"Spina" is a 35-foot (10.5 metre) traditional timber fishing boat. She is a double ender (i.e. pointed at both ends) with a carvel displacement hull. Carvel is a method of constructing wooden boats by fixing planks to a frame so that the planks butt up against each other, edge to edge, gaining support from the frame and forming a smooth hull. Displacement hulls "displace", or move, an amount of water equal to the weight of the boat, whether at rest or at various speeds (as opposed to a planning hull that generally decreases its displacement with increased speed to skim across the water). "Spina" carries 2.5 tonne of lead ballast, making her very stable in rough conditions.
"Spina" was built in 1920 in Mordialloc. She was the first boat owned by Hampton fisherman Joe Defina who emigrated from Italy bringing long-lining fishing skills from the Mediterranean. With Joe she worked mainly in Port Phillip Bay. In 1942 Joe sold "Spina" to the Jacks, a legendary Westernport fishing family, and she has been in Westernport ever since. After the Jack family, the next owner of "Spina" was Danny Hall, who has known her all of his life – Danny's father Ray worked on her as a teenager. Classic Fishing Charters bought Spina in 2006, and she now operates out of Warneet.
"Spina" was the second boat in Westernport to have a motor, at a time when other boats were using sails and paddles. Her original motor was replaced in the early 1970s by Norm Jack, who converted an old 40-horsepower Fordson tractor motor. Norm also rebuilt "Spina" over eight years, using blackwood trees for the ribs and a red river gum from Echuca for the stern post.