Fairlight I


Type :
Iron paddlewheel steamer
Launched  :
Builder :
Thomas Wingate and Company
Whiteinch, Scotland
Gross :
315 tons
Dimensions :
171.40 x 22.20 x 10.15 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
15 knots

Fairlight was the first Manly ferry to introduce luxury to the travelling public. She offered cushioned seats, closed in salons and carpeted floors.

Fairlight came to Australia under her own steam to join the Brightside in providing a two boat service for the Port Jackson Steamboat Company. Unlike the trip five years later by the Brighton, hers was mostly uneventful. Although she hit rough seas in the Indian Ocean she incurred no damage and her master was full of praise for her sea-worthiness. For the voyage to Australia she was sail-rigged.

During her thirty years of service on the harbour she led a mostly quiet life. Her only accident happened just before Christmas in 1882 when she ran down a sailing boat carrying three people near Middle Head. One of the occupants, a young boy, received a fractured skull and later died. The fault was found to be with the Fairlight, there were  insufficient crew on board to keep a proper lookout. Fairlight's bridge was centred next to the funnel and it was normal practice to have a lookout posted fore and aft. On the day of the accident the Master had notified the company that his crew was short, as a result the sentry was not posted.

Fairlight was sold to Brisbane in 1912 and her new owners converted the hull of the ship into two lighters two years later.

Her wreck is a Tangalooma near Moreton Island.