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D.McD in the 1970s


Vessel Number: HV000610
Date: 1957
Vessel type: Pearling Luggers
Classification:Vessels and fittings
D.McD is a pearling lugger built in 1957 in Broome WA. It was used on the pearling fields off Broome until the late 1980s, and was one of the last traditional wooden, sail carrying pearling luggers of its type, the Broome pearling lugger. It is one of less than 40 extant pearling luggers, and is now on display on land in Broome.
DescriptionD.McD was built at Streeter and Male's slipway in Broome for D. McDaniel and Son Pty Ltd. Daniel McDaniel had been one of the pioneers in Broome’s pearling industry in the early 1900s and the vessel was named after him. It had been built by shipwright Kevin Buckeridge at Streeters Scott’s slipway in Broome. The hull followed the traditional shape with a shallow rise to the floor and strong bilge section below the waterline, a straight keel, overhanging counter stern and spoon bow. The hull was planked in jarrah on laminated frames. Male and Co was also one of Broome and pearling’s oldest companies in the north west of the state.

D.McD worked the fields in a traditional manner, using its Lister diesel to get to and from the fields, and then operating under sail drifting across the pearling beds as the divers worked their way slowly along the ocean floor.

In the 1970s a new generation of divers entered the industry, and many were Europeans from the abalone fields. They were physically bigger than the Asian divers who had been the main divers up to that time. In response the pearling fleet were refitted to improve the living conditions. D.McD and others including near sister vessel the Australian National Maritime Museum's lugger JOHN LOUIS (HV000050) were given raised foredecks to enlarge the focsle living quarters, along with a general overhaul and repairs where needed. On D.McD a new Volvo Penta engine was installed and the rig shortened as well.

The fit out was quite basic. Accommodation consisted of four berths, one above the other on either side of the focsle and a fifth athwartships as a spare, aft of the anchor locker bulkhead. The foclse was also the galley area. The stern compartment had 2 quarter-berths on either side, with a third berth athwartships forward of the steering gear. The engine compartment that included the compressed air tank was about midships, then forward of that was steel tank that was a wet well to keep live pearl shell. On deck a small console aft contained the VHF radio, depth sounder and radar display. Pearl shell was bagged and stored around the deck and below if extra space was needed.

Daniel McDaniel was born at Busselton WA in 1879. At seventeen he was working in the postal department and was later transferred to Onslow and held the position of Post Master. He resigned from this position in 1902, and purchased a pearling lugger KARRI. McDaniel initially operated from Onslow, and is first recorded at Broome in 1909. His fleet of pearling luggers is believed to have had up to eight craft. He died in 1955 at the age of 77, and his son Terence died in 1965.

In 2013 D.McD is on display in Broome where it has been out of the water for some years as a tourist attraction helping tell the story of Broome’s pearling industry.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber plywood
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Rig type:yawl
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel

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