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REGISTRATION OF VESSELS.
of 55,170 tons net and 18,981 nominal horse-power. There were 50 sailing vessels registered at Newcastle, their net tonnage being 6,954; and 53 steamers of 1,694 nominal horse-power, and 2,650 net tons. The total tonnage registered in the colony was 112,042, of which 57,820 was steam tonnage, with 20,675 nominal horse-power. These figures are exclusive of lighters, of which there were 50, of a total tonnage of 3,066, registered at Sydney; and 45, with an aggregate tonnage of 4,870, at Newcastle. A fee of 10s. is charged for a lighter's license, which permits the boat to be employed for an indefinite period.
The total tonnage registered in New South Wales for the years shown was :—
During the year 1895 six vessels, aggregating 214 tons, were sold to foreigners, and in consequence were removed from the registers of this colony. Sales were also made to British subjects of 144 vessels, with a total tonnage of 15,956, which remained on the registers at Sydney and Newcastle.
The years 1883 and 1884 were marked by great activity in the construction both of sailing and steam vessels, 50 sailing and 52 steam vessels having been built in 1883, whilst 39 sailing vessels and 64 steamers were built in the subsequent year. Trade then became less active, and the industry showed a tendency to die out. In 1888 it had fallen lower than in any of the preceding years, and there has been little improvement since, the tonnage of sailing vessels built during 1895 being only 481, and of steamers 259, in all 740. The number of vessels built in each of the years shown was :—
The building of steam vessels during the last ten years was of more importance than that of sailing ships, the tonnage constructed during the period being 7,211 of steam and 5,742 of sailing; but since 1892 the tonnage of the sailing vessels turned out of the yards of New South Wales has exceeded that of the steamers. Schooners and ketches are the principal classes of sailing vessels built in the colony, the general tonnage of each class averaging considerably under 100 tons burden. The growing tendency to supplant sailing vessels by steamers, and the substitution of iron for wood for the frames and hulls of vessels, have given a check to the wooden ship-building industry, which at one time promised to grow to important dimensions. Every kind of timber suitable for the construction of ships is found on the rivers of the coast districts of New South Wales, but as the demand for this description of vessel has not increased, little advantage can be taken of the resources of the colony in this respect.
No reliable data have so far been procurable as to the number and tonnage of vessels built abroad for the New South Wales local trade, but the number must be considerable, and such vessels form an import of large value altogether lost sight of in the Customs returns. Some idea, however, of the large number imported may be gathered from the registration of the tonnage of other than New South Wales built vessels, which for the past ten years has averaged 4,674 tons sailing and 3,887 tons steam per annum.
Docks And Wharfs.
The accommodation provided both by the Government and by private enterprise for the fitting and repairing of ships is equal to the requirements of the trade of the colony. At Sydney there are three graving docks, five floating docks, and three patent slips. At Newcastle there are two patent slips ; besides which there are other docking and building yards in different parts of the colony for the convenience of coasters and small craft. The principal docks and slips in Sydney, as well as their leading dimensions and the size of vessel they will carry, are shown in the following table :—
All the necessary tools and appliances for the repairing of ships are found in the dockyards. The Sutherland Graving Dock at Cockatoo Island, the property of the Government, is one of the largest single docks in the world, and is capable of receiving vessels drawing 32 feet of water. During the year 1895, 156 vessels, of which 19 were British ships of war, were docked at Cockatoo Island, 86 being repaired in the Fitzroy Dock, and 70 in the Sutherland Dock, the gross tonnage of the vessels being 132,495. The dock receipts for the twelve months amounted to £3,980, and the expenditure to £2,077, exclusive of interest on cost of construction.
For natural facilities for shipping Sydney stands unrivalled. The water deepens abruptly from the shores, so that the largest vessels may be berthed alongside the wharfs and quays. The Government hold the shores of Sydney Cove, along the margin of which magnificent echelon wharfs have been constructed, which are capable of berthing vessels of 7,000 tons register. The depth of water at low tide ranges between 28 and 30 feet, and the wharfs have an available frontage of 5,620 feet. A large part of the wharfage at Pyrmont and Darling Harbour, and Cowper Wharf at Woolloomooloo Bay, are also in the hands of the State, and are fitted with steam cranes and other appliances for the speedy discharge of the largest ships constructed. The appliances for handling cargo on the Pyrmont wharfs, which are 3,500 feet in length, consist of four steam cranes of ten tons each, and on all the jetties the railway line is laid down to the water's edge. The Government wharfs at Darling Harbour are 4,000 feet in length, and are fitted with one steam crane of ten tons. Cowper Wharf, at Woolloomooloo Bay, is 3,000 feet in length, and also contains excellent accommodation for large vessels. At Black wattle Bay there is a Government wharf 1,400 feet in length. The wharfage frontage in Port Jackson belonging to the Government is about 17,520 feet. Powerful shipping appliances and roomy stores, as well as electric lighting, are to be found on all the important wharfs. The total frontage of the public and private wharfs amounts to about 7 miles.
