Port Lincoln men buy Mary-Ann Sims

AT WORK: Glenn Tothill, Tony Octoman and Darren Tressider aboard the Mary-Ann Sims, along with little helpers Isabelle and Cooper Tothill.
AT WORK: Glenn Tothill, Tony Octoman and Darren Tressider aboard the Mary-Ann Sims, along with little helpers Isabelle and Cooper Tothill.

Three men involved in Port Lincoln’s tuna industry have bought the historic fishing boat Mary-Ann Sims and intend to restore it to its past glory.

Mary-Ann Sims, built in 1956, was well known in the local tuna fishing industry and for the last 50 years travelled to Port Lincoln for regular maintenance.

The boat’s owner, the Copper Coast Historic Vessel Association, had to sell it as the association could no longer maintain it in a satisfactory state.

Darren Tressider, Tony Octoman and Glenn Tothill purchased the boat last month and arrived back in Port Lincoln with it on December 30.

Mr Tressider said they learned it was for sale in November and agreed to purchase it together.

“We’ve been friends for a long time, it was too much work and too much expense for one person as we are all tied up in the fishing industry,” he said.

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“We’ve all got families so we want our families to enjoy it.”

The team is tidying up the vessel and doing maintenance to its engine room so it can be used as it is, but the longer-term aim is to restore it to how it was when it was built.

The trio plans to use the boat to take charity groups out onto the water for free tours.

Mr Tressider said the boat was also due for out of water maintenance and would either go up on the slip or be careened near Axel Stenross Maritime Museum. 

“We hope to get plenty of advice from Axel Stenross (Museum),” he said.

“There’s vast knowledge amongst the Stenross team.”

Mr Tothill said the Copper Coast Historic Vessel Association wanted the boat to stay in the gulf and to be used.

He said there were many people who still remembered the boat, including himself.

“I grew up looking at it at (Port) Broughton,” he said.

Mr Tothill said there was local interest in the boat as some people recognised the boat when it came into the marina on December 30.