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PS Adelaide

Vessel Number: HV000393
Date: 1866
Vessel Dimensions: 32.16 m x 5.18 m x 0.71 m (105.52 ft x 17 ft x 2.33 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
PS ADELAIDE is a paddle steamer from the Murray River on the border between New South Wales and Victoria. It was built in 1866 at Echuca on the Victorian side of the river, and is the oldest wooden-hulled paddle steamer still in operational condition in the world. It has strong associations to the Murray River region, having operated for nearly a century - from 1866 until the late 1950s - almost exclusively around the town of Echuca on the Murray River, where it remains in 2010. It was restored to working order between 1983 and 1985. The PS ADELAIDE displays the initial semi-circular paddle box arrangement, and is complete with its original Australian made engines.
DescriptionPS ADELAIDE was built by shipwright George Linklater in 1866. The owners were JG Grassie and S&H Officer. The wooden hull is 32.16 metres long. It was planked in red gum over iron frames.The engines were two single cylinder steam engines made in Australia by Fulton and Shaw. They gave a total of 27 kw or 36 hp.

It was used initially at the Murray Downs homestead to carry wool to Echuca and bring family members to the town for shopping or other excursions. It was soon used to tow wool barges and was engaged in this trade until 1872, when it was purchased by Blair and Partners to be used as a logging steamer for their mill Murray River Sawmills. The paddle boxes were rebuilt to a square configuration early in their ownership. Once or twice a week it would tow up to three barges laden with logs cut from the Barmah Forest area. Road transport only took over this role in this area in 1957, at which point PS ADELAIDE was retired after 91 years of operations.

It then spent a brief time further down the Murray River in South Australia before being returned to ECHUCA in 1960. It was removed from the water and set into the ground at Hopwood Gardens as a monument to the riverboat history of the Murray. It was surrounded by a rose garden until a project was begun in 1983 to return the craft to the water. By 1984 it was floating again and in 1985 the Prince and Princess of Wales re-commissioned PS ADELAIDE in a ceremony on their tour of the region.

PS ADELAIDE remains afloat as an attraction at the Port of Echuca along with other paddle steamers and the restored wharf precinct. It operates occasionally and is able to carry up to 49 passengers. Remarkably, PS ADELAIDE still operates with its original Fulton and Shaw engines.

Prepared with assistance from the Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats compiled by Mori Flapan;
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:paddle steamerpaddle wheelerPSsternwheeler
Motor propulsion:steam reciprocating
Propeller:side wheel
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:film
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:models
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Related materials:plans
Related materials:references
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Current status:museum vessel
Byzantine ships:ships:ships:ship:wheelhouse

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