Tasmanian S N Co Vessels

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Founded and registered at Hobart in 1852 at the same time as the
Launceston and Melbourne Steam Navigation Company was being formed in northern Tasmania. The TSN Co’s service began in 1853 with the delivery of the new 515 ton steamship TASMANIA from Britain, followed by the 645-ton CITY of HOBART in 1854. Between 1864 and 1869 three steamships were purchased directly from Scottish shipyards. A further three ships were acquired during the takeover of the Launceston and Melbourne Steam Navigation Company in 1865 following the loss of that Company’s uninsured steamer City of Launceston
1891 saw the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co taken over by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand

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CITY OF HOBART image courtesy State Library Tasmania
TASMANIA 515 gross tons, 285 net. Lbd: 164'5" x 25' x 12'7". Iron steamship built by Smith & Roger, Govan Glasgow for the Tasmanian S N Co, Hobart. Held a 2 cylinder compound engine producing 68 horsepower. First vessel owned by this concern. Designed for the Hobart - Melbourne service as a passenger vessel. Ran her first trip from Hobart to Sydney in 1854 when the company's 'Articles of Association' were changed allowing greater scope of transit outside of Hobart. Maintained that service until 1871 when sold to W Summerbell, Sydney. Used mostly as a collier from that time, she underwent a refitting in 1880 where her accomodation was removed, her engine compounded at Mort's Dock, Sydney to produce 80 horsepower and her new dimensions read: 390 gross tons, 256 net with Lbd: 171'4" x 24'6" x 12'6". November 1896 sold to Newcastle-Wallsend Coal Co. Broken up in Sydney, register closed 1904
CITY OF HOBART 616 gross tons, 439 net. Lbd: 184'2" x 24'7" x 18'6". Iron steamship built by T Wingate & Co, Whiteinch Glasgow, 1853 for Tasmanian S N Co. Originally 3 masted barque-rigged vessel of two funnels equiped with a 2 cylinder enginer producing 100 horsepower. Ran a passenger - cargo service between Victoria and Hobart, Tasmania. Steamed to Port Curtis Queensland from Melbourne with prospectors for the gold fields. Operated a mail service between Melbourne and New Zealand during the Otago goldrushes. Re-engined at Morts Dock, Sydney during 1865 and ran Melbourne to Sydney from that year on. Sold March 1875 to W Summerbell and converted into a collier. Whilst on a voyage from Melbourne to Sydney, her screw shaft broke and water penetrated her holds; abandoned, sank, about sixty nautical miles north east of Wilsons Promontory, 25th July 1877
TAMAR 453 gross tons, 308 net. Lbd: 185'5" x 25'1" x 12'. Iron steamship built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow, 1869 for the Tasmanian S N Co. Engine producing 90 horsepower. Designed specifically for the Launceston - Melbourne Bass Strait passenger service. Described as 'a splendid sea boat with excellent accommodation'. Sold July 1882 to A Campbell & Partners, Sydney. Sold December 1895 to W G Laidley & Others. Acquired for the coal trade by either or both concerns since 1882, and ran between Sydney and Newcastle, ending her days as a hulk in Sydney Harbour as at 1911. The hulk itself was up for sale as late as 1923
SOUTHERN CROSS 641 gross tons, 343 net. Lbd: 207' x 26'7" x 17'8'. Iron steamship built by J & G Thomson at Govan Scotland for R Cleburne of Hobart, Tasmania in 1863, as completed in November that year. A three-masted schooner rigged vessel equiped with engine producing 120 horsepower. Registered in 1864 as a passenger vessel, she serviced Tasmania to Melbourne and various intercolonial ports, predominantly on the Bass Strait run. Sold in June 1864 to William Rout, Hobart. November 1867 to Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co. Lengthened at Sydney in 1878, re-engined, and the main-mast removed to give her a more modern appearance. New dimensions read - 779 gross & 477 net tons. Lbd: 234' x 26'7" x 17'8". From West Devonport for Burnie, Stanley and Melbourne, was impaled amidships by an uncharted rock off Rocky Cape, north-west Tasmania, about half a mile offshore, 22nd February 1889. Crew and passengers saved

Between 1873 and 1890 the Tasmanian S N Co added twelve steamships to its fleet. Eight of these vessels, and a further four earlier craft, were purpose built for the Company by Scottish shipbuilders on the Clyde River Glasgow

