‘Maianbar’ half-ship model

Made by Ardrossan Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co Ltd in New South Wales, Australia, 1910.

The SS ‘Maianbar’ is a unique example of ship construction and reuse. It was conceived after the SS ‘Minimbah’, a 460 tonne steamer built in 1909, broke in half on the bar at the Manning River in Harrington on April 13, 1910. It was decided that the engine and boiler from this vessel was salvageable enough to be shipped back to Ardrossan Dry Dock & Shipping Co Ltd, Scotland (where the ‘Minimbah’ was made) for the construction of a new replacement vessel - the SS ‘Maianbar’.

During her lifetime...


Object No.


Physical Description

Half-ship model, TSS 'Maianbar', wood / metal / glass, made by Ardrossan Dry Dock & Shipping Co Ltd, Scotland for the North Coast Steam Navigation Co, New South Wales, Australia, 1910

Half-ship model of the TSS 'Maianbar' steamer made of wood with metal trimmings and mounted inside a rectangular glass case. The vessel is finished in green and black with a red funnel and shows the lifeboats, decking and deck rails, companionways, ventilators and navigation lights.The vessel was fitted with twin screws ( two separate propellers). At the back of the case is a mirror to give the vessel the impression of being whole.

Full-scale specifications:
Gross tonnage: 513 tonnes
Net tonnage: 229 tonnes
Length: 47.4m
Width: 8.6m
Draught: 2.8m
Horsepower: 99kw


The accompanying label reads 'T.S.S. "MAIANBAR" / BUILT FOR / THE NORTH COAST STEAM NAVIGATION CO LTD / BY / THE ARDROSSAN DRY DOCK & SHIPBUILDING CO LTD / 1910 / DIMENSIONS / 155' 0" X 28'-0" X 10'-0" MLD'. 'MAIANBAR' also appears in gold lettering on the bow of the ship.



440 mm


240 mm



The SS 'Maianbar' was produced using the salvaged machinery from the SS 'Minimbah' by the Ardrossan Dry Dock & Shipping Co Ltd in Scotland in 1910.

Ardrossan Dry Dock & Shipping Co Ltd was established in 1842, but during its formative years went under the name of Barr and Shearer. In the 1870s the name was changed to become the Ardrossan Shipbuilding Co and in 1891 it assumed limited liability, as Ardrossan Dockyard Ltd. However, it was dissolved 8 years later, at which time a successor company, the Ardrossan Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co Ltd was incorporated. The Dockyard ceased to operate in 1969.


Ardrossan Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co Ltd 1910



On April 13, 1910 the steamer SS 'Minimbah', which worked the North Coast Rivers, broke in half on the bar at the Manning River in Harrington. Although the steamer itself was irreparable, its machinery was salvageable enough to be sent back to Scotland for the production of a new vessel, namely the SS 'Maianbar'.

Thus, in 1910 the 'Maianbar' was built, before being shipped back to Sydney to commence work on those rivers that were previously steamed by the 'Minimbah' (the Manning, Macleay, Hastings etc). It was not registered in Sydney until 1927.

For the first 10 years of her life, the 'Maianbar' was owned and operated by the North Coast Steam Navigation Co until it was sold to the Port Stephens Steamship Company in 1937. In 1920, she became grounded at the entrance to the Macleay River and she defied all efforts to her refloat her for more than a month. Eventually she was refloated and the decision was made to give her a major overhaul at Mort's Dock, Sydney where her length was extended by almost 20 feet. She then ran smoothly for subsequent years to come until 1940, the year in which the North Coast Steam Navigation Co decided to repurchase the vessel, when she unfortunately became wrecked during the voyage south.

On May 5, 1940, while being towed by the SS 'Arakoon', the 'Maianbar' somehow broke loose and drifted ashore to Nobby's Beach (Newcastle) where she became stranded. Given the unsuccessful attempts made at trying to refloat the vessel (again!), she was sold at auction in the rooms of Fraser, Uther & Co Pty Ltd. Bidding started at £150, then advanced by £10 rises. The final purchase price was £700 to a Mr J. Kelly who then later resold it the same day to Messrs. Fearon and Sutherland of Newcastle. Unfortunately, the new owners were not able to refloat the steamer and they broke her up on site.

This particular model was donated to the Museum by the North Coast Steam Navigation Co in 1954.


North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd 1910-1940


North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd


Credit Line

Gift of North Coast Steam Navigation, 1954

Acquisition Date

14 December 1954

Cite this Object


'Maianbar' half-ship model 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 October 2018, <https://ma.as/242963>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/242963 |title='Maianbar' half-ship model |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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