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MV KOOTARA
Ships and Harbours
No: 655   Contributor: Paul Mara   Year: 1978   Manufacturer: Unknown   Country: Unknown
MV KOOTARA

To me this is the sadest of all my ships as she was the last I sailed on . Too many memories, I have been aloft on all mast and samson post, every time I look at this a tear comes to my eye. just a silly old Bosun.
Picture added on 13 December 2006
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I served on this ship as 2nd & Chief Officer between 1962 and 1972 and must have spent a total of about 5 years actually on board. Although rather ugly she was very comfortable even in force 10 gales. She traded mainly between Hobart, Burnie (Tasmania)and Port Pirie in South Australia with cargoes of Zinc Ingots and various ores. In her later years side tanks were fitted in order to carry sulphuric acid as well, mainly to Queensland and Kangaroo Island. She was finally fitted with radar in seventy something but never a gyro compass. She was one of the very few ships to ply down the West Coast of Tasmania. After 30 years at sea I still have many fond memories of her and have never sailed with such as an efficient company as Union Steam (Aussie Flag). She was terribly underpowered with a maximum speed of 10 knots with her twin screws and one of her sister ships was sunk off New Zealand after being pooped in stormy weather. My house name is now KOOTARA.

Added by John Wood on 05 February 2007.
I was amazed to find this. I am now the owner of one of Kootara's lifeboats - purchased in Tasmania in March this year. I don't have internet access in Tasmania (Oyster Cove), but if you could let me have a mail address I could send you a photo of the lifeboat (for old times' sake). My mail address is Ron Payne, C/O Kettering Post office, Tasmania 7155.

Added by Ron Payne on 14 April 2007.
Sorry Ron, but I do not give my address to any one with no forwarding address Hope you understand !!!

Added by Paul Mara on 15 April 2007.
Hello Ron,
My U.K. address is in the post. Regards John

Added by John Wood on 23 April 2007.
I was on the Kootara 3 times over the years when we did the port pirie, risdon, adelaide and port lincoln run with an added burnie every now and then too, i changed my home port to Hobart at one stage (due to a woman ) and ended up shanghied into her for my 3rd time, it got to a stage where i couldn't keep out of her ....lol, i was bucko, seaman and a.b. on her in the 60's.

Added by Warren Ross on 02 June 2007.
Hi There, I was a merchant seaman for some years myself and I saw the Kootara off the coast for the last time. I bunkered her in Port Adelaide some time back in the 70's and she was taken over and registered in Limasol and name changed to the "Sydney". I saw her sail down the river out the to sea for the last time...I remember thinking something like that at the time.
I was never in here but my bro and cousin were. I notice Paul that u have the Burwah on site, I was in her sister the Macedon for 2 years. My father was there for 17 years. Have you any pics of her?..I have some if you want a couple.

Added by Gordy Ross on 12 February 2009.
I was third mate on the Kootara from July to October 1972 and on another ship of the company, the Poolta in between, September 72 to January 73 when I left the Australian Merchant Navy and went ashore to live in Sydney. I am now writing a book about my time in the Merchant Navy '66 to '88. Delighted to find information and photos of my old ships.

Added by Simon Quail on 16 March 2013.
I have a a couple of good color shots of both the Karoon and the Kootara plus her other not spoken about much Kiwi sister, the Kokiri. Let me know if u want one....cheers, Gordy

Added by Gordy Ross on 17 March 2013.
Sounds great Gordy, I havent or can't recall the Kokiri, would love any you have .

Added by Paul Mara on 18 March 2013.
The photo shown, says unknown for the builder and country.
She was built in the State Dockyard in Newcastle, in 1952
Her sister ship Karoon was built before her. I sailed on Kootara for nine months in 1962. At the time she was chartered by the E.Z. Zinc company to carry ore from Burnie, Port Pirie, and Newcastle to Risdon in Tasmania. She also took zinc ingots from Risdon to Port Kembla. I was Lecko on her. She was a happy little ship. I had my 21st birthday on her and still have the key one of the Engineers cut out of an old Arnotts biscuit box. I treasure it still. I spent my life at sea and loved every minute of it. Retired at 69. Happy Days !

Added by Robert Dickman on 23 September 2015.
I served on the Macedon with Ross senior was the mud pilot and Ross junior was the bucko I was the deck boy before going to the Kootarra as the bucko. Can any one tell me what happened to the Wattamurra as I cannot find any info on her as I was an AB on her

Added by David Jones on 29 February 2016.
I was the bucko on the ship in the sixties also served with Gordon and his Dad on the Macedon as the deck boy.

Added by David Jones on 01 March 2016.
Hello all

This photo brings back fond memories for me, as I sailed as purser on both "Karoon" and "Kootara". Like Paul Mara, the photo is also tinged with sorrow, as I left this vessel in 1957 to come ashore and be married.
I later relieved as Purser on the A.N.L. vessel Princess of Tasmania. These ships were all built in Newcastle by the State dockyard.


Added by Alan Bird on 12 February 2017.
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