Saturday, 31 December 2016


Mr. Hoehling tackled the diverse array of quotes by those who had experienced Waratah's vagaries, with a degree of amusement, intelligently introducing much-needed perspective. Yes, Waratah was relatively top heavy during initial voyages, but taking into consideration the almost equal split between favourable and unfavourable opinions, there was no smoking gun to predict an inevitably catastrophic outcome.   

Gerald Steel (passenger):

“did not roll comfortably but would get down on either side and hang there.”

W Church (passenger):

“stood very high out of the water…usually listed on one side even in good weather. She shivered or shook at the end of a roll…most of the ladies were much affected by the rolling.”

C S Sanders (passenger):

“Indeed she seemed to be everything that a first-class sea-going liner should be. In a storm off Fremantle, although it was one to try a big steamer like the Waratah, I did not even have my elbows brought in contact with the sides of the bunk. She was not a bad roller.”

Alexander Reader (able seaman):

“noticed nothing out of the normal” “behaved wonderfully,” “no complaints.”

H M Bennett (third officer):       (promoted to Narrung)

“behavior was nothing extraordinary. She frequently had a list with a strong wind, and on account of her bunkers…four or five degrees at most.” "slow roll"

An apt and succinct summary. Acknowledgment of the wind factor and uneven working down of coal bunkers. Again, list not more than 4 or 5 degrees. The following period expert added a further contributory factor as follows: 

Captain Inglis, Melbourne:

“the large awning on the shelter deck, which gave too much space to the wind…but still I wouldn’t say she had an excessive top-hamper.”

"He did nor like the large awning or shelter deck,
because it presented too much space to the
wind if the ship heeled over with the
wind broadside on. If she were rolling it
would help her over, and when over tend
to prevent her righting herself quickly."

Awning not deployed in this photo.

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