Notorious arrival at Scarborough

Published 12:30pm 14 April 2021

Notorious arrival at Scarborough
Words by Nick Crockford

One of the most remarkable sailing ships in the southern hemisphere will be at Scarborough Harbour this weekend - and open to visitors.

Notorious was researched, designed and built single-handed over eight years by her captain Graeme Wylie using reclaimed timber.

She was launched at Port Fairy, Victoria, in 2011 and has since sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles along Australia’s eastern and southern coastlines.

Notorious arrival at Scarborough

Rare opportunity

Notorious is the only lateen-rigged ship in Australia and the only caravel (a highly manoeuvreable ship from the 1500s) sailing in the southern hemisphere.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday (April 15-17) she will be at Scarborough Harbour’s public wharf open to visitors from 9am-3pm each day.

It is a chance to see how the destruction of hundreds of tonnes of Monterey cypress windbreaks on farms in southwest Victoria led Mr Wylie to act.

Notorious arrival at Scarborough

Furniture to boats

He started using the timber to make furniture, but with 300 tonnes of logs stacked by his house, decided on a bigger project.

Though a motorsport fan in his youth, Mr Wylie enjoyed “messing around in boats”. So his wife Felicite went back to work as a registered nurse and the research began.

He was inspired by the Legend of the Mahogany Ship, a wreck - thought to be a 1522 Spanish or Portuguese caravel – first seen around Armstrong Bay, Victoria, in 1836 and last spotted in 1886.

Notorious arrival at Scarborough

Eight-year build

If found it could rewrite the discovery of Australia having occurred 300 years before Captain Cook arrived!

Graeme Wylie laid the keel in April 2002 and the last plank in November 2010. Notorious has since sailed the Southern Ocean, Bass Strait, Coral and Tasman Seas.

However, for three days it will open to the public at Scarborough Harbour. Adult (15 years and over) admission $5, children (3-14 years) $3, under three free. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.

For further information visit the Notorious Facebook page – facebook.com/notorioustheship

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