Luxury steam yacht to go to highest auction bidder

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 4th May, 2015

The Steam Yacht Ena is a lasting testament to the luxuries of the Edwardian era.

Designed in 1900 by Walter Reeks Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron commodore Thomas Dibb, Ena is the finest Edwardian steam yacht in Australia and one of only three of its kind still in existence worldwide.

The steam yacht has been operating since mid-2014 on the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and is now up for auction.

Although Ena can be viewed by appointment at Central Pier Docklands, Mossgreen will hold the auction of this historic vessel from 10.30am Tuesday May 19 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

Ena has a long and distinguished history. Following its construction for £5800 and naming after Dibbs wife Tryphena, the 30-metre yacht was purchased during World War I by the Royal Australian Navy, commissioned as HMAS Sleuth and used as auxiliary patrol vessel in the waters around Torres Strait and Thursday Island.

In the early 1930s, the navy sold Sleuth and the new owner used the yacht to transport apples from Tasmania to the Australian mainland – until it was impounded by creditors.

In 1940, the Roche brothers purchased Ena, renamed it Aurora and modified the yacht for trawling and scallop fishing.

The yacht sank in 1981 in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel after hitting an unidentified object.

A syndicate funded by Sydney businessman Pat Burke, stockbroker Rene Rivkin and his solicitor David Baffsky, raised the vessel and fully restored it to its original condition.

The gleaming brass and gold throughout complements the warm and radiant varnished timber, luxurious fabrics and finely appointed fixtures and fittings, and is testimony to their efforts.

The yacht resumed operation in 1986 under its original name. During the following two years, Ena circumnavigated Australia as the result of a visit to Western Australia for the 1987 America’s Cup – an on return to Sydney was used for private charter cruises.


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