Newcastle is also a well-equipped port, where vessels of 4,000 tons can be safely berthed; and every modern steam and hydraulic appliance for loading coal is found on its wharfs. The Government owns nearly all the wharfage, which extends over a length of about 11,580 feet. The total length of the Bullock Island wharf is 7,760 feet, in addition to which there are four ballast jetties 50 feet long and 200 feet apart. 5,550 feet of the wharf is used for the shipment of coal. There are 12 hydraulic cranes of from 9 to 25 tons, each capable of shipping 1,000 tons of coal in twenty-four hours; and 3 steam cranes of 15 tons. It is proposed to spend £150,000 immediately in further increasing the shipping facilities at Bullock Island. On the town side of the harbour there are 3,607 feet of Government wharfs, extending in a continuous line, 2,130 feet being set apart for cargo berths for deep-draught vessels, 977 feet for timber and general cargo for light-draught vessels, and 500 feet for passenger steamers. The wharf at Stockton is 600 feet long, all of which is used for the shipment of coal, with one 15-ton steam crane and one shoot. In addition to the appliances mentioned, there are seven private shoots for the loading of coal. By the port regulations, steamers are required to receive-coal at the steam cranes on Bullock Island at the rate of 500 tons per day, and at the rate of 600 tons at the hydraulic cranes. Sailing vessels are expected to receive at least 400 tons per day from the steam cranes, and 600 tons per day from the hydraulic cranes. It is estimated that 28,800 tons of coal per day can be shipped at Newcastle when all the appliances belonging to the Government and private companies are brought into use. There are also two slips owned by private individuals, capable of taking up vessels of 300 and 1,200 tons respectively. Staiths, cranes, and other coalshipping appliances have been erected at Wollongong, Bulli, Coal Cliff, and other ports. Private as well as Government wharfs are found at HE VENUE FROM PUBLIC WHARFS.
all the chief centres of population along the rivers of the colony, and all ports with a trade of any importance have their jetties and shipping facilities.
The revenue derived from public wharfs at Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong in 1895 was £62,019, of which sum Sydney contributed £51,394, made up of £6,972 for tonnage dues, and £44,422 for wharfage dues, rent, etc.; Newcastle, £8,692 for tonnage dues, no wharfage rates being collected at this port; and Wollongong, £2,533, viz., £262 for tonnage dues, and £2,271 for wharfage dues, rent, etc. The amount shown as collected for wharfage dues at Sydney includes some small items received at CofFs Harbour, Woolgoolga, and Byron Bay.
The coast of New South Wales is well provided with lighthouses, the number at the end of 1895 being 23, besides which there were 17 leading lights and light-ships for the safety of harbour navigation. The cost of erecting the lighthouses was £199,467, in addition to which a sum of £32,106 was spent on lanterns, making a total expenditure of £231,573 on construction and equipment. The South Solitary Island lighthouse cost the largest sum to construct, namely, £31,259, exclusive of the amount paid for the lanterns. The Macquarie revolving light, on the South Head of Port Jackson, is one of the most powerful lights in the world, and is visible 25 miles at sea.
The coast of New South Wales is free from any source of danger to vessels navigating it, and where reasonable precautions were taken wrecks have been very rare. There are only two lifeboat stations on the coast, one at the Sydney Heads, and the other at Newcastle; but the whaleboats at the various pilot stations have been fitted with cork linings, and otherwise made useful for the work of rescue, in which many of them have been of excellent service. The steam tugs subsidised by the Marine Board for the towing of ships in and out of port, are also available for the purpose of rendering assistance to vessels in distress; and life-saving appliances are kept at certain places along the coast. The majority of losses have been amongst vessels under 100 tons burden. During the year 1895 there were 10 wrecks within the jurisdiction of New South Wales, the total tonnage of the vessels being 3,913, and their value, including cargoes, exclusive of the barque "Durisdeer," for which particulars are not known, £76,595. Sixty-three lives were lost out of a total of 131. The largest vessel which met with disaster was the steamer "Catterthun," 2,179 tons, which struck the Dangers, in the vicinity of Seal Rocks, and foundered. Fifty-five lives were lost out of a total of 81 on board. The " Catterthun " carried a general cargo, included in which were a number of boxes of sovereigns. The bulk of