Mr Vaughn Evans presents an in-depth study of the vessels built in the colony between 1788 and 1811, and he has unearthed some unusual facts. During the late-18th century and the first half of the 19th century, many larger vessels over 100 tons arrived regularly in the Australian colonies from overseas, with some of them purchased by colonial merchants, but very few smaller vessels arrived. For most British merchants, the Australian colonies were simply too remote to dispatch vessels of under 100 tons. As a result, there was a growing need for smaller vessels to meet domestic needs for transport and trade between the newly established colonies. Furthermore, smaller vessels were required to meet the needs of the Australian-based maritime industries, such as sealing and whaling. Ship-building quickly became the first important, income-generating industry in the colonies. Nevertheless, the importance of this industry in the early colonies has not always been well recognised or appreciated, even by recent generations of mainstream historians.
Recorded 4th June 1976
Duration 51 minutes.
Note that photos and diagrams referred to in this address are not included in this audio-only podcast