The P.S. “Captain Sturt” was used in the construction of locks on the Murray River of South Australia from 1917 until 1935.
The hull of the vessel was built by 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 Australia under the supervision of Captain Washington Meredith.
It was named in honour of Captain Charles Sturt who first navigated the Murray in 1829.
The old river men looked askance at the vessel’s steel hull which proved inappropriate for the Murray due to pitting and corrosion. The Steamer was then towed to Blanchetown where the vessel’s upper works were locally constructed of Oregon and Red Pine.
The P.S. “Captain Sturt” with its stern wheel was unusual for an Australian River Boat, as most had side wheels.
With its powerful 200 hp engine, it could push between 3 and 6 heavily-laden barges of crushed rock upstream to construct the locks and did so for almost 20 years.
She was refitted as a houseboat in 1946 and moored at Goolwa, but by 1997 she had fallen into such a state of disrepair that her upper decks were removed and her hull filled with cement to become the centre of Goolwa’s “Captain Sturt Marina” where her paddle wheel is still visible.
The model has an average level of detail, and therefore we can recommend it to both experienced and novice modellers
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