Thanks to Chris Handley and others who contacted Francis, Zephyr has been found. Zephyr is currently on the hardstand on the south side of Yaringa Boat Harbour in Westernport and has been there for year or so.
Here is the Response from Francis, thanks to all who helped.
Hi, Jason… thank you for that.
Yes, someone got back to me with details of the Zephyr’s whereabouts, and we visited her at Yaringa when we were in Victoria recently. She’s looking a bit sad. I was later contacted by the owner, Jim Madigan, who I believe lives in the US. He told me he’d taken Zephyr out of the water in late 2012, not long after he sailed her to Westernport Bay from Apollo Bay. She’s for sale for $50K; she needs caulking & repairs to a couple of ribs, apparently. Probably some other relatively minor work as well, I would guess.
Zephyr has a (somewhat out-of-date) website:
http://zephyrboat.yolasite.com/ …with pictures & a fascinating pdf of her original owner’s account of her first voyage from Adelaide to Port Lincoln & back in 1873.
I have written to various people including the SA Maritime Museum & the editor of the RSAYS Quaterly to alert them to her current predicament, but without much success… i.e. I have yet to hear back. I had planned to write today (funnily enough) to ABC Radio National’s Bush Telegraph program to try to interest them in doing a short segment on her. I did a 3-minute vox pop ‘Country Viewpoint’ for them about 10 years ago about my eight days on the Zephyr when she was a cray boat in March 1980.
I would be happy to help put anyone who’s interested in the Zephyr in touch with Jim Madigan. I’m very concerned about her being allowed to deteriorate further, as she is almost certainly Australia’s oldest working boat.
regards… and thanks again for getting in touch…