Heritage Listed SMB Returns to Australian Navy

A 1950 heritage listed wooden survey motor boat (SMB) has been returned to Australian Navy after a long absence.

In a small ceremony at the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre on Garden Island, SMB Geranium (formerly known as Samantha) was immediately donated to the Naval Heritage Collection.

A 34 foot full teak motor boat, Geranium was built as SMB1393 at Garden Island in 1949-50. She saw working life as an embarked survey craft from 1950 to 1972 before being sold into private ownership.

During her Navy service, the boat was attached to the River class frigate HMAS Barcoo (1951-56 and 1959-64) and the sloop HMAS Warrego (1956-59).

Geranium has been owned by Mr Geoff Rose and his Sydney based family for over 30 years. Mr Rose contacted Navy’s Hydrographic Office in April this year with a proposal to present the heritage listed craft as a gift.

She was inspected in water, underway and on the hard stand by Naval Heritage Collection staff and Master Attendant’s shipwrights and accepted after evaluation of the boat’s condition.

Geranium is to resume her working life as a workboat for the Navy Heritage Collection, operating routinely between front-of-house at the Heritage Centre Garden Island and the repository at Spectacle Island.

The Navy Heritage Collection maintains three public museums that showcase some of the nation’s most significant pieces-the Navy Heritage Centre at Garden Island in Sydney, the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Nowra, New South Wales, and the Museum of HMAS Cerberus near Crib Point in Victoria.

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Press release, Image: Australian Navy