Built by Norman Wright & Sons in 1939, Fury is one of the few remaining examples of the 16ft skiffs which raced on the Brisbane River at that time. Race records indicate that Fury performed well in her races, winning the Wide Bay Championship in 1939-40.
American service men, stationed in Brisbane during World War 2, took a liking to these distinctive and fast Australian boats. An unknown number of skiffs were bought by G.I.s and shipped back to the United States at the end of the war. One story is that Fury went as deck cargo on a returning 'Liberty' ship in late 1945 or early 1946.
She was known to sailing in San Francisco waters in 1949, then "disappeared". About 1960, she came into the possession of Elmer Lowry. She was in a derelict state, with evidence that someone had tried to make a power boat out of her hull. Elmer restored her to sailing condition (without knowing what she was and without any plans) and sailed her in Newport Harbour, California. An Australian, Richard Tucker, met up with Elmer and identified her as an Australian skiff. Elmer named her Yotting?, a play on the Australian pronunciation of yacht.
Elmer took Yotting? with him when he retired to Oregon. However, she was not suited to sailing conditions in Oregon. She was stored in a shed for some 20 years until, in 1990, Elmer gifted Yotting? to Annie Kolls, a keen wooden boat restorer and sailor, from San Diego. Annie continued sailing Yotting? in San Diego waters. A story on the boat in an Australian boating magazine in 1992, together with a plea for information about it, resulted in a number of "old skiffies" contacting Annie. Over a couple of years of correspondence, the identity and history of the boat was revealed. One, Jack Hamilton, remembered his father saying "Fury is going to America" when he was about 12.
Annie decided to visit Australia and meet the people who had helped to identify her boat. The visit, the interest in the boat and the friendships she had made convinced Annie that Fury had to return to Australia. Columbus Shipping Lines generously donated the shipping space and in November, 1996 Fury left California some 50 years after she arrived. Annie flew to Sydney to meet Fury when she arrived in December, 1996.
Early in 1997, Annie formally handed ownership of Fury to the Queensland Maritime Museum in the care of Jack Hamilton. Jack and his fellow Wooden Boat Association members have restored Fury to her original condition. She still sails at occasional regattas, an ambassador of the Museum and a testament to the generations of "skiffies" who built and raced these unique boats in the early days.
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