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TASMAN I21 gross tons, 490 net. Lbd 208'7" x 27' x 19'2". Iron steamship, built at Port Glasgow, Scotland by Blackwood & Gordon. Compounded engine producing 115 horsepower. Registered Hobart 1873 in the name of the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co. Specifically designed for the passenger-cargo service from Hobart - Sydney. From Sydney for Hobart with twenty-seven officers and crew, twenty-nine passengers, and a valuable cargo, plus seventy-one cattle loaded at Eden, she struck rocks and foundered within fifteen minutes, bow first, in fifty fathoms of water between the Hippolytes and Cape Hauy, south east Tasmania, 30 November 1883. Since, has been declared a historical wrecksite

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Australia post
commemorative fdc

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CORINNA & MANGANA images courtesy State Library Victoria
PATEENA 1st image courtesy State Library Tasmania, 2nd image postcard in issue
CORINNA 1,279 gross tons, 812 net. Lbd: 235'6" x 32'5" x 21". Iron steamship built by D & W Henderson, Glasgow for this concern. Held a compounded engine producing 141 horsepower. Purpose built for the cargo service between Launceston and Melbourne, maintaining that run until 1891 when transferred to Union Steamship Co of New Zealand and placed upon their coastal services along the 'shaky isles'. Stripped of valuables/fittings and scuttled in Cook Strait 5nm SE Turakirae Heads 8th November 1930
PATEENA 1,212 gross tons, 550 net. Lbd: 240' x 31'7" x 22'2". Steel steamship built by A & J Inglis, Glasgow for this concern. Held a compounded engine producing 250 horsepower. Built for the passenger-cargo service between Launceston and Melbourne, generally considered one of the fastest vessels at that time, making 14 knots and well liked by the populace. 1891 taken over by Union SS Co of New Zealand, and sent to that country for their coastal services. Being a 'coal-eater' she spent much time dockside during slacker seasons and returned to the Bass Strait run after much pressure from the travelling public in 1909. Returned again to the New Zealand coast she again did the Bass Strait run in replacing the Loongana during her 1915 refit. Economics saw her laid up 1920 at Port Chalmers. Converted to hulk at Dunedin in 1924 in 1926 was hulked and sunk at the mole inside Otago Heads, New Zealand
MANGANA 752 gross tons, 28 net. Lbd: 208'3" x 27'1" x 19'3". Iron steamship built by D & W Henderson, Glasgow for this concern. Of 2 decks and powered by a compounded engine producing 350 horsepower. As a passenger vessel, she serviced the Hobart - Sydney run, also taking in the Melbourne - Hobart service on occassion. 1891 taken over by Union SS Co of New Zealand. 1892 sold to Jouve & Co., (Syndicat Calédonien) Noumea. 1897 E F A Knoblauch, Sydney. December 1900 purchased by Huddart Parker and used as a storage vessel/hulk. Properly hulked 1901 at Port Adelaide. Finally abandoned ashore North Arm, Port Adelaide South Australia 1931

