13 Nov 2018

Hull Inspection Survey - Waratah

Posted in Recent Projects by Admin 0

Maritime Survey Australia completed a hull inspection survey on the Waratah, a Steam Tug built in 1902, now operated by the Sydney Heritage Fleet (SHF).

Originally named Burunda and renamed in 1918, the Waratah has had a long association with Australia's maritime history and thanks to the SHF is now the oldest tug in working order in Australia.

A good example of a late nineteenth-century small steamship, the Waratah’s elegant appearance and graceful proportions are distinctive when compared to the more utilitarian designs of this century.  Even her antiquated construction and old-fashioned steam reciprocating machinery are relics of an era past.

Based at first in Newcastle, she served as part of the N.S.W. Public Works Department fleet of dredges and attended plant including tugs which were charged with keeping the N.S.W. coastal ports navigable by dredging the many bars that made river entrances dangerous places.

Up until the beginning of WWII, Waratah continued with barge towing but was also used for laying navigational buoys and as a relieving pilot vessel at both Newcastle and Sydney.

By 1943 she was described as being in a ‘very fair’ condition but in need of major repairs. These finalised, she returned to duty late in 1944. 

The Waratah underwent a major overhaul in 1956 at the State Dockyard, Newcastle. The modifications equipped her as a specialised buoy tender around Newcastle Harbour, but her days were numbered.

By the early 1960s, it was self-evident that steam-driven vessels would be replaced by ships powered by diesel engines and in 1968 it was announced that the old tug was beyond economical repair and was to be disposed of for scrap.

Fortunately, she was saved by the Sydney Heritage Fleet who bought her for $600 in the same year where after she sailed to Sydney on her own steam despite needing substantial repairs.  After a subsequent five-year restoration program by Sydney Heritage Fleet volunteers, she is now, once again, fully operational and regularly takes passengers on trips around Sydney Harbour.

The Waratah’s authentic restoration has gained the Fleet world-wide recognition for historic ship preservation.

Maritime Survey Australia is proud to be a sponsor of the Sydney Heritage Fleet and regularly assists the SHF with vessel surveys.  MSA recently also completed a  Periodic Vessel Survey on the Tall ship,  James Craig.

To make a donation to the SHF, click here: or if you’re up for a day’s work with the lads you can find more information here:

The "Evans Anderson Phelan and Co" Anchor Winch has been overhauled by the team at the Sydney Heritage fleet.






Do you have a vessel that is due for its survey in accordance with its survey certificates?

Contact Maritime Survey Australia today to discuss your project requirements.

Our Marine Surveyors are accredited with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), members of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and members of the certifying authority of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). We believe we have the most competitive rates offering the best value to Victorian commercial vessel operators. The benefits of using Maritime Survey Australia ensure that the vessel operator has to engage with only one company. Unlike many of our competitors, our Surveyors are experienced Marine Engineers, Masters and Naval Architects accredited for ALL categories including periodic electrical and communication meaning you do not need to engage with a third party to complete the survey.

The survey is carried out accurately interpreting standards and guidelines, and applying rules and/or regulatory requirements.

The owner will be informed of any deficiencies discovered during the survey of a vessel that requires repair, replacement or action and will be recorded on a survey activity report, a copy of which will be given the owner or owner's representative at the time of the survey. We will remain impartial in all of our business dealings, and we will never conduct business in a manner which could place our business integrity or impartiality at risk or question.

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