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Sam Male

Vessel Number: HV000657
Date: 1957
Vessel type: Pearling Luggers
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Sam Male is a pearling lugger understood to have been built in Broome in 1957 for Streeter & Male It is a rare surviving example of the Broome lugger, a craft unique in design to that region. And represents the late 1950s development of the type.The mother of pearl shell industry was a major economic activity in northern Australia (north-west and Torres Strait) for over 100 years from 1850 and was one of the contributors to the development of those regions. By 1910, Broome was the largest pearling centre in the world with over 400 luggers and 3500 people involved in the search for shell in those waters of North-Western Australia. The industry was multi-cultural and involved Aboriginal people, Europeans and Asians in all aspects so much so that it was granted exemption from the White Australia Policy on immigration of the early 20th century. Streeter & Male were one of the prominent pearling companies of Broome. The vessel is now on permanent display at a park in Broome and provides good interpretive capacity of its technology and social aspects
DescriptionSam Male may have been built by Kevin Buckeridge (who built D.McD) but there has also been the suggestion that Doug D’Antoine (who built Ancel) may have built Sam Male as well. Streeter and Male records show payments to both builders in connection to the vessel but it is known that they did not work with one another. The hull was planked in jarrah. 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. This hull form became standard on Broome pearling luggers, in particular the many vessels built in the 1950s before construction of the type came to an end. Streeter and Male were also one of Broome and pearling’s oldest companies in the north west of the state.

It was launched as Kimberley Male and registered as No 3 in 1958 O/N 196882 at Fremantle with the builder recorded as AS Male- Arthur Streeter Male. It is carvel planked, and has a flush deck with a raised bulwark forward. There is a high cabin over the forward accommodation area which may have been an addition to the accommodation forward as an improvement for European crew members. During its working life it was registered as B4 at one point.

Initially Sam Male would have 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.

It was one of the ten pearling luggers still operating out of Broome in 1973. Around this period it was likely to have been used to harvest Mother of Pearl for Pearls Pty Ltd’s new cultured pearl farming at Kuri Bay. Pearls Pty Ltd was formed as a consortium including Streeter and Male, Brown and Dureau Ltd, Otto Gerdau Company, and Nippon Pearl Co.

It was purchased by the Shire of Broome in 1977 from Streeter and Male, decommissioned and placed on Male Oval. At this point it was renamed Sam Male. In 1990 it was removed for restoration and in 1999 relocated to a park beside D.McD. at Pearl Luggers in Dampier Terrace. The display is centred on the two original pearling luggers with a replica tidal jetty.

Prepared with assistance from the Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats compiled by Mori Flapan;

Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:non-operational
Current status:on public display
Current status:outside
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Rig type:gaff
Rig type:ketch
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Additional Titles

Previous title: Kimberley Male

Primary title: Sam Male

Alternate Numbers

: B4

: B3

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