Steam Tugboat "Racer" was one of a number of tugboats used by the Melbourne Harbour Trust to tow and push larger vessels in and out of Port Melbourne and the Docks.
According to the "Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate" in 8th January 1890, we read...
TUG RACER. The new oceanic steamtug Racer, which was purchased at home recently by the Melbourne Coal, Shipping, and Engineering Company, Limited (the owners of the S.S. Beeswing), for their towing business at Melbourne, has made a start for Hobson's Bay. She left London on Thursday last in charge of Captain Ismay, late of Messrs. Davitt and Moores Ships, and a well-known trader to Australia. The Racer is a steelscrew boat, with sluice keel and other improvements, and she is engined on the triple-expansion principle. The nominal horse-power of the engines is 110. The Racer is 185 tons, and was built and engined in Sunderland. The Racer has been rigged as a three masted schooner, and will come out here under canvas.
According to the "Argus" in 1936...the Racer, which served in the Port of Melbourne as a tugboat for nearly half a century, is being recommissioned as a schooner for the Tasmanian timber trade. The transition from steam to sail is not a new experience for her. She was built as a steam tug in Sunderland (England) in 1886, but was sunk in Queenstown (Ireland) and remained submerged for six months. She was raised and converted to a three-masted schooner. When she reached Melbourne she was again altered to steam. Next week the Racer will be towed to Geelong, and she will probably begin in the Bass Strait trade next month.
This photograph is from the early 20th century, actual date unknown, somewhere between 1890 and 1936 (when Racer was recommissioned as a schooner).
This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria.
Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.
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