Jim P

The Cygnet story...

Cygnet was launched in 1997 as the Steam Launch Jenny. She operated on Lake Burley Griffin as a commercial vessel until April 2002 when she ceased operations and was listed for sale. Jim and Virginia acquired the boat in September of that year minus its steam plant. The intention was to operate her with electric power.

The boat needed a major fit-out before she could return to regular commercial service.
Garnett Z was engaged to work on the rebuilding of the boat, along with Jim and others from time to time. The project required a concentrated effort through October and November 2002 and the boat was relaunched on 7 December with a lot of work still to be done including the final inspection for survey.

Cygnet commenced operation as a commercial electric vessel on 13 January 2003. She is the only commercial vessel that was built in Canberra for service on Lake Burley Griffin.
Initially the Lynch permanent magnet electric motor was powered at 36 volts, which proved adequate for general service in reasonable weather. However when the first battery banks were up for replacement in 2009 the decision was made to move to 48 volts. That was accomplished by the purchase of a new controller and battery charger. The 6 volt batteries were replaced with 8 volt batteries. That way the change was effected without having to build new battery boxes.

Cygnet has had numerous modifications over her 10 years in service, with a major refurbishing being done during the winter of 2011. She has proved to be a reliable and serviceable vessel and with regular maintenance should continue to provide reliable service.

Here are some photographs taken at various stages of her existence:

Garnet hard at work.


Jim casts a critical eye.