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Spearfishing Knives

You will need to carry a dive knife with you every time that you go spearfishing. The Scuba Doctor stocks a range of quality spearfishing knives but, like anything, you get what you pay for. A cheaper dive knife will often become blunt and rust quite quickly! It is a good idea to budget $50-$70 for a high-quality spearfishing knife that will last you a lifetime.

A pointed tip, dagger style knife is perfect for spearfishing as the pointed tip makes it easy to spike your fish. Most spearfishing knives have a smoothly sharpened blade for slicing fish for burly, and a serrated edge for cutting through ropes. It is also important to consider how the dive knife is strapped to you, and how it can be taken out for use.

Dispatch Your Prey Efficiently with a Reliable Spearfishing Knife

Every diver needs to carry at least one knife with them when spearfishing. It's a good idea to carry an extra knife since a fish could easily knock your blade out of your hand. Spearos use their knife to dispatch their prey, gut the fish, and slice the catch for burley. A spearfishing knife is also a life-saving tool if you get wrapped up in your line after trying to catch a fast-moving fish. It could also get you out of a bind so you can cut the line. On top of that, it can serve as a "tank-knocker" if you need to get your dive buddy's attention.

Unlike larger, standard dive knives that mount to your buoyancy compensator, a spearfishing dive knife attaches to your arm, calf, or weight belt. Choose an extra blade with a pointed tip so that you can spike your fish efficiently, a sharpened blade for slicing, and a serrated edge so you can cut through ropes with ease.


Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Boat access Boat access

Inside Western Port Open Water Rated Phillip Island Wreck Dive Site

Twin Screw Steam Launch | Max Depth: 18 m (59 ft)

Vixen Ferry Leaving Rhyll With Soldiers, 1915
Vixen Ferry Leaving Rhyll With Soldiers
Source: O. Underdown

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The steam launch Vixen (aka SS Vixen) during her heyday between 1887 and 1915 was a passenger and cargo ferry operating from San Remo around Western Port.

The Vixen was under tow to Melbourne for an overhaul when she started to leak and ultimately sank in the moring of Saturday 21 July 1917 off Cowes Jetty, Phillip Island in Western Port.

Diving the Vixen Shipwreck

The Vixen shipwreck lies on a sandy bottom at a depth of 18 metres about one mile north west of Cowes Jetty, Phillip Island in Western Port. The rudder post and engine are clearly visible on the site, which stretches out over approximately 20 metres. There also are some frames with planking and sheathing attached, a scupper, iron plating, broken glass and cables.

See WillyWeather (Cowes Jetty) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

Vixen Shipwreck History — Built in 1886

The Vixen was a schooner rigged, wooden framed, twin screw steamer of 23 tons, built in 1886, by James Halstead at Lavender Bay, Sydney. She had one deck, elliptical stern, carvel built, straight head vessel with no galleries. The Vixen measured 58.8 ft (18 m) long, 15 ft (4.57 m) wide and 5.6 ft (1.71 m) deep.

Vixen Sinking — 21 July 1917

On Friday 20 July 1917, Vixen sprang a leak off Cape Schanck while being towed by the tug Sprightly from Rhyll to Melbourne for overhauling and repainting. The pumps were set going, but with little effect. Seeing that the case was hopeless, the Captain of the Sprightly decided to return to Rhyll with the Vixen still in tow. The following moring on Saturday 21 July 1917 the Vixen foundered about one mile north-west of Cowes Jetty. No lives were lost. Topside seams had opened up whilst sitting on her mooring at Rhyll for around two years.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Vixen, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Vixen.

Cowes Map
Cowes Map | © Parks Victoria

Heritage Warning: Any shipwreck or shipwreck relic that is 75 years or older is protected by legislation. Other items of maritime heritage 75 years or older are also protected by legislation. Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the legislation, and penalties may apply. The legislation requires the mandatory reporting to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable of any archaeological site that is identified. See Maritime heritage. Anyone with information about looting or stolen artefacts should call Heritage Victoria on (03) 7022 6390, or send an email to

Finding the Vixen Shipwreck

It's unlikely the GPS mark from the Australian National Shipwreck Database is accurate. If anyone has an accurate mark, please let us know.

Boon Wurrung / Bunurong country
Boon Wurrung / Bunurong country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes parts of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-west, down to Wilson's Promontory in the south-east, including the Mornington Peninsula, French Island and Phillip Island, plus Western Port. We wish to acknowledge the Boon Wurrung as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.


Vixen Location Map

Latitude: 38° 26.700′ S   (38.445° S / 38° 26′ 42″ S)
Longitude: 145° 14.100′ E   (145.235° E / 145° 14′ 6″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2019-04-26 09:58:19 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-16 08:17:03 GMT
Source: Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database (approximate location only)
Nearest Neighbour: Cowes Jetty, 454 m, bearing 107°, ESE
Twin Screw Steam Launch.
Built: 1886, Lavender Bay, Sydney.
Sunk: 20 July 1917.
Cowes, Phillip Island, Western Port.
Depth: 18 m.

DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.


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