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P2909 Engineering drawing, copy, SS 'Captain Sturt' Murray River paddle steamer, paper, dated 1912, hull built by Charles Barnes Co, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America, used by River Murray Commission to build locks in South Australia, Australia, 1917-1935. Click to enlarge.

Copy of engineering drawing of Murray River paddle steamer SS 'Captain Sturt', 1912

    This is a copy of a plan, dated 1912, of the American-style, stern wheel paddle steamer, SS 'Captain Sturt', used in the construction of locks on the Murray River of South Australia from 1917 until 1935. It is one of the very few plans of paddle steamers used on Australian inland rivers known to exist.

    The hull of the vessel was built by the Charles Barnes Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1915. It was imported into Australia in sections and reassembled near Mannum on the Murray River in South …

    Summary

    Object No.

    P2909

    Object Statement

    Engineering drawing, copy, SS 'Captain Sturt' Murray River paddle steamer, paper, dated 1912, hull built by Charles Barnes Co, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America, used by River Murray Commission to build locks in South Australia, Australia, 1917-1935

    Physical Description

    Engineering drawing, copy, SS 'Captain Sturt' Murray River paddle steamer, paper, dated 1912, hull built by Charles Barnes Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, used by River Murray Commission to build locks in South Australia, Australia, 1917-1935

    The drawing comprises a one-page sheet depicting the SS 'Captain Sturt' paddle steamer in plan, side and rear elevations. Various specifications and dimensions are included. The 'Captain Sturt' had twin pontoon-like hulls, built of three-sixteenth inch plate iron, steel girders, with the superstructure made of Oregon and red pine timber. Her steam engine was a 200 hp balanced poppet value type with the engine connected directly to the stern wheel. The Western River boiler type had shells which were 19 ft long (5.79 m) by 3.6 ft diameter (1.07 m) and was built of ½ in (12.5 mm) plates. It had twenty 4 in (102 mm) boiler tubes. Her overall length including the stern wheel was 135ft (41.5m) and the draught was 3.3 ft (1 m) with a displacement of 888 tons.

    Dimensions

    Width

    1300 mm

    Depth

    700 mm

    History

    Notes

    The original plans were drawn up under the direction of Lieut. Col. H. Jervey, Corps of Engineers, of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA with E.J. Carpenter, Assistant Engineer, for the United States of America War Department and are dated 26 November 1912. This copy of the original plan was given to the Museum by Mr R.J. Baxter from the original made available to him by the last owner of the vessel which had been converted into a houseboat.

    The 'Captain Sturt' paddle steamer commenced duty in 1917 and for eighteen years pushed materials for the construction of all the locks between Blanchetown and Kulnine in South Australia. In 1923 the American boiler showed signs of pitting and grooving so a new boiler of similar design was built by Hawke and Co. of Kapunda which was installed in 1924. The new boiler failed to generate sufficient steam and was difficult to fire and by 1934 the twin hulls were riddled with rust and small cracks. The South Australian Government abandoned plans to sheath the hull and after patching up the hulls with cement, the vessel was used to transport equipment for the construction of the Goolwa Barrages and locks at the Murray mouth.

    The 'Captain Sturt' had only two skippers during its working life: Captain George Johnston until his death in 1926 aboard the vessel and Captain Payne until 1935. The vessel was sold in 1940 for 250 pounds to Captain George Ritchie who intended to use the 'Captain Sturt' for day excursions from Goolwa to Point McLeay. The next owners were Mr and Mrs Albert Ehret of Magill who used the steamer from 1946 to 1952 as a houseboat, accommodating 30 people. In 1950 Charlie Smith became the proprietor, perhaps with a rental agreement, as the vessel had several occupants paying rent of 7 pounds ten shillings per annum. Mrs Grace O'Neill purchased the vessel in 1954 and as Mrs Martin sold the houseboat to Mr Keith Veenstra in 1965 who used it as an office for the family boat building business.

    In a bid to restore the vessel, Andrew Bell formed the Captain Sturt Preservation Society in 1996 but soon realised the cost of restoration was prohibitive. Mr Veenstra finally decided to remove the upper decks and fill the hull with cement. The wreck was incorporated into the Captain Sturt Marina in the Goolwa boatyard. The original steering wheel was transferred to the PS Goolwa and (in 2015) is still in operation.

    Source

    Credit Line

    Gift of R J Baxter, 1974

    Acquisition Date

    20 September 1974

    Cite this Object

    Harvard

    Copy of engineering drawing of Murray River paddle steamer SS 'Captain Sturt', 1912 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/323547>

    Wikipedia

    {{cite web |url=https://ma.as/323547 |title=Copy of engineering drawing of Murray River paddle steamer SS 'Captain Sturt', 1912 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}