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Canberra

Vessel Number: HV000170
Date: 1913
Designer: J D Conner
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 22.55 m x 4.5 m x 1.2 m (73.99 ft x 14.76 ft x 3.94 ft)
Registered Dimensions: 19.17 tons
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
CANBERRA is an example of a Murray River paddle steamer that has remained in continuous use from 1913. After 30 years primarily as a fishing vessel it became a tourist excursion boat based on the Murray River at Mildura and then Echuca in Victoria.
DescriptionCANBERRA is a side-wheel paddle steamer, built by David Milne and Son in Goolwa, South Australia, launched in 1913. Milne and the first owner John David Conner are credited with the design of the vessel.

CANBERRA was built as a fishing vessel on the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. Conner was a commercial fisherman and operated a business with his brothers, sisters and mother. For the first 30 years of its working career CANBERRA was used primarily as a fishing boat but undertook a mixed range of tasks including carrying some cargo and passengers. After 1945 it became a tourist excursion boat out of Mildura until 1966 when it was relocated to the port of Echuca. It is quite possibly the first paddle steamer to be involved in this work on the Murray River.

The vessel is 22.5 metres long and has an interesting composite construction of steel and wood. Most of the internal frames and keel are steel, but the floors are red gum. The planking below the waterline was originally jarrah, but repairs have been made in red and spotted gum. The topsides are steel plate. The deck is planked in wood on steel beams, while the superstructure is also a composite of wood planking or plywood panels on steel framing, with some more recent Dynel covering. CANBERRA has an English compound steam engine.

In 2008 CANBERRA was still in operation as an excursion vessel at Echuca, a rare example of these river workhorses which opened up trade and maintained communication in the outback over many years.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:steel/iron
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:wood/dynel
Current status:floating
Current status:on public display
Current status:operational
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:steel
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:bilge keels
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:paddle steamerpaddle wheelerPSsternwheeler
Motor propulsion:steam reciprocating
Propeller:side wheel
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 17634

Official Number: 177212

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