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PS Canally

Vessel Number: HV000520
Date: 1907
Builder: RW Beer
Vessel Dimensions: 28.04 m x 28.04 m x 6.55 m x 1.83 m (92 ft x 92 ft x 21.5 ft x 6 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
PS CANALLY was built in 1907as a barge then converted in 1912 to a paddle steamer. It was built at Koondrook in NSW by RW Beer for Thomas Freeman. PS CANALLY worked on the Murray River until the mid-1930s, after which it became a house boat. It was abandoned for many years after the 1950s before being raised in 1999. In 2012 it is undergoing restoration.
DescriptionPS CANALLY has a wooden hull on wooden frames with the planks bolted to the frames and not fastened with dumps. In 1908 Tommy Freeman had another barge built on the same lines at Koondrook by RW Beer. He named this barge T.F. and used it behind PS CANALLY after it became a steamer in 1912. Freeman purchased the frames and motion of locomotive engine No. 57 from Newport Railway Workshops and installed it in the hull of the PS CANALLY The engine was lowered into the hull by wharf crane, a task which it only managed after some unauthorized works on the hydraulics. The engine was built in Newcastle, England in 1862 by Robert Stephenson, a pioneer of steam engines, and was one of 12 supplied to the Victorian Railways. It was an “O” Class (0-6-0) meaning it had, 3 drive wheels on each side. No. 57 was the last of the original 12 engines supplied by Stephenson to be withdrawn from service.

The Riverina Recorder from 10/7/1912 reported the conversion.
“Captain Freeman advises that he is putting a new steamer in the running this year by which his clients will have the advantage of quick transit afforded by one of the fastest vessels on the river. The Canally, as the new steamer has been christened, is fitted with a powerful loco boiler and is up to date in every respect. With a barge she will be able to shift 1000 - 1100 bales of wool each trip. She will be one of the first to move from the wharf at Echuca this season. “

Another report from The Riverina Recorder from 23/7/1913 noted a record trip:
“ Record Steamer Trip - On Saturday week last, Captain Freeman's Canally left Echuca at 5pm and not withstanding 15 stops en route, arrived at Balranald the following day at 8pm. The whole trip thus occupying only 51 hours. The last trip was perhaps an even greater achievement, for, leaving Echuca on Saturday last at 10pm, the steamer arrived here at 4am yesterday morning after stopping 14 times and discharging 30 tons cargo. The Canally is a record breaker no doubt.”

In 1920 Thomas Freeman sold the PS CANALLY to William Tinks, Master Mariner, of Morgan SA, and in 1925 the vessel passed from William Tinks to Francis & Tinks Ltd then very soon after ownership transferred to the Ministry of Public Works, NSW . This was noted in The Register Adelaide on 3/12/1925:
“The Passing of the Canally. A touching little ceremony was witnessed from the Morgan Wharf at 10 o'clock last Thursday morning, when the Canally, a paddle cargo boat, steamed away from the wharf for the last time. The late owner (Capt. W. Tinks) sold her to the New South Wales Government, and in future she will trade from Mildura to Lock 10. Built at Koondrook, near Echuca, 16 years ago, she is still young, and as she draws only three feet of water, she is most suitable for the fluctuating waters of the Murray. For 10 years she traded in wool from Echuca up the Murrumbidgee. Capt. Tinks purchased her in 1919. He has greatly improved her, and she has traded for six years between Morgan and Berri, her principal cargo being dried fruits from the fruit Settlements. In all that time Capt. Tinks says she has never given him five minutes’ engine trouble, and her working capacity being 140 horsepower, she is accustomed to towing two barges capable of holding 300 tons, with 60 tons in her own hold, and is one of the best tow boats on the river.”

PS CANALLY stayed with NSW Government as a workboat until W.G. Collins purchased it in 1934. In 1935 the vessel was sold to Albert D. Warren on a term payment arrangement, but successive low river levels restricting work opportunities saw the vessel relinquished to the Collins Bros. when the payments could not be met around 1937. Collins married in 1938 and the couple lived on board for a number of years before moving to a house in Mildura. Mrs Collins had the interior fitted out very nicely and there was plenty of room on board. The family seldom ate in the dining room on the second deck, preferring the table on the deck between the galley and the bathroom. Norm Collins also stripped the machinery from the vessel at this time.

By 1942 CANALLY was back at Echuca and being used as a barge behind the PS HERO working for NSW Forests Department to carry firewood for the Victorian Railways. The Chislett Brothers had purchased HERO and a bin barge from the Collins brothers at Mildura, and after two floods they then purchased the CANALLY as a barge to carry the logs back to Boundary Bend. HERO was destroyed by fire in January 1957 and CANALLY was then left tied to the landing at Boundary Bend where it eventually sank.

The Rivers & Riverboat Historical & Preservation Society entered into a Joint Venture agreement with the Chislett families to raise and restore CANALLY to an operating paddle steamer
0n February 8th 1999 CANALLY was raised to the surface and remained afloat, sheeted with a large bunker tarp around the hull to prevent any major leaks. Everyone was amazed at the good condition of the timbers and steel in the hull. Much mud was removed prior to the refloat, and much more was removed afterwards as well. By Sunday 15th February, all of the mud had been removed and CANALLY was floating on about a 150mm draught

It then remained afloat and stabilized at Robinvale until mid-2010, when PS CANALLY ‘s ownership was transferred to the Mid Murray Council and the Morgan Historical Society. The Riverboat Society at Mildura tendered for the job to take PS CANALLY from Robinvale to Berri. PB IMPULSE made its way up to Robinvale where Morgan enthusiasts with the aid of the Friends of Canally prepared PS CANALLY for the tow.

In 2011 it was slipped at Berri where repairs and some hull re-planking were done. In September it was refloated and moved to Morgan. It is now in Morgan and gradually undergoing a full restoration back to its original condition and arrangement as a paddle steamer. It will be powered by a Marshall and Sons engine from 1913.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:floating
Current status:non-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:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:paddle steamerpaddle wheelerPSsternwheeler
Motor propulsion:steam reciprocating
Propeller:side wheel
Byzantine ships:ships:ship:ships:wheelhouse

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