Mystery Ketch


Ever since the police investigation began, many experienced yachties have been horrified at the way police have tried to say key witnesses were mistaken about seeing a large older styled wooden yacht. The police of course were trying to suggest that what they really saw was Blade. A tiny 26ft, brand new, steel yacht with minimal freeboard, 700mm to be exact.

A group of these sailors, among them a professor of psychology with professional knowledge and experience in witness credibility, have got together and analysed the descriptions given by the key witnesses at the trial. As you will see from the descriptions given below, the detail is so clear, that the "mystery ketch" is undoubtedly confined to a narrow band of designs.

This vessel is traceable. It must have had a designer. It must have had a builder. It will probably have had a previous owner or two. It will have a present owner. It will need to have taken on water, fuel, and supplies and undertaken repairs at some stage. It must have been somewhere during the weeks leading up to 1/1/98 and so on. The police did not put much effort at all into finding the "mystery vessel" with most reported sightings just filed and then forgotten about. If the following description reminds you of a boat that you know of, make contact by means of the email button at the bottom of this page. The vessel is possibly now located overseas.

The police identikit below is not completely accurate and the witnesses who saw it have stated this. This sketch is of a "Hans Christian" design with added portholes and the "mystery ketch" was not a "Hans Christian". This identikit was released to the media by the Police early in the investgation as the vessel Ben and Olivia boarded. There are various sketches further down the page that came about from witnesses identifications during and after the Police investgation.The sketches are all remarkably similar.

Police Artist's Impression

Comparison of Specifications



LOA: 26ft

Freeboard: similar to a Naiad

Hull: plain white


Sides of vessel fairly plumb

Steel hull

Steel decks

Sloop rig

No extra unusual ropes

38 to 45 foot

Freeboard about 2ft 6' higher than a Naiad

Plain white hull up to the freeboard of a Naiad then a further two foot of blue stripe plus a few more inches of white

Noticeable tumble home

Wooden hull

Wooden decks

Two masted

Lots of extra ropes, including hemp or manila ropes, and old fashion decorative ropework

 No portholes on the boat

 Large round portholes within the blue stripe on the hull portholes had 100mm brass surround



Mystery Ketch Description

Larger identikit at bottom of page.

Description of the two masted vessel which Ben Smart and Olivia Hope boarded on 1/1/98 off Furneaux Lodge; they were also seen on this vessel on 2/1/98. 




Design era:








New Up To Date Mystery Ketch Sketch


If you have seen a vessel that looks similar to the one in the above identikit, please make contact by clicking onto the email button below-





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