|The original PS DECOY was built by B Henderson & Co in Renfrew Scotland in 1878. She was constructed in such a way that she could be taken apart again and shipped out in crates, all clearly marked ready for reassembly on the Yarra River. When built, the DECOY was 25 metres in length but in 1881 she was lengthened by a further 23 feet and her hull sheathed externally with hardwood to resist the abrasiveness of the silt laden water.
After being reassembled in Melbourne, the DECOY was sailed from Port Phillip Bay to the Murray River mouth where she arrived in 1879. She then began her career as a tow boat for barges on that river system's trades. Between 1902 and 1905 she was employed about the South Australian gulf ports towing wheat barges.
In 1905 the DECOY was purchased by a Western Australian syndicate and was steamed under her own power from the Murray River to Fremantle via ports along the Great Australian Bight. She carried some 90 miners bound for the West Australian goldfields. This was a long and extremely dangerous voyage for a vessel of her construction. Upon her arrival in Fremantle her single deck appearance was altered with the addition of a second deck to carry passengers for the excursion river trade.
Eventually in 1909 she was towed back to the Murray River where she continued to operate until 1932. The machinery was sold off and the empty hull was converted into a houseboat. She is still on the Murray River near Mannum in South Australia but certain items from the original including the ship's bell have been incorporated in the DECOY now operating on the Swan River.
||85' - 25.90m|
||SOUTH PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA|
||AUSTRALIAN SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRIES|
||RANSOME SIMS & JEFFERIES TWIN CYLINDER STEAM ENGINE #17150 BUILT AT SCOTLAND IN 1905.
DECOY has a new maxitherm oil burner & has been fitted with 8 solar collectors to pre-heat the boiler water, reducing running costs, thus the vessel is environmentally friendly as it doesnt emit any pollution.
||The Engine, formerly a portable type, which now powers the DECOY, was built by Ramsomes, Sims and Jefferies in Ipswich England as Number 17150 in March 1905. It was employed in the sawmilling industry and used for "spot milling". The engine was mounted on the boiler and the whole unit was on wheels. It was not able to power itself along but was dragged by a team of bullocks. It would be set up near a stream so there was a plentiful supply of water for the boiler. The flywheel was connected by a belt to a bench saw. The bark and off cuts were set aside to dry and were used as fuel.
When built, the engine travelled only in one direction and so during the refurbishment process a reversing mechanism was manufactured. This was modelled on the original Stephenson's Link Motion as used in Stephenson's Rocket.
Now the engine is geared down approximately 4:1 to gain extra torque and the final paddle drive ideally is between 17 RPM and 24 RPM. Beyond this speed, the paddles cavitate and in fact increased revolutions would reduce the speed of the vessel.
||Decoy is the only sea going designed paddle steamer in Australia. Her upper deck construction consists of solid jarrah. The vessel is fitted extensively with solid brass nautical memorabilia & has a unique 58 pipe brass Calliope organ, which operates automatically or manually. The Paddle Steamer Decoy is a "Perth Icon" and has been operating for 25 years on the Swan River and has her own exclusive mooring. The vessel can be be sold fully operational as a going concern. She is a registered Australian ship - No. 852383.
Fully crewed and easily operated under management PS 'DECOY' is in DNV survey 1A R5 class D1, currently operating on a 1E 230 pax.