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ST Wattle

Vessel Number: HV000227
Date: 1933
Previous Owner: Royal Australian Navy ,
Vessel Dimensions: 22.86 m x 5.33 m x 2.83 m, 97.32 tonnes (75 ft x 17.5 ft x 9.3 ft, 98.88 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
ST WATTLE is a steam tug completed at Cockatoo Dockyard in Sydney NSW in 1933 as a means of keeping many of the apprentice workforce employed during the Depression era. It has a long association with the Navy on Sydney Harbour and remains essentially in its original configuration.
DescriptionST WATTLE was built during 1932 and '33, and the last ship to be built while the island was under the control of the Commonwealth Shipping Board. It was built 'on spec' by the shipyard apprentices. At this time most dockyard employees were only working one week in four, and apprentices did six weeks out of seven. During construction it was given the name CODECO. The hull was rivetted steel, but electric welding was used experimentally for the first time in an Australian shipyard to build the bulkheads and fuel bunkers.

On 27th June, 1933, CODECO was lifted into the water by the giant floating crane TITAN, with steel work complete, wooden deck laid and most of the auxiliaries in place. The lifting weight was 55.8 tonnes (55 tons). The tug was steam-driven using an oil fired Scotch marine furnace, and is understood to have been the first oil-fired steam tug in Australia. The first trials took place in November 1933. A mean speed of 10.6 knots at 133 rpm was reached with the tug in light-ship conditions (118 tons/119.9 tonnes displacement) at the end of the trial.

Shortly after trials the tug was handed over to the Navy and given the name WATTLE. The tug remained with the Navy in Sydney for 29 years.

After being de-commissioned in 1962 ST WATTLE was purchased in 1971 by a syndicate from the Sydney Heritage Fleet which later donated the vessel to a volunteer-based Victorian company. It then spent many years operating in Port Phillip carrying excursion passengers. It was classified by the National Trust in Victoria as a heritage item. WATTLE retains its original machinery and construction.

In 2003 WATTLE lost its commercial survey and was faced with extensive restoration. Various plans were put forward for returning WATTLE to commercial service but these came to nothing until the ship found new benefactors in 2008. A refurbishment of the hull and superstructure was planned with the intention of returning the ship to operation on Port Phillip when work is completed.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:steel/iron
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:steel/iron
Hull material and construction:steel
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:spade rudder
Motor propulsion:screw steamerSSsteam launchsteam shipsteam yachtsteamersteamshipSY
Motor propulsion:steam reciprocating
Spar material:iron/steel
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Current status:museum vessel
ships:ships:Byzantine ships:ship:wheelhouse
Additional Titles

Primary title: ST Wattle

Previous title: Codeco

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