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ESK, FLINDERS & DERWENT image courtesy State Library Victoria
DERWENT image courtesy State Library New South Wales
ESK 854 gross tons, 547 net. Lb: 191' x 27'1". Iron steamship, built by H Murray & Co., Port Glasgow 1877 as the Vampire for C.Henderson, Glasgow. Purchased and registered at Launceston August 1878 by this concern. Held a compounded engine producing 110 horsepower. Placed upon the Launceston - Melbourne passenger cargo service, occassionally taking in Formby (now known as Devonport) to Sydney. April 1886 stranded on the notorious Hebe Reef at the entrance to the Tamar River and the port of Launceston when bound for Sydney with passengers and a waiting cargo of potatoes at Formby. All attempts to bring the steamer off the reef failed and it broke up during a storm some two weeks later
NATONE 186 gross tons, 118 net. Lbd: 125'7" x 20'3" x 6'7". Double ended paddle steamer built at Morts Dock & Engineering Co Ltd, Balmain, Sydney for this concern. Held 2 cylinder steam engine of 45hp. Rigged as a 2 masted schooner and registered at Launceston. Serviced the Tamar River in a tender capacity to the Melbourne - Launceston steamers, meeting same at the mouth of the Tamar river. Could carry up to 800 passengers on excursion runs. Sold October 1885 to unknown interests at Sydney. February 1886 owned by the Southport Steam Ship Co Ltd, Brisbane. Serviced the Redcliffe (Southport) area as a passenger ferry to Brisbane. December 1890 sold to John D Campbell & Robert Philp. December 1890 owners were Robert & J D Philp. February 1900 sold to Michael Walsh, Melbourne. July 1900 renamed Queen, working out of Port Phillip Bay Victoria. August 1807 owned by Victorian Ferries Pty Ltd. 1909 owned by Messrs Baillieu. 1910 owned by G Ritchie, Goolwa South Australia. February 1911 purchased by Howard Smith & Co, Melbourne and converted into a lighter/hulk for service in Townsville. 1928 laid up, sold 1930 as a breakwater at Dunk Island. Register finally closed November 1930
DERWENT 478 gross tons, 351 net. Lbd: 196' x 25'3" x 13'3". Iron steamship built by A & J Inglis at Pointhouse, Glasgow as a 3 masted barquentine, equiped with a 2 cylinder engine producing 120 horsepower. First recorded owner J Alexander, London. During 1864 owned by J Wright, registered at Hobart Town, Tasmania. Hulked in Queensland 1915. December 1864 owned by W Rout & Partners. October 1867 owned by Tasmanian S N Co, who continued her on the Bass Strait run. March 1879 owned by Howard Smith & Partners as Melbourne Steamship Co. Melbourne. Placed upon the Northern Queensland run ex Sydney. December 1883 of W H Smith & Sons Ltd. Employed on the western coastal districts of Victoria. 1891 re-engined, compounded producing 96 hp. July 1901 of Howard Smith Ltd. 1909 gross tonnage now measured at 459. 1913 of Australian Steamships Pty Ltd. October 1815 of Howard Smith Ltd. 1915-16 converted into a hulk and employed in North Queensland. 1925 scuttled off Townsville, Queensland
FLINDERS 948 gross tons, 499 net. Lbd: 227'1" x 28'3" x 20'1". Iron steamship built by A & J Inglis, Glasgow for Tasmanian S N Co., Hobart. Held a compounded engine producing 200 horsepower. As a passenger vessel, was designed for the various routes undertaken by the company. May 1891 taken over by Union SS Co of New Zealand, February 1894 sold to McIlwraith, McEacharn Ltd., Melbourne after being chartered from 1893, being placed upon the Western Australian 'Goldfields' run. Visited Albany mostly with passengers only, and returning at times via the western coastal ports of Victoria, which she ultimately traded out of once the goldrush traffic phased itself out. November 1896 owned by J McIlwraith Snr. July 1907 purchased by Adelaide Steamship Co and placed upon their South Australian coastal trades. 1911 caught fire resulting in irrepairable damage and hulked. Sold 1927 and totally stripped, finally abandoned on the North Arm, Port Adelaide

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FLORA image Gregory art
TALUNE images postcards of the era
1,273 gross tons, 838 net. Lbd: 250'8" x 32'2" x 16'6". Iron steamship built by
Earle's Co Ltd, Hull for Bailey & Leetham, Hull England. Compounded engine producing 180 horsepower. Originally constructed to carry livestock, but was purchased in 1883 by Tasmanian S N Co in urgent need to replace the wrecked 'Tasman" and given a refit to accomodate passengers for the Hobart - Sydney service. 1891 taken over by Union SS Co of New Zealand, and placed upon the coastal services of New Zealand. 1925 converted to an oil barge. December 1944 scuttled
TALUNE 1,991 gross tons, 1,370 net. Lbd: 280' x 38'2" x 21'. Steel steamship built by Ramage & Ferguson, Leith Scotland for this concern. Designed as a passenger vessel, she could accomodate 121 in first class and 51 in second class. Serviced their Hobart - Melbourne service. 1891 transferred to Union Steamship Co of New Zealand, retaining that regular service until 1890 when she was transferred to the various routes of her owners frequencies. October 1918 gained notorious fame as Spanish Flu carrier that wiped out 25% of Samoa's population. 1921 laid up, 1925 hulked, 1926 scuttled
MORETON 581 gross tons. Pasenger-cargo vessel built by W Walker at Deptford for Howard Smith, Melbourne. 1886 sold to Tasmanian S N Co., Hobart (in replacing the loss of the 'Esk'). 1891 taken over with Company by Union SS Co. of New Zealand. 1896 sold to S Iwata of Japan and renamed Iwai Maru. Wrecked at Kinkosan 12th June 1897
HAVILAH 301 gross tons, 166 net. Lbd: 151' x 22' x 13'4". Iron steamship, 2 cylinder making 55 horsepower and schooner rigged of 3 masts. Built by C Mitchell & Co., Low Walker Tyne for Charles & J F Bowman of South Australia, and Hugh McMeckan - Master Mariner in partnership. Serviced the Melbourne and Adelaide in 1854 as a passenger vessel under agency of this concern, their first managed vessel. Owners since: May 1858 Samuel White, reg., Port Adelaide. June 1861 G Fisher & Partners who traded as Launceston & Melbourne S N Co of Launceston, Tasmania. July 1866 W A Guesdon & Partners reg., Hobart. October 1867 Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co. May 1868 Mort & McArthur reg., Sydney. November 1869 ASN Co. November 1873 French owners at Noumea. July 1878 J C Lloyd reg Sydney and November 1884 Mount Kembla Coal & Oil Co. With her return to Australian registry from Noumea, she was converted into a collier by either J C Lloyd or ensuing purchaser and was converted into a hulk prior to 1900, effectively ending her status as a ship per se. Records state she was broken up in 1911. Havilah means "Land of Gold"

