of Sydney.
There are references to practice clinkers, racing clinkers, and in 1931 “a fine clinker built four. The new boat was:
“Lighter than a tub boat, yet not strictly a racer. She is easy to sit, and her broad, shallow cross section makes her very suitable for work on the waters of the Derwent, where calm water can be looked for only rarely.”
The importance, significance and dilemmas about naming boats has obviously continued over the years with a request made in September 1922 for a name for the new racing clinker four. The September 1933 Echoes records:
“Several issues ago, we asked in these notes for suggestions for the name of our boat, but so far none have been received. If anyone can propose a suitable name, we shall be pleased to hear it.”
There have been some stayers in the fleet with December 1949 Echoes recording the 20th anniversary for the school racer, Atlanta. It is noted:
“Her present excellent condition is a tribute to the crews who have used her in previous years.”
Over the years the School and the Boat Club have had a tradition of naming boats after coaches, staff and supporters who have given long and dedicated service to the school and rowing.
The latest additions to the fleet have names with strong School associations or identity such as the Rose and the Waratah and the Spirit of Friendship.
Finally it should be recorded that the rowing programme would not have been so successful over the years without the support of a number of Hobart Rowing Clubs. The Derwent, Mercantile, Buckingham and Sandy Bay Clubs have all loaned the School fours and eights at various times over the years.