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The Milpara Station Corugated Iron dinghy in 2010

Milpara Station corrugated iron dinghy

Vessel Number: HV000417
Previous Owner:
Vessel type: Tinnies
Vessel Dimensions: 3.05 m x 1.17 m (10 ft x 3.85 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The Milparra Station Corrugated Iron Dinghy is an example of the many regionally built dinghies used on the rivers and lakes of inland Australia. A number of these craft survive, and many were often only taken out for use in times of flood. Along with others of its type, the dinghy is built from materials the locals were familiar with and had easy access to such as corrugated iron, rather than using traditional timber materials to build a small vessel. In this case it is not known who built the hull or when it was built.
DescriptionCorrugated iron was one of the staple materials used in out back Australia for a variety of purposes, so it is no surprise that the builder of this dinghy adapted the material to form the side panels of the hull. It was easy to bend for the curved sides, and the corrugations gave stiffness to the flat section. The material was not iron, it is likely to be steel but the term 'iron' remained in popular use for many decades in the 20th century.

The dinghy has wooden gunwales, thwarts and stiffeners across the floor or bottom panel, which is a flat sheet of plate. The overall simple construction does not have the details seen on a dinghy built by a shipwright, such as knees and brackets at joints and corners, but the choice of material and the elements of the basic structure are quite sufficient to hold its shape, and easily repaired. The proportions are quite close to that found in any typical dinghy of its size, it even includes a gentle flare or outboard angle to the topsides, but the straight bottom and sheer profile would not cope with choppy conditions very well, where a curved profile rides through waves much better.

The origins of this craft remain unknown. It was found abandoned on the flooded Darling River, floating across the land at the back of the Milparra homestead during the 1956 floods. So it is presumed to have come from somewhere upstream. It was never reclaimed by whoever its original owners were, and has remained with the Milparra Station since that time, but in 2010 it is no longer in use.

Vessel Details
Current status:non-operational
Current status:not on display
Deck layout:open
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:steel
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom

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