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Significance
GEORGIC is a motor launch that was built in 1918 by Bill Kearny in Albany WA . During its working life it was used variously as a ferry, tow boat, general purpose work boat and whale towboat, and was always based at Albany. It is now on display at Whale World in Albany WA where it helps interpret the whaling operations that took place with the Cheynes Bay Whaling Company until commercial whaling in Australia ceased in 1978.
DescriptionGEORGIC was originally built for service as a passenger launch named KERANG for Armstrong and Waters in Albany, carrying passengers up the Kalgan River from the SILVER STAR. This vessel was unable to pass under the Lower Kalgan Bridge due to its high funnel. It was later used for towing barges from Kalgan Properties across Oyster Harbour to the Albany freezing works. Clem Douglas, captain of the SILVER STAR kept ownership of the vessel after it ceased this work, and it lay idle at the town jetty moorings. During World War II it was hidden on the Kalgan River with other craft not in use. After the war it was sold to Ruben Houghton, a town clerk engineer, who replaced the original Fairbanks Morse single cylinder diesel with a Fargo truck engine.

In 1946 he sold it to Turner & Manchester to be used on the Albany to Kalgan route. The original cabin was removed and a raised deck fitted in its place. It was then so to Lionel and Stan Austin. Stan fitted the whale back cabin top, a Ford V8 engine and it was used for general purpose harbour work towing barges and amongst other tasks taking soundings. At a later date they fitted it with a Perkins diesel, and its work included running ships lines to jetties and wharves, attending to shipping in the harbour and sound, assising t tankers to berth at their buoy and running pipe lines ashore. It also operated as the yacht club rescue launch and unofficial search and rescue vessel.

In 1952 it towed its first whale, a 12.35m humpback cow from the whaler CHEYNES III , and was used by the Cheynes Bay Whaling Company to tow whales until 1955. One task was to tow two beached whales from Big Grove, Shoal Bay back to Albany.

The Austin’s eventually sold GEORGIC to Norm Kennedy, and then onto Colin Bairstow, and after this the ownership is not documented. It is now housed onshore at Whale World in Albany, and retains its distinctive whaleback cabin.

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:not on display
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber planked
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:launch deadwood
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Previous title: Kerang

Primary title: Georgic

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