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Kowarra

Vessel Number: HV000462
Date: 1945
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 13.7 m x 13.41 m x 4.34 m x 1.52 m (44.95 ft x 44 ft x 14.24 ft x 4.99 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
KOWARRA is one of the 45 foot towboats built at various yards around Australia during World War II for wartime service. It is an Australian design adapted from an American tug design. It is not known where KOWARRA was built or what its service record was. After the war it was one the towboats purchased for use in South Australia by their Department of Harbors and Marine. It formed a strong association with the area over almost four decades of service. It is one of a small number of the towboats that is still operational.
DescriptionKOWARRA is a 13.7 metre long timber tug, designed in Australia by Bert Swinfield and understood to have been adapted from an American design, which used the term 'towboat'. One of the design factors was that the hulls were narrow enough to fit through railway tunnels so they could be transported by rail. KOWARRA would have been one of many vessels built after the Japanese threat to the Pacific became extremely serious from early 1942 onwards. Initially new craft were needed in a hurry and yards were soon mobilised to build them as quickly as possible. KOWARRA is identical to CERBERUS IV (HV000392), NABILLA (HV000083) and similar to BAREKI (HV000028).

The tugboats were used to tow supply barges amongst the island groups around Papua New Guinea and nearby once they were regained from Japanese control. Most of the vessels were then decommissioned after the war. In 1954 the South Australian Harbors Board purchased five of these tugs, and KOWARRA was one of these that found use In SA for nearly 40 years around the many industrial and commercial ports in the region, along with NABILLA.

KOWARRA is now privately owned and is one of a small number of these craft still in operating condition in Australia, and still has its original superstructure.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Propeller:single
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: G1191S

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