Sunday, 15 November 2015


Alfred Montague Sedgwick.


(Melbourne to Adelaide).

Had made 30 voyages to South Africa and back.

Appeared to be top heavy and cumbersome, heavy above water.

Rolled a good deal, but no jerk. Seemed to go right over as far as the roll would carry her, then seemed to be dead and did not come back.

Seemed to hesitate a second or two before she came back, a sort of dead still.

Descriptions are still following the pattern of a relatively tender Waratah. For the first time, the Waratah was described as 'cumbersome'. This, in my opinion, is the first reference to a heavily loaded vessel (see previous post comparing specifications with Geelong) and an under powered one. Importantly we are yet to read of a witness describing a 'jerk' as these accounts refer to the maiden voyage inbound. We shall return to this important issue. 

David Tweedie


Had made about 16 ocean voyages.

Personal friend of the Messrs. Lund.

Never in a better ship, never had a better voyage

Less rolling than I have seen in other ships

No jerk or hang in the roll.

The chief engineer was very pleased with her, and likewise the captain.

She seemed to go through the water like a duck.

Never pitched heavily at any time.

Quite incorrect to say she had a permanent list to one side or the other, or that she had a heavy list for some days.

My impression is that Mr. Tweedie had no intention of letting his friend, Mr. Lund, down. I presume the comparison with a duck suggests that the Waratah belonged on the sea, as a duck would on a pond. Very positive, but questionable commentary.

Thomas John Burrin.

Pantryman on "Waratah"

11 years at sea. 21 deep sea voyages.

Rolled in the same way as any other vessel would roll in a high sea; nothing unusual about her behaviour; carried herself well in the sea. Did not dive. At times listed, but would right herself and be on an even keel for a week or so. 

Mr. Burrin thought there was 'nothing unusual' about the Waratah's behaviour. Whether she was relatively tender or not, it did not bother the pantryman. Importantly, Mr. Burrin made reference to the Waratah not 'diving'. At this stage Waratah was not carrying 1300 tons of lead concentrates which improved GM but reduced buoyancy.

Wm. Craig Marshall.

Trimmer on "Waratah"

My belief was that the boat was top heavy, and on that account and because I did not like the way she rolled, and because of the list, I was anxious to get out of her.

In this case we end on a negative note. Mr. Marshall was a trimmer which implies that he had a greater insight into the stability of steamers. He did not like the relatively tender condition of the Waratah during her maiden voyage. The fact that he 'was anxious to get out of her', suggests that there were no discussions, filtering down to trimmer level, that the loading plan and stability curves would be addressed once the Waratah reached London. At the end of the day, it was a matter of personal opinion whether there was an urgency or not to sort out the GM of the flagship. Captain Ilbery, the commander, felt that it could be left until their return to London. He obviously had faith in his new ship.

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