MV Baragoola was the last
of of six similar sister ships built by Mort's Dock
between 1905 & 1922. She was the last Manly ferry
built by Mort's and also the last Manly ferry ever built
in Australia. Baragoola's name means "Flood Tide"
in a local Aboriginal dialect.
With the launch of the
Baragoola, the Manly company was capable of carrying
10,250 passengers per trip - this was sorely needed as
Manly was undergoing a tourist boom and many people were
settling in the area.
Baragoola was an
excellent ocean-going vessel and the most
popular Manly ferry. This was evidenced by the massive
turnout for her farewell trip in 1983 when she was so
loaded that passengers where on the top wheelhouse deck
(normally not allowed.) Apart from Barrenjoey/North
Head and Bellubera, no other Manly ferry had a longer
career on the harbor.
During the early 1930's
Baragoola was used in an experiment involving the use of
coal in the boilers. In common with similar
experiments involving steam locomotives, the venture did
not prove to be a success and was abandoned. One
consequence had been the covering of the ship with coal
dust. For a period during World War II, the vessel
reverted to burning coal owing to difficulties in
obtaining supplies of tar.
Baragoola holds the
dubious "record" of hitting the strangest object in the
harbor when she hit a whale on 28/08/1934. The
ferry sliced into the whale & almost came to a halt due
to the impact, no damage to the Baragoola, but the whale
was hit near the head. The whale swam off towards
Flagstaff Point, trailing a wake of blood in its path.
After being spotted following an erratic path, observers
lost sight of the whale until three days later, when the
carcass surfaced near Old Mans Hat. It was towed
out to sea, but by evening had drifted to within a
kilometer of Bondi Beach. The whale was then towed out
to around five kilometers off the coast, but by next
morning, it was drifting back towards the heads.
The carcass was again towed well out to sea, however,
two days later it was back again on the rocks at South
Head. Again, it was towed out to sea, this time nearly
18 kilometers. A report at the time had the Harbor
Master saying "We'll get rid of it this time if we have
to take it to New Zealand." But next day, it was
back, this time stranding at the entrance to Botany Bay.
On the 5th of September, the whale was towed around 25km
out to sea and finally, after 9 days, was never seen
Baragoola provides rare
evidence of the large ferry system which stimulated the
growth of suburban Sydney, the development of its
recreational patterns and the formation of its popular
urban culture. It is a surviving example of a
characteristic twentieth century Manly steamer
demonstrating evolution of technology for fast
double-ended navigation in deep-sea conditions.
The machinery technology is unique in the Australian
shipping industry. It is an extremely rare
surviving example of ship construction by Mort's Dock &
Engineering Co. Ltd.
This model of the Baragoola features:
hull construction (very important), weighing less than
(A solid hull of this model would be over 30 lbs
which feels like a heavy toy rather than an art
- Hollow superstructure is comprised of many
individual thin pieces of wood glued together, not
several solid pieces of wood stacking on top one another
- Windows are cutouts (not black decals), thanks to
the hollow structures
computer-printed paper deck
- >95% of parts are wood and metal
36" long x 12" tall x
6" wide. All wood and metal.
Commissioned by an Australian private collector
who had commissioned two other ships earlier, the
Grand Princess cruise ship and the
Tell a friend:
very much to you and your crew I am more than pleased
with my baragoola the grand old lady sits on my shelf in
all her glory this lovely ship I worked on her when I
was fithteen for some years thank you to all concerned.
I am still interested in the Canberra... I am
interested in another ship Empress of Australia she was
ferry between Sydney and Tasmana do not make the mistake
with the Princess of Australia the empress I will have
it built after the Canberra is built.
Regards Laurence S. Bigger. Stronger.
"Hello Frank I am really happy with my Barragoola you
and your crew have done a better than expected on this
ferry this Barragoola means a lot to me as said before I
worked on it as a 15 year old .
I am still interested in the Canberra I am saving for
the deposit $. I am all so intersted in a ANL
Ferry which worked from Tasmania & Sydney the the
Empress of Australia don't be mistaken with the Princess
Of Australia this is down the road a bit the Canberra
is next. Thank you Frank for your good work.