203 gross tons, 130 net. Lbd: 120' X 20' X 9'. Iron passenger steamship built by Black & Noble, Montrose for the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co., Hobart. December 1879 G W & B B Nicoll, December 1880 G W Nicoll. 1881 April, James Burns and 1882 transferred to Queensland Steam Shipping Co Ltd., registered London. April 1887 Australasian United Steam Navigation Co., Sydney. Since, had also been chartered by Burns Philp & Co working New Guinea. Whilst on the mail run to New Caledonia, she was wrecked February 11th, 1891 Aneityum, New Hebrides

TRUGANINI (179873p) image courtesy State Library Queensland

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at Devonport departing Sydney for Hobart departing Devonport
OONAH images postcards in issue
OONAH 1,694 gross tons, 945 net. Lbd: 290'3" x 35'8' x 21'. Steel steamship built by A & J Inglis, Pointhouse Glasgow for Tasmanian S N Co, Hobart. Of triple expansion engine producing 250 horsepower (298 nhp), she was, at the time, the fastest vessel in the fleet and, became a favorite of the passengers who sailed her upon the Sydney - Hobart run. 1891 taken over by the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand. Transferred to the Hobart - Melbourne service and in 1894 given a refit that increased tonnage to 1,757 gross. Later worked the Melbourne - North-west coast of Tasmania, 1922 transferred to Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd. Survived a collision on the Yarra River Melbourne with the Howard Smith liner 'Cooma', both being extensively damaged. Sold 1935 to Japanese shipbreakers (Miyachi KKK, Kobe) and scrapped at Osaka 1936

During its lifetime the Company operated a total of twenty steamships with an average of one new vessel being added to the fleet every 20 months during the 1870s and 1880s. The cost of the shipbuilding program and a drop in tariffs caused by increasing competition to the major ports led to financial difficulties for the Company and in 1891 the business was sold to the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand


From the 1890's the Union Steamship Co
of New zealand were operating the 'Rotomahana' from 1894 and the 'Oonah'
December 1921 saw a merger of Huddart-Parker Ltd., Melbourne and the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand with selective vessels creating the entity known as Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd
While both Companies retained their own identities, this jointly owned subsidiary saw a new funnel colour scheme combining the colours of both shipping concerns.
Maintained the Bass Strait service until 1970 when Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd ceased as shipowning entity

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OONAH 1,694 gross tons, 945 net. Lbd: 290'3" x 35'8' x 21'. Steel steamship built by A & J Inglis, Glasgow for Tasmanian S N Co., Hobart. Of triple expansion engine producing 250 horsepower, she was, at the time, the fastest vessel in the fleet and, became a favorite of the passengers who sailed her upon the Sydney - Hobart run. 1891 taken over by the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand. Transferred to the Hobart - Melbourne service and in 1894 given a refit that increased tonnage to 1,757 gross. Later worked the Melbourne - North-west coast of Tasmania, 1922 transferred to Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd. Survived a collision on the Yarra River Melbourne with the Howard Smith liner 'Cooma', both being extensively damaged. Sold 1935 to Japanese shipbreakers and scrapped

right berth
Postcard personal collection
COOGEE Steaming up the Yarra River Melbourne with the OONAH berthed righthand side. Ill fated Yongala berthed on the left

