Binngarra
Binngarra

Type :
Steel screw steamer
Launched  :
1905
Builder :
Mort's Dock
Woolwich, NSW
Gross weight :
442 tons
Dimensions :
58.00 x 9.00 x 3.25 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
1332
Speed :
13 knots

Binngarra was the first ferry of the so-called 'B' class of ferries built by Mort's Dock between 1905 & 1922. Her yard number was 31.

Binngarra (later known as Bingarra, although PJ&MSS Co always had her under the original spelling) was the first ferry to be developed from Walter Reeks' design of the double-ended Kuring-gai. Unlike Kuring-gai, her bridges were placed at opposite ends of the ship (bridges on the Kuring-gai were fore & aft of the funnel), thus making her the first traditional Manly ferry.

In 25 years of service, she carried more than 30 million passengers in 98,279 trips to & from Manly.

Sold in 1933, her engines were removed & she was hulked & taken to Port Stephens for use as a timber store ship.  In World War II, the US Navy aquired her & towed her to New Guinea for use as a store ship, ultimately she was returned to Sydney where she was eventually scuttled of the Heads.

Binngarra suffered from relatively few accidents during her career - in 1908, she managed to overshoot her berth at Circular Quay & plowed into the footpath, she'd already done this previously on the 1st of November, 1905. In the first incident, she managed to gouge a large hole in the roadway & was eventually towed out by the big paddlewheeler, Brighton. Oddly enough, a few days later, Kuring-gai managed to wedge herself in the same hole, Brighton again came to the rescue.

On the 31st of January, 1927, Binngarra collided with the coastal passenger steamer Lady Isobel off  Bradleys Head, damage was minimal & there were no injuries. Although the master of the Binngarra was ultimately at fault because the ferry was travelling at an excessive speed, he was not punished as he had an exemplary record.

One year later on the 29th of February, Binngarra suffered steering problems during peak hour at Circular Quay. Although the area was very busy, fortunately she only managed to scrape one other ferry (the Kurraba) & no damage was caused to either vessel.

She was taken out of service in 1930 and scuttled of the Heads on 11th December 1946.


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