This unnamed model boat, made by timber worker, Arthur Law (1900-1979), was once believed to be a replica of the Septom, an offshore fishing trawler which was built at the Hibbard boatyard in Port Macquarie during the 1940s by shipwright Septimus Windeyer for Tom Radley, a well known local fisherman,
The Septom was launched in May 1946 and was a familiar vessel in Port Macquarie and offshore waters for more than 30 years. It is understood that Arthur Law, who worked all his life at the Telegraph Point and Hibbard timber mills, helped lay the hull of the fishing trawler. However his model differs greatly in its dimensions and detail from those of the trawler, and does not display any of the finesse or classic lines of the full sized vessel.
Because this model has a simple structure and contains basic fittings which are made from readily available materials, it is likely that it was not built primarily as a display model, but rather as a children’s toy that was designed to float and sail yet, was sturdy enough to withstand regular use.
Model boat making has always been a popular men’s craft and is believed to be as old as shipbuilding itself, dating back to ancient times when water transport was first developed. It is recorded that during the Napoleonic wars, French and English seamen who were taken prisoner often sought relief from boredom by building model ships from scraps of wood and bone. Also Britain’s supremacy in the 18th and 19th centuries created wider interest in ships and in ship models and simple models were often built as children’s toys.