|Steel motor vessel
|NSW State Dockyard
|Gross weight :
|74.5 x 19.55 x 7.95 (feet)
|Passenger capacity :
Kooleen was designed to be a prototype for a new group of fifteen
By the time the order for her was placed in 1954, the remains
of the Sydney Ferries fleet were aging and in need of replacement.
Kooleen was of a type never before seen on the harbour - fully enclosed
with a high all-round view bridge. She was popular (because of the
bridge) with her masters but not with her passengers - Sydneysiders
like the opportunity to be outside on their ferries. Uncomfortable
tram-like seating didn't help the overall passenger experience either.
On her trials she had a noticeable tendency to drive her bows
underwater, this resulted in two caps being placed on her bows, a
modification that remained to the end of her life.
The ferry was
initially designed to be operated by only two crewmen. However, the
Maritime Union claimed that this was too dangerous as the master also
needed to be responsible for the engines - ultimately the ferry was
crewed by three.
She was replated in 1981 & remained in
service until May 1985 when she was finally retired. For a while she
was used as a spare boat & finally sold off in 1986.
In her later
life she continued on as a houseboat. All was not to be well with the
old ferry however; she sank several times. NSW Maritime eventually sold
her in 2003 to Atlantis Divers who had plans to sink her as a dive
vessel. However this was not to eventuate; tied up at Berry's Bay the
company began work to clean her up in preperation, but once again she
rolled over and sank. The company went out of business and a new buyer
was sought. By this time it was deemed that she was too far gone to be
re-used or repaired. She was broken up on site in July of 2006.