Paddle Steamer “Industry”

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The PS Industry is available for some trips during the 2018 AGM Event in the Riverland. We thought that like us, you’d like a little more information about the paddle steamer. Here’s what the owner said about it.

The P.S. Industry was built in 1910 at Goolwa. Near the Murray Mouth in South Australia. Launched on August 6th, 1910 at 1:30pm the ‘Industry’ was purpose-built for the South Australian Government as a Snagging Steamer, Towing and General Works Boat. She replaced an older Paddle Steamer, also called the ‘Industry’, built at Swanport near Murray Bridge in 1876. The New ‘Industry’ was Commissioned on January 11th, 1911. Her main job in her early years was assisting in the construction of the Locks and Weirs, Starting in June 1915 and being completed with the Goolwa Barrages in December of 1940. After the completion of the Locks, Weirs and Barrages she was used by the River Murray Commission and later the E&WS Dept. with her own ‘plant’, consisting of many different barges for pile-driving, a floating crane, mobile pumping station etc. doing various works along the river including Wharf construction, De-Snagging the River from Wentworth to Wellington and later the Standardisation of the Locks in the 1960’s. In February 1950 the Derrick Crane on her foredeck was fitted from the P.S. Tarella and this enabled her to remove snags a lot easier than by block and tackle and using nearby trees.

In October 1969 the ‘Industry’ was retired from active service after 59 years and was moored at Lock 3 until June 1971 when the SA Government presented her to the Township of Renmark for preservation. She was pushed to Renmark over a three-day voyage by two smaller motor launches and watched be thousands of people on the banks. In August 1975 she opened to the public as a static display in a purpose-dug pond near the Renmark Pumping Station. After many efforts to restore her to an operation standard by the people of Renmark the Council finally agreed and the ‘Industry’ was Dry-Docked in early 1990 with substantial work done to her deteriorating hull. – She steamed again on October 19th, 1990. – One day before she was set to leave Renmark, bound for Morgan to star in the ABC Mini-Series: ‘The River Kings’ as the P.S. Lady Mabel. After the filming more restoration work was done by her dedicated group of volunteers and on July 16th, 1995 the ‘Industry’ was formally recommissioned by Transport Minister Diana Laidlaw as a commercially-licenced vessel – capable of taking up to 60 paying passengers. Since then the ‘Industry’ has attended many River Events from Mildura to Goolwa. In April 2011 she celebrated her 100th Birthday with a huge weekend at Renmark, with more than 10 Paddle Steamers and many other boats of all descriptions attending. The ‘Industry’ took cruises along with the P.S. Ruby, who travelled from Wentworth to the event.
The ‘Industry’ steams on the first Sunday of every month (except February) taking two 90 minute cruises, complete with complimentary Scones, Jam and Cream. She is also available for charter work and regularly travels great distances to attend other Riverboat events.

Some Statistics.
Length: 112 ft. (34.14 metres)
Width: 19.3 ft. (5.8 metres.) 34.8ft (10.6 metres) over the Paddle Boxes
Draught: 3.9ft. (1.2 metres)
Hull Construction: Composite. – Iron Topsides with 3 inch thick Spotted Gum Planks (originally Kauri Planking)
Engines: 2 Cylinder Direct-Acting 30hp non-condensing Steam Engines – 13 inch Cylinder Heads, 2.6ft. Stroke. Built by A. Robert’s & Sons in Bendigo, Victoria in 1910.
Boiler: Locomotive Type – Wood-Fired Steam Boiler. Originally capable of 120psi (now regulated to 100psi) Built by Perry Engineering in Mile End, Adelaide, South Australia in 1933. – it’s the second boiler in the boat. The original was built by A. Robert’s & Sons and was a matching set with the Engines.
Paddle Wheels: 14ft. (4.26 metre) diameter, 14 Red Gum Paddle Floats. Fastest Speed: 32rpm Cruising Speed: 28rpm Top Speed: 14.5kmph (7.8 knots) Overall Weight: 97.5 Tons.
Her Claims to Fame: The Fastest Steam-Powered Paddle Steamer in South Australia. – She was the Last operational Paddle Steamer in the river trade (non-passenger or tourist) When she was retired in October 1969. – Fastest Paddle Boat at the Wentworth Junction Rally, 1992. – One of only 6 heritage Paddle Steamers to have never been sunk.

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