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on the Tamar River circa 1937 world war 1 seaplane carrier
b & w images personal collection
NAIRANA 3042 gross tons, 1228 net. Lb: (as seaplane carrier 330 feet length and 45 ft 6 ins beam) and LB: as refitted to original passenger vessel plans - 315'*' x 45'6" x 23'6" (107.3 x 13.9 metres) Four 4 steam turbines geared to twin screws, as built by William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton. Six water tube boilers, coal fired. Top rated speed of 20 knots. Cruiser stern. Launched: Monday, 21 June 1915 as a passenger Vessel for Huddart Parker Ltd., Melbourne for their intended Bass Strait services. 1916 commissioned by War Cabinet and converted as a seaplane carrier seaplanes accommodated aft and deck landing planes forward. Completed for the Royal Navy 27 February 1917. Served admirably including being part of Russian campaign at Archangel. 1920 returned in ownership to Huddart Parker, Melbourne, 1921 refitted to passenger ship status and 1922 transferred to Tasmanian Steamers, Melbourne. She operated on the Bass Strait service for the next twenty-seven years, mostly with a companion ship, but on her own for four years during the Second World War. Laid up in Melbourne in 1948, and on February 18th 1951 broke moorings during a heavy gale and beached. Found impossible to refloat so was cut up where she lay by new owners William Mussel Pty Ltd


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Tamar River
Above images personal collection

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four images steaming out from Queens Wharf, then part of the Yarra River turning basin. All four images produced by various postcard publishers during the era
Above images personal collection
LOONGANA 2,448 gross tons, 1072 net. Lbd: 300'3" x 43'1" x 23'3" (91.5 x 13.1 metres). Passenger/cargo steamship built by William Denny & Bros, Dumbarton for Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, and registered Melbourne. Triple screw, direct acting steam turbines, one to each shaft as constructed by Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Ltd, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Coal fired boilers, forced draught. The first turbine steamship registered in the Southern Hemisphere. Rated speed of 19-20 knots. Intended for and placed upon the Bass Strait services between Melbourne (Queens Wharf on the Yarra) and Tasmanian ports. 1922 transferred from Union Steamship Co to Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd, Melbourne. Continued a long and popular career on the Bass Strait service until sold 1936 for scrapping purposes. Departed Melbourne under tow for Japanese breakers 3rd November 1936 and scrapping began at Osaka December 1936
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at Burnie
single funnel
Above images personal collection
TAROONA 4286 gross tons, 1849 net. Lbd: 338'2" x 50'1" x 23'8" (103.1 x 15.3 metres). Passenger steamship built by Alexander Stephen & Sons Glasgow, Yard No 543 for Tasmanian Steamers, Melbourne. 6 steam turbines single reduction geared to 2 screw shafts 6000shp. 3 Water Tube Boilers fitted to burn oil. Engines by shipbuilder. Rated 16 knots, top speed 18 knots. Cruiser stern. Launched: Thursday, 22 November 1934. Completed January 1935. Accomodation for 483 passengers, later modifications allowed for 500. She commenced her trans-Bass Strait service early in 1935, and with a 1936 fire on board being her only marring incident, remained in this role until requisitioned in January 1942 for service under the New Zealand Naval Board. A brief resumption of Bass Strait service in February/March was followed by Australian Government requisitioning and conversion to a troopship, and fitted to carry 678 personnel. Surviving the war, during which she fortunately avoided damage by the enemy while carrying tens of thousands of troops, she resumed her Bass Strait run in 1946. 1947 saw alterations with one funnel removed, accomodation increased and new tonnages of 4324 gross, 1772 net. Resumed the Bass Strait service, encountered competition with Air travel and December 1950 saw the Australian Government subsidise this service. Continued until her sale in 1959 to the Typaldos Bros, Greece who renamed her Hellas and placed upon the Mediterranean trade. Broken up at Aliaga beginning 23rd May 1989

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Above images personal collection
TAROONA Menu items include rump steak for breakfast


1,396 gross tons, 649 net, 1397 dwt. Lbd: 234'1"x 39'6"x 14'9". (71.3 x 12 metres) Steel single screw refrigerated cargo vessel built by Ardrossan Dockyard, Yard No 420 by Ardrossan Shipbuilding & Engineering for Tasmanian Steamers. Engines by British Polar Engines Ltd Glasgow. Launched: Wednesday, 22 June 1955. Propulsion: oil 2SA 7cy 1120bhp Type M47M. Ports serviced - unknown. 1970 Tasmanian Steamers Pty Ltd ceased as shipowners and the Tatana was sold to Express Navigation Pte Ltd of Singapore with Unique Shipping & Trading Co Pty Ltd as managers and renamed renamed . 1972 aquired by Oceania Inc of Liberia Monrovia with Asafridel Ltd of Hong Kong as managers and renamed Pisang Tembaga. 1974 Sold once again to P.T. Astri Lines of Belawan, Jakarta with no name change but registered in Indonesia. 1984 As Indonesian Government Policy was that vessels over 25 years of age must be decomissioned she arrived at Belawan, being broken up 1986. (source: Clydebuilt &


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