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SAYONARA, one of  the McFarlane's most well known vessels

A McFarlane & Sons

The story of A. McFarlane and Sons spans four generations of McFarlanes . They have always been based in Port Adelaide South Australia, and the business was started by Alexander McFarlane in 1869. In 2009 it is currently run by his great, great grandson Andrew McFarlane.

Alexander McFarlane was born in Greenoak Scotland on the 19th April 1841. He served an apprenticeship with Clyde shipbuilder William Simmons, and his father (also Alexander) was a shipwright for the company as well.

Alexander (the son) came to South Australia in 1866 working his passage as a carpenter aboard the sailing ship SARAH. He married Mary Ann Tyzack in 1867, and he worked for some of the Adelaide boatbuilders until 1869 when he started his own yard at Cruickshank Corner, now part of Port Adelaide.

His sons all worked in the family business as well, and he retired in 1907. In 1933 the business, now operated by his sons, moved to Jenkins Street, Birkenhead when the Birkenhead Bridge was built. Jenkins Street was home to other well known builders such as Searles and the location was a centre for boatbuilding until 2008 when the area was resumed by the authorites.

Alexander specialised in building yachts, and this remained a focus of the business for many decades. Two famous Victorian yachts were built by them in the 1890s, ALEXA and SAYONARA. HV000367. They took on boat repairs and other vessel building including the lifeboat QUEENSCLIFF HV000029. During the Second World War the built two HDMLS (Harbour Defence Motor Launches). Dinghies, launches and fishing craft were also built in both yards.