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Polly Woodside

Vessel Number: HV000077
Date: 1885
Vessel Dimensions: 60.95 m x 9.19 m x 3.96 m (200 ft x 30.15 ft x 13 ft)
Registered Dimensions: 678 tons x 647 tons
Classification:Vessels and fittings
POLLY WOODSIDE is an iron plated barque built in 1885 in the United Kingdom. It is a rare example of a tallship that traded between Australian and New Zealand ports from 1904 until 1922. It is kept as a fully rigged but a static dsiplay in Mlebourne Victoria and one of a few of its type in the world.
DescriptionThe barque POLLY WOODSIDE was built by Workman Clark & Co. Belfast, Ireland in 1885, for William J Woodside and Co. also of Belfast. This was a one ship company and the vessel was named after the owner's wife. The iron-hulled vessel traded between the United Kingdom and South America before it was sold in 1904 to Arthur Hughes Turnbull of Christchurch, New Zealand and renamed RONA. The RONA was purchased to replace the WEST AUSTRALIAN which had been wrecked in 1903. RONA changed hands twice more in New Zealand until sold to Australia in 1922.

During its New Zealand ownership RONA traded across to Australia and around the coast with cargoes of timber, salt, manure, cement, grain, produce and coal. In the latter part of World War I RONA sailed to the USA and back, filling in for the losses in shipping due to that war. The last voyage was in 1921, carrying coal from Newcastle, Australia to New Zealand. It was then sold to the Adelaide Steamship Co. and brought across to Melbourne to be used as a coal hulk. It served in this role for the remainder of its working life, including World War II duties with the Royal Australian Navy in New Guinea.

In 1968, Howard Smith Industries (who had taken over Adelaide Steamship Co.) sold the POLLY WOODSIDE for one cent to the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). The potential restoration of POLLY WOODSIDE had been encouraged since 1962 when moves were initiated by well known ship enthusiast Karl Kortum from San Francisco and Dr Graeme Robertson. It was one of the very few remaining iron hulled barques which could be rebuilt in display condition to show off the impressive square rig.

In 1977 the restored POLLY WOODSIDE was opened to the public. It was floating in the old Duke's and Orrs' Dry Dock on the Yarra River in Melbourne, where it remains as a popular tourist attraction in 2006.

(Prepared from research material supplied by Polly Woodside Maritime Museum)

Vessel Details
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:steel/iron
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:iron
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Rig type:square
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
windjammer:square rigger:Tall ship:barque
Additional Titles

Primary title: Polly Woodside

Previous title: Rona

Alternate Numbers

Official Number: 90129

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