Whale boats were very important to exploration. The design was lighter and could be pulled out of the water much easier by their crew. The Elizabeth was used for exploration by Captain James Kelly, known as the ‘father and founder’ of whaling. He set off with four convicts from Hobart to complete a circumnavigation of Van Diemen’s Land. Kelly captained the smaller whale boat, which was normally carried on the larger whaling ship and would have had a crew of 4 oarsmen and a man on the rudder.
The Boat was borrowed from the magistrate of Pittwater, Major James Gorden, who had named the boat after his wife, Elizabeth
Whale boats were used the world over as a fast and seaworth vessel. See this one in the Bass and Flinders Centre
Just brilliant! If you like history, boats and all things maritime - don't miss this place. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable and go out of their way to help in anyway they can.